17 May 1999
1948 JAGUAR Mk IV 2½ LITRE THREE POSITION DROPHEAD COUPE
Chassis no. 537024
Engine no. PL 1395
Dark green with pale grey interior
Engine: straight six cylinders, 2663cc, 102 bhp at 4600 rpm; pushrod overhead valves, twin SU carburettors, Gearbox: manual four speed with synchromesh; Suspension: beam front axle, live rear axle, half elliptic leaf springs all round; Brakes: four-wheel mechanically operated drum. Left hand drive.
William Lyons (later Sir William) knew that beautiful though they were, his sidevalve early SS models really deserved more performance and better handling. In 1935 he gave William Heynes, his new chief engineer, just five months to come up with what was needed in time for the London Motor Show. Heynes, working with tuning guru Harry Weslake, came up with an efficient pushrod, overhead valve, cylinder head for the existing engine and squeezed in bigger bearings. Combined with substantial chassis modifications, the result was a fast and accelerative new range of cars. They were beautifully styled, offered the aura of luxurious quality and moreover were very keenly priced. Inside, the ambience was pure quality, with deep-pleated leather seats, a stubby gearlever well placed by the spring-spoke steering wheel, polished fine-grained timbers for the door cappings and instrument panel, the latter well-stocked with large sports-car style black faced instruments.
In the 1940s Jaguar began to build its overseas markets, particularly to the USA and this well presented 1948 left-hand drive example of the much modernized Mk IV model was built for export. It underwent an exhaustive restoration during 1990-91 and has been maintained in show condition since. From its beautifully constructed three position hood - the car can be driven as effectively a coupe de ville - to its gleaming engine compartment, this Jaguar is a delight to the discerning eye. The car is Swiss registered.
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