Towards the end of my 20 years in the RAAF I was looking for a hobby and as I had always been interested in car restoration I started looking for a project. I have always sourced vehicles that need a complete restoration, as that is really where my interest and expertise lies, rather than the straight out driving aspect. That’s not to say I don’t love driving them, particularly Jaguars.
I undertake restorations from a ground up perspective and over the years have restored a early Chevy and Buick, even tackled a Citroen D but that is a completely another story. However, I have always had a soft spot for Jaguars.
I was brought up in Applecross, about five doors down from Nev Martin’s place. I can still vividly recall his aluminum XK120 roaring up Kintail Road with the cops following, usually a long way behind. So, I guess this engendered a hankering for a XK120 roadster. I found one in poor condition in the mid nineties and after two years of negotiating purchased it, completing the restoration over the following 4 years. Since then I have purchased a Series 1 E type coupe completing a ground up restoration in 2011. A Triumph TR6 followed in 2015.
This Register covers all Chassis made Jaguars including:
MK IV, MKV, MKVII, MkVIII, MkIX
Should you have one of these vehicles and need some help with it please feel free to call me. If I cannot help I may know someone that can.
Jaguar first appeared in September 1935 as a model name on an SS 2½-litre sports saloon. A matching open two seater sports model with a 3½-litre engine was named SS Jaguar 100. These cars were followed by the Mk IV and the MkV salons both mounted on steel chassis.
However, Jaguar made its name by producing a series of successful eye-catching sports cars, the Jaguar XK120 (1948–54), Jaguar XK140 (1954–57) and the Jaguar XK150 (1957–61), all mounted on steel box type chassis. The sports cars were successful in international motorsport, a path followed in the 1950s to prove the engineering integrity of the company's products.
The XK120 was launched in open two-seater or (US) roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show as a testbed and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine. The sports car caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and Chairman William Lyons to put it into production.
Beginning in 1948, the first 242 cars wore wood-framed open 2-seater bodies with aluminium panels. Production switched to the 1cwt or 112 lb (51 kg) heavier all-steel in early 1950. The "120" in the name referred to the aluminium car's 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed (faster with the windscreen removed), which made it the world's fastest production car at the time of its launch.
The XK120 was ultimately available in three versions or body styles, first as an open 2-seater described in the US market as a roadster (OTS) then as a fixed head coupé (FHC) from 1951 and finally as a drophead coupé (DHC) from 1953, all two-seaters and available with Left (LHD) or Right Hand Drive (RHD).
The Jaguar XK140 is a sports car manufactured by Jaguar between 1954 and 1957, the successor to Jaguar's highly successful XK120. Upgrades included better brakes, rack and pinion steering, increased suspension travel and modern tube type shock absorbers instead of the older lever arm design.
The primary visual change was the more substantial front and rear bumpers, with large overriders. Another new feature was modern flashing turn signals, operated by a separate switch on the dash. The twin amber lights positioned above the front bumper helped to distinguish the XK140.
The Jaguar XK150 is a sports car produced by Jaguar between 1957 and 1961. It replaced the XK140. Initially it was available in Fixed Head Coupé (FHC) and Drop Head Coupé (DHC) versions.
Initially it was only available in fixed head coupé (FHC) and drophead coupé (DHC) versions. The roadster without full weather equipment which had begun the XK line was launched as the XK150 OTS (open two-seater) in 1958. Minimal rear seats were fitted in the coupés. The open two-seater was fitted for the first time with wind-up windows in taller high-silled doors, but retained the very simple folding roof of its predecessors.
The Jaguar Mark IV (pronounced mark four) is a range of automobiles built by Jaguar Cars from 1945 to 1949. The cars were marketed as the Jaguar 1½ litre, Jaguar 2½ litre and Jaguar 3½ litre with the Mark IV name later applied in retrospect to separate this model from the succeeding Mark V range.
The range was a return to production of the SS Jaguar 1½ litre, 2½ litre and 3½ litre models produced by SS Cars from 1935 to 1940. Before World War II the model name Jaguar was given to all cars in the range built by SS Cars Ltd with the saloons titled SS Jaguar 1½ litre, 2½ litre or 3½ litre and the two-seater sports cars the SS Jaguar 100 2½ litre or 3½ litre. In March 1945 the company name SS Cars Ltd was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd.
All the Mark IVs were built on a separate chassis frame with suspension by semi-elliptic leaf springs on rigid axles front and rear.
The Jaguar Mark V (pronounced mark five) is a luxury automobile built by Jaguar Cars Ltd of Coventry in England from 1948 to 1951. It was available as a four door Saloon (sedan) and a two door convertible known as the Drop Head Coupé, both versions seating five adults. It was the first Jaguar with independent front suspension, first with hydraulic brakes, first with fender skirts (spats), first specifically designed to be produced in both Right and Left Hand Drive configurations, first with disc centre wheels, first with smaller wider 16" balloon tires, first to be offered with sealed headlamps and flashing turn signals for the important American market, and the last model to use the pushrod engines.
The Jaguar Mark VII is a four-door luxury car produced by Jaguar Cars of Coventry from 1951 to 1956. Launched at the 1950 British International Motor Show as the successor to the Jaguar Mark V, it was called the Mark VII because there was already a Bentley Mark VI on the market. A version of the Jaguar Mark V with the XK engine had been designated as the Mark VI, but it is thought that only two were built.
In its original 1950 form the Mark VII could exceed 100 mph, and in 1952 it became the first Jaguar to be made available with an optional automatic transmission. Mark VIIs were successful in racing and rallying.
The car shared its 10-foot (3.05 m) wheelbase with its predecessor, the Jaguar Mark VII, which outwardly it closely resembled. However, the interior fittings were more luxurious than those of the Mark VII. Distinguishing visually between the models is facilitated by changes to the front grille, the driving or fog lamps being moved from the front panel to the horizontal panel between bumper & front panel, larger rear lamps and most obviously a curved chrome trim strip below the waistline which allowed the factory to offer a variety of two-tone paint schemes. In addition the new car had rear spats that were cut back to display more of the rear wheels and featured a one-piece slightly curved windscreen, where the Mark VII had incorporated a two-piece front screen of flat glass.
The Jaguar Mark IX is a four-door luxury saloon car produced by Jaguar Cars between 1959 and 1961. It replaced the previous Mark VIII. The early versions were identical in exterior appearance to the Mark VIII except for the addition of a chrome "Mk IX" badge to the boot lid. Later versions had a larger tail-lamp assembly with the addition of an amber section for traffic indication, visually similar to the tail-lights of the smaller Jaguar Mark 2. The Mark IX was popular as a ceremonial car for state dignitaries.