'Elegant and rare' Jaguar Mark V graces UK classic cars auction

UK auctioneer Historics At Brooklands' next sale of classic cars is set to take place on December 4 at the Brooklands Museum in Kent, UK. Among the auction's highlights is this jet-black classic saloon dated to 1949: a Jaguar Mark V Three Position Drophead Coupé.

Aside from its elegant styling and the exceptional engineering under its bonnet, the Mark V also boasted an unusual name. Back in 1948 there had been no Mark I to IV Jaguars, and the Mark IV designation was only given to the predecessor after the launch of the Mark V.

The Mark V was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show at the same time as the XK120 with which it shared the stand. However, the Mark V vastly outsold the XK120 by roughly 5,000 cars per year as compared to 2,000 cars per year for the XK120.

The new large saloon did not get the new overhead camshaft XK engine. Instead, it kept the overhead valve pushrod straight six units from the Mark IV. In terms of power, the Mark V claimed 104bhp for the 2664cc and 126bhp for its more popular 3486cc sibling.

The Jaguar Mark V Three Position Drophead Coupé

The example for sale at Historics at Brooklands is the 3486cc version. Upon its release, it boasted a new chassis with independent front suspension by double wishbones and torsion bar, an arrangement that would be used by Jaguar for many future vehicles.

The styling of the car was traditional Jaguar with upright chrome grille complete with the leaping Jaguar radiator cap mascot available as an option. From the side, a distinctive styling touch was a "tuck in" curve at the base of the rear window, following the curved profile of the car's side glass.

Its wheels were 16-inch steel disc type, significantly smaller than the 18-inch ones on the Mark IV. Rear wheel spats were standard and there was also a drophead coupé version which is now highly sought after.

According to a review of the 3.5 litre version by The Motor magazine in 1949, the car had a top speed of 90.7mph and could accelerate from 0-60 mph in 20.4 seconds.

The car's plush interior, one of many features which helped it vastly
outsell the XK120 in 1948

Described as "virtually unmarked" by the vendor, this most stylish of examples not only is presented with the more desirable 3.5 litre engine, but the drophead configuration - both of which are becoming increasingly rare on the collectors' markets.

This example, registration NUV38, has the correct and original matching engine, gearbox and chassis numbers as well as a black mohair hood. It has been with its present owner of more than 10 years, during which time a considerable amount of restoration work has been undertaken.

Rightly billed by the auction house as "a most impressive car that will grace any collection," the Mark V will appear at Historics At Brooklands with a £54,000-£62,000 estimate.

Included in the sale is a buff log book, Heritage Certificate, sundry invoices, as well a collection of old MoT test certificates and road tax discs.


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