The Jaguar Mark V was introduced in September 1948 and launched a month later at the London Motor Show alongside the XK120. While the XK120 got the new overhead-camshaft engine the Mark 5 retained the straight-6 2.5 Liter and 3.5 Liter engines. These engines were rated at 104 HP for the 2.5 liters and 126 hp for the more popular 3.5 liters.
The styling of the car followed pre-war design language producing a beautiful swopping design made of all pressed steel, that while slightly outdated at the time but remains classic and beautiful. The chassis was equipped with independent front suspension as well as hydraulic brakes, both of which were new and exciting features at the time. The Mark V would enjoy a 3-year production run, terminating in 1951 with the introduction of the Mark VII. In total there were roughly 10,499 Mark Vs produced with the bulk of those being the Saloon model. There was a drop head coupe available, as well as a few bare chassis offered to coachbuilders, but both of these are far fewer than the traditional saloon style.
This particular 1951 Jaguar Mark V saloon, chassis number 627989, is powered by the popular 3.5 liter inline-6 cylinder engine. The car comes with detailed service and records dating all the way back to 1959. According to the included Heritage Certificate, this Mark V was built on May 3, 1950, and delivered to Hoffman Motors in New York. It was originally finished in Lavender Grey with a Suede Green interior. While records for the first few years of the cars life appear to be absent, included records begin in 1959 at which time the car was owned by a Mr. Charles Lewis of Essington, Pennsylvania. Mr. Lewis kept very detailed records of his ownership and even has copies of his communications with Jaguar Cars of North America, expressing his displeasure at the difficulty in getting replacement parts for the car. The next records indicate the car was owned by a Mr. Herbert Watkins of Geigertown, Pennsylvania in the early 1960’s. It appears the car was then sold to a Mr. JJ Connor of Atco, New Jersey in approximately 1974. It should be noted that there is correspondence for 1974 between Mr. Connor and a Block Repair facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma which reference there being a crack in the block of the car. It also appears that the current engine block fitted to the car is Z2869, rather than T9709 which is indicated on the data tag and heritage certificate. From the included records it appears that during the early 1990’s Mr. Connor took the restoration and refreshing of this Mark V upon himself and there are some included photos of the car during this time. The car was under his name until 2000 when Mr. Connor, unfortunately, passed away leaving the car to his nieces. The car sat, largely unused until 2008 when a Mr. Leroy Shiftlet who is located in Lyndhurst, Virginia purchased it from Mr. Connors niece. Under Mr. Shiftlets ownership, the car was brought into a properly drivable state after having sat. Records indicate sorting of the charging system, the fuel system, braking system sorting, adjusting of the suspension, cleaning and tuning the carburetors and many other things, all in a thorough attempt to bring the car back to a roadworthy condition after its brief period of sitting. It was then purchased by the current owner in early 2016 who put new radial tires on the car as well as airbag assist and drove the car sparingly in good weather. The service records included with this car are thorough and encompass most of the car’s ownership and the car truly comes across as well taken care of today. It is ready to be driven, shown, or even to take upon light touring duty.
Included with the car are extensive service documentation, factory books, and the fold out tool kit located in the trunk.
The car was restored fairly long ago and was redone in the current colors it wears today. The paint is in good condition for the age with a smooth consistent finish. There a few minor knicks and chipping in high wear areas that have for the most part been touched up.The areas of note include a small section of cracking present on the lower edge of the drivers door, some very small areas of minor bubbling near the vents in the front, minor cracking on the top of the door lines where they meet the windows and some slightly larger knicks in the pain that have since been touched up. The body is in good condition with no signs of any real issues.
Glass & Trim
All the glass on the car is clean and free of any scuffing or chipping although there is some minor delaminating occurring in a few areas. The glass appears, for the most part, to be correct, displaying the proper markings. Rubber trim is supple and free of drying and cracking. All the brightwork on the car shines brightly and is in fantastic condition with little to no signs of pitting or aging.
All 4 wheels are in clean and respectable condition with the painted surfaces being absent of any major chipping and the chrome centers and trim rings bright and shiny.
There are a few small knicks in the paint at various points on the car that have since been touched up. They are are not overly noticeable and certainly, don’t warrant any further attention. There is a section of paint on the edge of the driver’s door that has cracked.
Seats & Surfaces
The seats, door cards and carpets are currently finished in red, complementing the exterior of the car fantastically. The seats are in great shape, with only minimal creasing on the edges and no real issues except for a minor pull in the fabric on the driver’s seat. The carpets are clean and largely free of any staining or wear. The headliner is tight and free of any staining. All wooden surfaces are in good condition with some wear around the pull out ashtray and glove box areas. The steering wheel finish has some slight discoloration and there is minor cracking in the finish on the connection points of spokes.
Functionality & Accessories
Most of the controls are in good shape with only minor signs of wear. The headlights, both low and high beams function as they should as do the turn signals. The central light under the dash illuminates but the two accompanying lights do not. The horn also does not appear to function.
The pullout ashtray wood is worn around the edges and missing the pull. The is a small pull towards the rear seating surface of the driver’s seat.
ENGINE BAY, TRUNK, UNDERSIDE
The engine bay displays as an older restoration would. Painted surfaces are fairly clean with minor signs of wear and usage. There is some oily road dirt towards the bottom of the engine bay on the chassis rails. The data tags appear original. All hoses, wires, and cables appear in good condition with no fraying or overly worn pieces. There is no evidence of any major leaks or malfunctions.
Overall the trunk is in good condition. The painted surfaces are smooth and consistent with minor signs of wear. The trunk opens and closes with ease. There are some chips in the paint around the edges of the trunk, more than likely from it closing a bit too hard. The fold out tool kit is present, in good condition and largely intact with only a few pieces absent.
The underside of the car displays much like the rest of the car. There are some signs of usage but no major issues of note.
It appears that the engine block was changed out at some point during the cars life as the stamped pad does not match what is indicated on the info card of the heritage certificate. This car has been well maintained mechanically and it shows in the strength of the motor. There are no flat spots or stumbles in the acceleration and the engine feels strong and healthy. It idles smoothly and maintains good temperature during our brief time driving it.
The transmission is the correct type Moss 4-speed gearbox. The transmission gear selector moves freely and engages each gear well. The clutch is light and direct. Shifts need to be slow and deliberate, much like all of these older gearboxes.
Brakes & Suspension
The brakes feel adequate and are free of chatter or noises. The suspension feels compliant and there are no noises or issues to note.
The tires are in good condition with no cracking or dry rot and plenty of tread life left on them.
Opening the reversed hinge doors and climbing into the Mark V can be a bit difficult but once you slide behind the wheel, it feels properly British. A flat seating position and the wheel relatively close to your lap, you feel as if you are wearing the car. All the controls are easily within reach as you turn the key and thumb the starter button. It can take more than one try to get the engine to turn over as these early starters are notoriously a bit weak. Once the engine fires to life it settles into a fairly quiet idle and it is clear that driving experience was meant to be unobtrusive. The seats are comfortable but offer little in the way of lateral support. Shifting the car into and between gears can offer a comically long throw of the selector, but gear changes are easy and smooth. Downshifting must be accomplished with care to mesh the gears properly and avoid the dreaded crunch. Placing the transmission into first and pressing the throttle reveals a relatively slow and uneventful pull away. Throttle response is good but certainly not immediate. The Mark V is very comfortable as it moves down the road, the independent suspension doing a good job (for the era) of isolating road disturbances. This is the type of car that is perfect for leisurely drives to your favorite lunch spot on sunny days. It looks absolutely stunning gliding down the road and feels almost as smooth behind the wheel
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