Work on Jaguar's advanced new saloon had been interrupted by the war, and in 1948 elements of the proposed newcomer made their first appearance in other models: the twin-overhead-camshaft engine in the XK120 sports car, and the chassis design in the interim MkV saloon. It was not until 1950 that the two were combined in the MkVII. A considerable improvement on what had gone before, the cruciform-braced chassis featured torsion-bar independent front suspension and all-round hydraulic brakes. The 3.4-litre 'six' had already demonstrated its prowess in the XK120 and proved capable of propelling the MkVII's not inconsiderable bulk past 100mph. Priced at a mere 40% of its Bentley MkVI rival but available at first only for export, the MkVII was a big hit in the USA, that market's demands prompting the introduction of an automatic transmission option in 1953. Two years later the model was revised as the MkVIIM, with maximum power increased from 160 to 190bhp. Slightly more than 10,000 MkVIIs had been produced by the time the MkVIII arrived in 1956. A rare manual/overdrive transmission model, this MkVIIM was supplied new via Appleyard's of Leeds on 3rd May 1955 and first registered 'OYG 548'. The accompanying JDHT certificate confirms matching numbers and records the original colour scheme as Battleship Grey with matching leather interior trim. Subsequently the Jaguar went to South Africa where it was acquired by the current vendor a Jaguar Drivers Club member - while he was working there. The car was shipped back to the UK in December 1999 (import documents on file) and since its arrival has mostly been kept in dry storage (SORN'd) as part of the vendor's private collection. Fewer than 500 miles have been covered since December 1999, mainly on trips to Jaguar Drivers Club events. When acquired the Jaguar had been refinished in white and re-trimmed in a maroon vinyl material more suited to the South African climate. In the period 2000 to 2004 the car was treated to a bare metal re-spray in Old English White, the brakes relined, wheel cylinders replaced, brake drums skimmed, brake servo replaced, electrics rewired, new exhaust and electronic ignition fitted (some invoices on file). Said to run well, the vehicle is corrosion free - with no replacement panels - while the re-upholstered interior is in generally good condition, including the wood veneer. 'MSL 964' is offered with service manual, current road fund licence, MoT to October 2011 and Swansea V5.
The vendor is a Jaguar Enthusiast Club member and has only attended Enthusiast Club events, not Drivers Club as stated in the catalogue