1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe
Chassis no. 647460
Engine no. Z3482
Body no. DH1676
3,486cc OHV inline six-cylinder
Four-speed manual transmission
One of fewer than 600 DHCs built in LHD
Older, high quality restoration
Traditional British style
Ideal for tours, rallies or show
When the Mark V was introduced by Jaguar at the London Motor Show in 1948, it was overshadowed by the brand-new XK120. Jaguar Cars - as William Lyons' SS concern had been re-named in 1945 - commenced post-war production with a range of essentially pre-war designs. A considerable improvement on what had gone before, the Mk V saloon's cruciform-braced chassis featured torsion bar independent front suspension, designed pre-war by the company's Chief Engineer William Heynes, and all-round hydraulic brakes. Jaguar's existing Standard-based, six-cylinder, overhead-valve engine was continued in both 2.5- and 3.5-liter forms in the Mk V, whose bodywork likewise maintained the pre-war tradition, though with minor up-dating in the form of faired-in headlamps, deeper bumpers, and rear wheel spats.
A 1949 Autocar road test stated, "The Mark V will trickle through slow traffic at under 10 mph on top gear and pick up smoothly and swiftly where an opening offers. It is smooth and quiet right up into the eighties. It is a car for long journeys that can put 50 miles and more into the hour, one in which 200 miles leave the driver and passengers unaffected, and in which a 400 or 500-mile day would be a pleasure. Yet it is thoroughly tractable for the short pottering or shopping expedition."
Inside the beautifully appointed Mark V was "upholstered throughout in the finest full Vaumol leather interior with rich wood accents." The drophead coupe was the last full-size Jaguar sold in that most British of configurations, the three-position soft top (with landau arms, no less) boasting full insulation and headliner. Like its immediate predecessor, the Mk V was available in saloon or drophead coupé versions and featured the kind of luxuriously appointed interior that had become a Jaguar hallmark.
Few people had the chance to own the dropheads, because only 1,005 were built, of which just 28 used the smaller engine. In 1950, the stunning Mk V drophead sold for $3,850, which was nearly twice the price of a new Ford convertible. However, the Mk V had the kind of looks that would make people do almost anything just to own one.
As a post war Jaguar with a pre-war look, this Mark V will transport you back to an era unmatched by any of today's vehicles. Equipped with the larger 3.5-litre motor and four-speed synchromesh transmission, it has a ride of the future and a look of the past. A high-quality restoration from 10 years ago included an engine rebuild and the addition of a discreet, custom-built air conditioning unit without taking away from the car's original look. When it comes to traditional British motoring, no car better combines style and comfort than the Jaguar Mark V and this is an excellent example of the breed.