Bonhams : In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)

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Lot 375
In the present ownership since 1953, 1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe
Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)

Sold for US$ 99,450 inc. premium
In the present ownership since 1953
1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe
Chassis no. 647490
Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
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 MkV 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-litre forms in the MkV, 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. Like its immediate predecessor, the MkV 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.

This car must carry one of the longest ownerships of them indeed perhaps any Jaguar, a remarkable 58 years! It acquisition dates back to May 1953, when the car was purchased from Boch Motors of Norwood, MA, by the present owner upon his graduation from U.S. Naval Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island. Up to September 1956 it served as his personal transportation.

It was during this time that he decided that he didn't particularly like the car in its then current form and began to lightly customize it to his own requirements. In April 1956 he had the hood louvred and the spats removed so that he could fit wire wheels, in the same era he also had the car repainted from its Silver Blue livery with black top to a Black body with white top. Unimpressed by the performance of the Mark V unit, he elected to replace this with a Mark VII Jaguar motor – in his view the logical 'Mark Six' step that never occurred. With a Mark VII unit sourced this was installed by Morong Brothers of South Portland, ME and the completed car returned to the road in July 1957. Its original motor was not kept. Just five months later it was laid up in hibernation where it would rest until 1981.

Thirty years ago a decision was made to revive the car, precipitating an exhaustive restoration process which ran for more then 9 years. With work carried out by English Auto in Searsport, ME and British Auto USA in Manchester, NH the car was completely refurbished. The color choice was now the popular 'coffee and cream' two tone scheme, which suits the lines of the car well. Its interior was re-trimmed in biscuit leather, and the dash veneer refinished. During this work, preferring the look of the early Jaguars, its fender line was re-sculpted to accept P100 headlights.

Throughout its ownership its fastidiously minded owner has kept a log of all work carried out on the car, which in 58 years has amounted to nearly $100,000, 75% of that coming from its late 1980s/early 1990s rebuild. The copious records accompany the car.

Since its completion the Jaguar has been used sparingly and maintained when required. On recent inspection it was noted that the 18 year old refurbishment has aged a little, while the paint is still extremely good for its age, it might benefit from a few detailing points such as shrinkage on the dash finish and should not be considered to be of show standard any longer. Regardless of this, the car remains a strong runner and is reported to 'go like the wind' – on this basis it will certainly make a great driving automobile for its next custodian, who will not only be its third from new, but the first since 1953.
Contacts
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
In the present ownership since 1953,1951 Jaguar Mark V Drophead Coupe  Chassis no. 647490 Engine no. A 2820 (Mk VII – see text)
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