1947 Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon
Following the end of the War William Lyons' Coventry based SS Cars Ltd jettisoned its SS prefix and renamed the company Jaguar Cars Ltd. Like most British motor manufacturers Jaguar Cars responded to the government's `export
or die' drive and put its pre-September 1939 SS Jaguar models back into production with a 1.5 litre four-cylinder engine, together with 2.5 litre and 3.5 litre six-cylinder engines. This model being the first of the modern era Jaguar cars produced.
The post war flagship Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon was constructed with a box-section chassis, all-round semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, lever-arm dampers, Burman worm-and-nut steering and Girling mechanical drum brakes. Later to become known as the MK IV, the car enjoyed an enviable reputation for strong performance, good road manners and well-appointed interiors.
Utilising the same all-steel body construction as its late 1930s SS Jaguar forebear, the newcomer appeared even sleeker thanks to a revised hypoid bevel back axle that allowed the floor to be lowered by two inches.
The Jaguar 3458cc OHV straight six engine developed 125bhp and 184lbft of torque and was allied to a four-speed manual transmission producing over 90mph.
Nicknamed the `Wardour Street Bentley' on account of its popularity with the glamorous and decadent Soho-set, the 3.5 Litre Saloon remained in production until February 1949 by which time some 3,605 right-hand drive cars had been made. Only a few remain roadworthy today!
This fine example, fitted with the largest available engine, the 3.5 litre, was supplied new to South Africa. Resident in Cape Town for a while - as evidenced by the 'Robb Motors' plaque still affixed to its dashboard - this 3.5 litre saloon is understood to have had just three UK keepers since being repatriated during 1959 and given the registration XOW 798.
Found to be remarkably well preserved despite a period of barn storage when it entered the previous family ownership in 1984, the Jaguar was nonetheless stripped pending an extensive restoration which would take the previous owner some twenty years to complete.
A garage proprietor by profession, the previous owner’s father undertook much of the work himself. Though historic invoices on file show that the car was given a professional respray in its original colour by Bodyshop UK of Weston Coyney and also benefited from the ministrations of marque specialists J.A. Garages Ltd of Leek, Staffordshire and Davenport Cars Ltd of Tetworth, Bedfordshire. As well as supplying numerous small parts, the latter was responsible for 'debugging' the car and overhauling its original engine during late 2003. Very little mileage appears to have been covered since 2003. Historic invoices are available for the work described above together with some pictures.
The present owner acquired the car in 2013, when the body was again repainted and some chrome works were restored and modern day flashing indicators were sympathetically fitted. Spencer Lane Jones, from Warminster, was then commissioned to inspect and verify the chassis, running gear, engine and gearbox, and make good where necessary. The steering box was overhauled by Holman Engineering. All the wood and dash panels were veneered to original standards by Silvercrest and the steering wheel was restored to its original glory. The interior was completely stripped and corrosion protected and soundproofed ready for the interior restoration.
The interior refurbishment was undertaken during the winter of 2013/2014 by Nightingale Coachtrimming, of Corsham, utilising Connolly leather and traditional working methods incorporated in the design – no foam.
A list of invoices relating to the recent work described above is part of the vehicles documents together with pictures of the work undertaken. The present owner has spent a considerable amount of time and thought, not to mention the investment, and as a result 'XOW 798' is seen today in an almost Concours D’Elegance condition. With only 58,419 recorded miles this car is a very, very rare example of a correctly restored Post War Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon.
- Make: Jaguar
- Model: 3.5 Litre Saloon ( Mk IV )
- Exterior Colour: Suede Green
- Interior Colour: Suede Green
- Vehicle Type: Saloon
- Number of Doors: 4
- Year of Manufacture: 1947
- Engine Size: 3458CC
- Fuel: Petrol
- Registration Number: XOW 798
- Transmission Type: 4spd Manual
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Neil Fender: +44 (0)7794 477 785
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