Thursday, March 29, 2012

1948 Jaguar Mark IV Drophead Coupe

125 hp, 3,485 cc OHV inline six-cylinder engine, dual SU side-draft carburetors, Moss four-speed manual gearbox, solid front axle and live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs front and rear, and Girling four-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 120"

• Concours-quality restoration completed in 2000
• One of 376 3.5-liter export-market Mark IVs built
• The first postwar Jaguar model

Jaguar met the immediate postwar market in 1945 with its trusty 1.5-, 2.5- and 3.5-liter sedans dating back to 1935. Britain’s postwar “export or die” ethos spurred a concentrated effort to cultivate the crucial American market, and only six-cylinder models were officially sent to America. These early postwar cars, retrospectively known as the “Mark IV,” quickly gained a following. The elegant Three-Position Drophead Coupe variant remains a favorite. Of the 4,420 3.5-liter Mark IVs produced in total by Jaguar, only 560 were Drophead Coupes. Just 376 3.5-liter Mark IVs were built for export, rendering this very fine example rare indeed.

According to the car’s accompanying Heritage Certificate, this Jaguar was originally sold through the Hoffman, California Jaguar dealership in 1948. It was finished in black paintwork with beige leather and a sand three-position top. Prior to acquisition by the current owner in 2002, it was given a Body-off-frame restoration, with all mechanicals restored and overhauled, new wooden body framing installed, new Connolly leather upholstery fitted. The electrical wiring was also addressed.

In its current ownership, the car has been properly and regularly maintained and exercised and remains in virtual concours-quality condition. It represents English motoring elegance at its best, and with precious few ever produced, especially in the 3.5-liter form, it is truly a rare find.

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