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Jaguar’s sports car output invariably takes the majority of its classic car plaudits, but it’s not all Le Mans this and E-Types that…

Unveiled at the 1948 London Motor Show and sitting right next to the XK120 on the company’s stand, stood the imposing MKV. This interim model looked visually similar to its immediate predecessor but with all-new bodywork sharpened up with integrated headlights for a more modern, upright look.

A freshly designed chassis (that would become the basis for all Jaguar’s big saloons in the Fifties) sat underneath, with power now coming in six-cylinder form only. The 2½-Litre was good for 104bhp@4500rpm, while those opting for the range-topping 3½-Litre received a decidedly healthy 126bhp@4250rpm.

Buyers could choose saloon or drophead coupe configurations, with each finished sumptuously and capable of imperiously propelling its occupants to top speeds of 87mph or 94mph respectively (depending on that engine choice).

Independent front suspension, hydraulic brakes and 7.7” Lucas lights with flip-out trafficators completed a high-level specification. Production lasted just three years, before the next generation of big Jaguar saloons/DHCs arrived.

Time to introduce a scintillating, collection quality example of the latter.

The Vehicle

The vendor has owned this stunning car since 2014, when he bought it from respected specialist Camberley Marine & Sports Cars Ltd of Cove Rd, Fleet Hampshire. “I purchased the car for my Jaguar collection, which did not have an MKV,” he explains. “And I can only describe the condition of it as exceptional both mechanically and bodily.”

During his ownership, the majestic big cat has only been driven on dry roads, with the car receiving regular exercise and the highest levels of maintenance. “It has only required a small amount of work while it has been in my collection and there are invoices for this in the car’s history file.”

“I have enjoyed driving Jaguar motor cars for over 65 years but unfortunately age has now caught up with me and my wonderful collection of Jaguars will have to go.”

Sadly, it is the end of an era for Harry, but an exciting opportunity for someone else to become custodian of this exacting example of Jaguar’s MKV Drophead Coupe. He bought the car already in its restored concours condition and states, “the restorer’s attention to detail simply has to be seen to be appreciated.”

It's that good.

On the Outside

“Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Jaguar MKV…” should have gone Janis Joplin’s song, because when you catch sight of this example you can see exactly why. Its swoopy, elegant two-tone bodywork is an absolute vision to behold – we can see exactly why it shod its original Black colour scheme during restoration.

Be in no doubt that this is a potential show winner. Although it’s an older restoration, it remains in exceptional condition; panel gaps are superb, there’s no play in those doors and the paintwork remains absolutely tip top. The cream and brown coachwork serves to accentuate the MKV’s lines, making a statement of both those sweeping wings and rear wheel spats.

Brightwork, and there’s a fair bit of it, is without blemish. The wheels all remain in excellent condition and the tyres have plenty of tread left remaining – although, depending on age stamps it may be worth investing in some fresh rubber.

The hood is very high quality and remains in immaculate condition; its tan disposition really suits the exterior colours, and unlike many a drophead the car looks as good with it up as it does with it lowered. It folds and stows impeccably.

As a visual package it provides impact with a capital ‘I’.

On the Inside

If the exterior is superlative, then I am struggling for an adjective to do justice to the interior. Okay, how about exceptional? Or extraordinary? Or exemplary? I could continue for ever and a day…

“The interior was described by a professional restorer as having the best hide available,” says Harry. “The hood and lining have also been done to a very high standard.”

He is not kidding, either. Just look at our Photo Gallery and video, both below, to get an idea of the standard of finish. The rear-hinged ‘suicide’ doors open to reveal a sumptuous feast of tan leather, biscuit-coloured carpets, and lovely wood veneers.

Raising the hood provides a very intimate internal environment and allows you to gauge its excellent condition. The boot is finished to the same high-standard and you will find an almost complete tool kit in its padded lid compartment.

This car’s cabin is a true feast for the senses in every single way.


“The Jaguar drives very well, and the Moss gearbox is very good,” says Harry. We have had it out for a spin ourselves and can confirm that it drives majestically, with smooth six-cylinder power and lovely overall driving disposition.

“It’s had the addition of flashing indicators, but the original ‘trafficator’ indicators have been retained in working order. The underside of the car is finished to the same high standard as the rest of the car.”

It is worth taking your time to pop your head under this MKV, or at the very least (and easier on the knees) look at the photographs in our gallery, below, as it reveals a lovely, straight and clean undercarriage. As an older restoration it is worth noting that there are one or two small areas of flaking paint on the underside of the bodywork, so it would be an opportune time to have this wire brushed and re-painted to ensure that it remains in first class condition for the decades to come.

Up top, as you would expect, popping the bonnet panels reveals an engine bay in tip-top, show-winning fettle – lovely.

History Highlights

You’ll find a few photographs of the car in the History File, as well as an all-important Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate. This confirms the car’s date of manufacture as 22nd February 1951 and date of despatch as 22nd of March 1951. It also shows that it’s an original RHD vehicle and that when new body colour was Black and the first dealer, the Shell Petroleum Company.

You’ll also find several Jaguar Mark V period road tests, a Jaguar Operating and Maintenance Handbook for 2½ and 3½ Litre Mark V Models and a copy of the Jaguar Driver magazine.

In addition, the invoices for works carried out during Harry’s stewardship are present, as are a several expired MOT test certificates, tax discs and the V5c document.

An RAC Vehicle History Check (dated 5th May 2022) is also included, as is a tin of Cellulose paint, which is date stamped 12 April 2022.

Please visit the documents section of the gallery of this listing where you will find photos of the paperwork to support our claim that this car has been both restored and maintained to the highest of standards.

What We Think

This is an exceptional, showroom standard example of Jaguar’s lovely MKV Drophead Coupe and as such, it’s ready to slot straight into any of the best Jaguar collections currently in existence. That said, it could quite as easily go to a single-car classic owner and provide them with a majestic showstopper, both on the road and the concours lawn.

Given its incredible overall condition and first-rate driving experience, we think this lovely MKV survivor will sell for somewhere between £50,000 and £70,000. For that, the next owner can be assured they’re getting quite possibly the, if not one of the finest surviving examples out there.

Jaguar produced just 1001 MKVs in 2½ and 3½ Litre Drophead forms, compared to 9465 saloon car versions, which makes this is an exceedingly lovely example of a very rare beast.

Viewing is always encouraged, and this particular car is located with us at The Market HQ near Abingdon; we are open weekdays 9am-5pm, to arrange an appointment please use the Contact Seller button at the top of the listing. Feel free to ask any questions or make observations in the comments section below, or try our ‘Frequently Asked Questions’.

Bidders MUST ensure they are aware of the registration situation of a car in auction, and whether it will be possible to export/register a vehicle in their country BEFORE they bid.

All vehicles MUST BE COLLECTED WITHIN 7-DAYS of the auction end. Storage fees of £180 + VAT apply (per week) thereafter without exception.

If needed, Footman James classic car insurance and Classic Concierge offer storage can offer you options, plus we have a list of contacts who can help with transport and shipping both domestic and international.  

BORING, but IMPORTANT: Please note that whilst we at The Market always aim to offer the most descriptive and transparent auction listings available, we cannot claim they are perfect analyses of any of the vehicles for sale. We offer far greater opportunity for bidders to view, or arrange inspections for each vehicle thoroughly prior to bidding than traditional auctions, and we always encourage bidders to take advantage of this. We do take a good look at those vehicles which are delivered to our premises for sale, but this only results in our unbiased personal observations, not those of a qualified inspector or other professional, or the result of a long test drive.

Also, localised paint repairs are common with collectable and classic cars and if they have been professionally carried out then they may be impossible to detect, even if we see the car in person. So, unless we state otherwise, please assume that any vehicle could have had remedial bodywork at some point in its life.

Additionally, please note that most of the videos on our site have been recorded using basic cameras which often result in 'average' sound quality; in particular, engines and exhausts notes can sound a little different to how they are in reality.

Please note that this is sold as seen (Caveat Emptor) and that, as is normal for used goods bought at auction, a return policy does not apply. See our FAQs for more info, and feel free to inspect any vehicle as much as you wish.

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harry stuart hughes

  • Location: The Market HQ, Abingdon, United Kingdom
  • Seller Type: Private
  • Odometer Reading: 46292
  • Chassis Number: 640232
  • Engine: 3498
  • Gearbox: manual
  • Steering position: RHD
  • Colour: Cream/Brown
  • Interior: Tan Leather
  • Estimated Price: £50,000 - £70,000

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