1947 Jaguar 3.5 Litre SaloonSOLD

Single ownership 1950-2007

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Registration No: SMH 209 Engine No: S1876 CC: 3500 Colour: Black Trim Colour: Brown MOT: Oct 2010

Reference Number 52026

as of 9/25/2009

Car 1947 Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon
VIN 611860 
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Known History

"The 3.5 Litre's performance figures made quite a mark when Motor Sport took one for a blast around Goodwood in August 1948 to suss out the airfield's `proposed' use as a motor racing circuit . . . Its reliability had been acknowledged a year earlier when The Motor's sports editor followed the route and timings of the 1947 Rallye Monte-Carlo (cancelled due to fuel shortages) in a press car. He completed the 1310-mile run from Calais to Monte-Carlo (via Bordeaux) in 52hrs and 15mins - an epic achievement considering the treacherous, snow-bound conditions and war-ravaged roads. Ensconced in the cosy confines of this example's richly patinated cabin, I can think of no better 60-year-old car with which to contemplate such a journey. Certainly the grace, space and pace of this lovely original car feel every bit as up to the job today as they would've been 62 years ago. And its remarkable condition is proof of why the reinvented Jaguar company got off to such a flying start" (Graeme Hurst on `SMH 209', Classic & Sportscar March 2009).


Following an emergency wartime board meeting in March 1945, William Lyons' SS Jaguar concern jettisoned its prefix initials and their unwanted Nazi connotations. When peace came some six months later, the newly renamed Jaguar Cars - like most British motor manufacturers - felt constrained by the government's `export or die' drive to put various of its pre-September 1939 models back into production (albeit with some minor improvements). Luckily for the Coventry firm, this entailed trying to sell a line-up of 1.5 litre four-cylinder and 2.5 / 3.5 litre six-cylinder cars which still enjoyed an enviable reputation for strong performance, good road manners and well appointed interiors. Initial flagship of what was retrospectively known as the MKIV range, the Jaguar 3.5 Litre Saloon sat atop a box-section chassis equipped with all-round semi-elliptic leaf-sprung suspension, lever-arm dampers, Burman worm-and-nut steering and Girling mechanical drum brakes. Credited with developing some 125bhp and 184lbft, its 3485cc OHV straight-six engine was allied to four-speed manual transmission and promised 90mph plus performance. 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. Nicknamed the `Wardour Street Bentley' on account of its popularity with the glamorous if occasionally decadent Soho-set, the MKIV 3.5 Litre Saloon remained in production until February 1949 by which time some 3,605 right-hand drive cars had been completed.


First registered in Middlesex on 30th September 1947, this particular example was just three years old when it was acquired by a Scottish surgeon. Used for holidays, weddings and other family occasions, the 3.5 Litre remained in his possession for almost six decades. Although laid-up during the early 1990s due to an engine malady, the Jaguar was never allowed to deteriorate to the point of needing extensive renovation. Entering the current ownership via the late doctor's estate in 2007, `SMH 209' has since been treated to some sympathetic recommissioning by marque specialist, Davenport Cars. As well as an engine, starter motor, dynamo and twin carburettor overhaul, the Saloon benefited from the refurbishment of its wire wheels / Ace wheel discs not to mention the fitting of a new stainless steel exhaust and fresh tyres. Running well, the 3.5 Litre was the subject of five-page article in the March 2009 issue of Classic & Sportcar which understandably focused on its remarkable state of preservation. Journalist Graeme Hurst commenting thus: "Turn the chiselled door handle and you get the first tangible taste of the car's unblemished beauty: the doors open and shut with the lightest of touches, the lock mechanisms closing with the gentle click of a coachbuilt body. This precision would be almost impossible to replicate during a full restoration, as would the rich aroma of oiled leather or the well-thumbed feel of the switchgear. The dashboard is carved from solid wood (no cheap veneers here) and features an array of Deco dials . . . Sink into the plush leather squab and you're transported back to a different, more genteel era in manufacturing".


The paintwork, brightwork and interior trim certainly look to be original and there is no denying that `SMH 209' feels all of a piece. Indeed, this lovely MKIV is a great riposte to those who maintain that William Lyons' cars were built down to a price rather than up to a standard. Naturally, the sixty-two-year-old black cellulose paint has dulled, faded and chipped in places. Likewise, the brightwork no longer has a mirror shine and the interior carpets are a little bit threadbare. But some unsightly corrosion to the door bottoms aside, the 3.5 Litre gives off an air of solidity. While, the way in which the sunroof sits in its aperture or the chrome strakes line up along the sides is a delight. Potentially eligible for the Post-War Preservation Class at various Concours d'Elegance meetings, this wonderful Jaguar is offered for sale with a valid MOT certificate.


PLEASE NOTE: This vehicle has an MOT until Oct 2010.