1948 Jaguar Mk IV Berlina LHD

Highlights


  • Exhibited in Spanish museum for 18 years
  • Superbly aged Ox Blood leather interior
  • Runs and drives, partially recommissioned

The Appeal


This gorgeous Jaguar is one of only 254 MkIVs produced in left hand drive between 1945 and 1949. With the desirable 3.5 litre 6 cylinder straight 6 it is an example of the largest engined and final version of the MkIV, delivered just before the MkV was introduced in 1950. Originally exported and sold by Hoffman in New York it is thought to have left the USA for Spain in about 1956. Registered to Snr Burgos, a Spanish clothing magnate, it was part of a large collection of cars owned by the family.  

In order to fund a business expansion Snr Burgos took a loan from the Spanish government, but unfortunately an economic downturn resulted in the entire collection being handed over to the Government in lieu of the debt.  In 2002 it was decided that the collection would become exhibits at a new Motor Museum at Navarra Motor Circuit, with cars dating from the early 1900s to the 1980s.  

They were parked in a warm, dry underground exhibition hall, on axle stands and were cleaned and polished regularly, but were not driven for the following 13 years.  Unfortunately around this time all the history and paperwork for the entire collection was lost by the local Tuleda Notary office which was a real shame. In 2014 the Museum was closed and the entire collection was purchased by the seller, and shipped back to the UK.

Upon inspection the Jaguar was found to be entirely original, and remarkably solid, and he decided that it was worthy of some expense in order to return it to roadworthy condition.  Lots of mechanical work was completed and it passed an MoT in 2016 and was registered WXG 817. A Jaguar heritage Certificate on file shows the Jaguar has its original chassis, and the engine and gearbox numbers are thought to match although these would need to be authenticated as they weren’t available when the Certificate was issued.  The Jaguar has been driven occasionally since and is reported to drive beautifully, cruising easily at 60 mph with plenty of power to spare.

History and Paperwork


● Manufactured by Jaguar Cars Ltd on 15th June 1948 
● Despatched on 29th June 1948 to the distributor Hoffman of New York City, USA.
● Exported from the USA to Spain around 1956
● First registered in Spain to a Snr Burgos in June 1956
● Part of a private collection of cars until the 1990s
● Became part of a museum collection at Navarra Race Circuit until 2014
● Purchased from the Spanish museum in 2014
● Passed an MoT in March 2015
● First registered in the UK in 2015
● Full mechanical overhaul
● Gearbox overhauled with new clutch fitted
● New inlet manifold
● Reconditioned carburettors
● Brakes overhauled
● Work competed by Classic Restoration Service, Chichester 
● Heritage Certificate
● One UK owner with V5c
● All original engine and gearbox
● History and invoices for over £7,000 of work in the UK

The Interior


● Beautifully aged interior
● Plenty of lovely period detail
● Sunroof and opening screen

On the inside the Jaguar has all the splendour of a London Gentleman’s Club, -an air of opulence mixed with plenty of age. This level of patina can’t be created; it has taken 75 years to attain, and like most things of that age there are a few creases and scrapes.  But we think they just add to the appeal, and the overall appearance is particularly attractive.  There is plenty of wood, as you would expect, and it is all in good condition with no cracks or splits, and no bits missing.  The red carpets are tidy, although a good hoover out would help.  

The headlining is clean, if a little threadbare in places, possibly moths?  The sunroof drops and slides back into the roof correctly, with a good action and tight fit.  But it’s the gorgeous Ox Blood red leather seats that really catch the eye.  Large and luxurious, they have plenty of creases and a bit of sag here end there, especially in the front, but they are best left as they are. There is no major damage; no rips or tears, just lots of creasing.  The rear seats, complete with stylish armrests, are in less used condition.

The dash is archetypal Jaguar style, liberally sprinkled with gauges, knobs and buttons. At the top of the dash a chrome winder handle opens the windscreen with an ingenious chain system magically appearing from the top of the dash as it pushes the base of the screen outwards for better ventilation. Interestingly though, this Jaguar was fitted with air conditioning.  Whether this was fitted from new is not known but if it was it would have been amongst the first cars to have been fitted such a luxury. 

There is also a period Motorola radio, which did make a noise when we switched it on but we aren’t sure whether it actually works. The door panels are all in good condition with a little wear.  The handles and winders are all present, including the smaller ones on the front doors that operate the front quarter light windows.  

At the back, the boot area is a little dusty, but all appears to be dry and sound.  The seller tells us that he has some of the tools that fit in the comprehensive tool kit, and he hopes to reunite them with the Jaguar prior to the auction commencing. 
To sum up the interior we would say a little fettling might help the appearance, but there isn’t much that you’d want to change.  It’s taken 75 years to get this nice!

The Exterior 


● Fabulous proportions and imposing looks
● Excellent chrome and trim
● Attractive and mostly original black exterior

The black paint is in good condition with age related marks and the odd chip here and there, but nothing that detracts from the overall look of the car.  The chrome areas, especially the front grille and enormous headlights, are excellent.  The Jaguar has a particularly impressive “get out of my way” look that must have struck fear into many lesser road users over the years! The doors open and close easily with no sag, and the panel fit and shutlines are all good and consistent.  

Sitting on spoked wheels with Jaguar knock-off hubs it rides on narrow whitewall tyres, of a style it may have had in the USA during the 1950s. They look to be a little aged and were likely to have been fitted when the Jaguar was at the Navarra Museum, so it would be wise to replace them before any extensive road use.

The overall look is most attractive, and the fabulous black exterior and red interior is as impressive today as it must have been when new.

The Mechanics 


● Chassis repainted and protected
● Rebuilt leaf springs and brakes
● Gearbox and brakes overhauled, new clutch and intake manifold

Upon arrival in the UK in 2015 the Jaguar was found to be in particularly solid condition, but as it had not been driven for many years it was decided that a full mechanical overhaul should be undertaken.  Much of this work was carried out by Classic Restoration Service, Chichester, with invoices on file for over £7,000 of work.  The braking system was rebuilt, as was the gearbox.  The clutch was replaced with a new item.  The carburettors were rebuilt and bolted to a new intake manifold.  The chassis was cleaned and treated, and the leaf springs were rebuilt to restore the correct ride height.

The Jaguar now performs well with good power, a nice rorty exhaust note, and it stops as well as it goes thanks to the rebuilt braking system. There is nothing that requires immediate attention, but as it has been driven only occasionally it would be wise to give it a thorough go- over before embarking on any Continental tours!

Summary


Relatively few Jaguar MkIVs were sold in the UK, perhaps due to the post-war economy, but a few went for export in left hand drive form. This example has led an interesting, and somewhat charmed life. 

It is a shame that there isn’t a great deal of early history on file, but its condition tells us that 58 years spent in sunny Spain, with 15 of those spent in the Museum, have preserved the car well.  It’s delightfully original, beautifully aged and ready to be enjoyed one again.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1948
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model MK4 3.5
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 20,932 Miles
  • Engine size 3500
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Location Sussex
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • GV•••• £29,100 24/06/22
  • GV•••• £28,000 24/06/22
  • sy•••• £27,000 24/06/22
  • gr•••• £26,000 24/06/22
  • je•••• £24,000 23/06/22
  • sy•••• £23,000 23/06/22
  • la•••• £21,800 22/06/22
  • sy•••• £21,500 22/06/22
  • je•••• £20,600 22/06/22
  • ad•••• £20,000 22/06/22

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