Previously owned by an influential person in the Italian classic car environment
Later “M” variant with the facelifted front end
In the 50’s, if you were an upper-crust European and wanted a lavish and luxurious sedan that could ferry you around in ample style, but didn’t want or couldn’t hack the price of a Rolls or a Bentley, you likely bought a Jaguar Mark VII. Though a large car, the Mark VII was raced extensively and rather successfully, too - it was the touring car racer of choice back in the day having been raced by Stirling Moss and later F1 champion Mike Hawthorne, and also taking home the trophy for the Monte Carlo Rally in 1956.
This example also ended up on show at the Museo Mille Miglia, an automotive museum founded in 2004 at the initiative of some private enthusiasts of the famous Mille Miglia race. So quite truly, a rolling piece of history!
The History and Paperwork
Originally registered on the 16th of May 1955
Seemingly owned by the current custodian since the 28th of August 1988
Vehicle registration document present with the current keeper
Previous keepers vehicle registration document also available with the vehicle from 1984
Said to have starred in major races in Italy throughout its life
Displayed at the Museo Mille Miglia in Brescia
Used as a luxury wedding vehicle for distinguished newlyweds
Currently registered in Italy
Excellently original with gentle hints of character and patina
Original wooden dash, pillars and door trims
All original leather upholstery
Original Jaguar steering wheel
Original clocks and gauges, completely functional
Leather door panels
Plush floor carpets
Handsomely well preserved
Radiating class and opulence. It’s rare you step into a vehicle and feel like you’re reliving the cars memories just by being in its presence, however the originality here and overall sense of patina and character whisk you away from the present and take you back to a time where this big cat would be raced through the streets of italy.
Slipping into the driver's seat you’re welcomed with an overwhelming sense of luxury, soft patinated leather, large four-spoke steering wheel, and the gorgeous wooden dashboard which stretches along the doors as well as up the A-pillars. The seats themselves remain in reasonable condition with seemingly only a minor rip on the drivers side bolster on the piping, the rest is just some good, well-used leather that has wrinkled and faded over time - rather charming.
The steering wheel is original and in well presented condition, no unwelcome damage remains here and the Jaguar emblem sits proudly front and centre reminding you at all times, you’re in something special. Just behind the wheel, the gauges on the dashboard are all original and function as you would expect them to, and the wooden surround also houses the original Smiths Radiomobile radio, which was an optional extra at the time of purchase.
Moving into the rear of the Mark VII, the original leather bench seat is presented in nice condition with some of the same patina which is present in the front, with a small bit of damage on the drivers side corner of the lower bench cushion. Aside from this, all of the stitching appears to be intact with no further damage visible, so certainly a well cared for and well preserved interior here.
All door cards are the leather originals with the wooden trim below the window. The wood itself is of course well kept with some signs of age however no apparent chips or worrying cracks to be found. The leather door cards are well presented, again the normal signs of age to be expected with an original vehicle with a history such as this.
This example also features a sunroof, which would be excellent for a summer nights cruise in sheer style! There won’t be many people who will be able to overlook this as it wooshes down the road past them.
Original two-tone paintwork
Original body panels
Later “M” variant with the facelifted front end
Brightwork in lovely condition throughout
Panel gaps of factory fitment
All original wheels and hubcaps present
Original rear wheel arch covers
Split-screen front window
In a word, voluptuous. The sleek and curvaceous lines of this Mark VII are so eye-catching from any angle, a hat-tip to its older siblings with their flowing fender lines, now accentuated over the body making the low-slung rear end stand out even more. A very head-held-high stance, and rightly so.
Starting at the front, the paintwork here appears to be in very well maintained condition with no signs of any damage or lacquer peeling, and very minimal stone chips too, if any. The brightwork surrounding the headlights are in stunning condition, as is the brightwork front bumper bar. All of the lights remain functional and the lenses free from damage or water ingress, and the grill bars all appear uniform. Off to a fantastic start!
Moving around to the side, we get a good glimpse of that stunning and unique two-tone paint job of light and dark blue, setting this particular Mark VII apart from the rest of them. Not only that, but we get to see those lovely flowing lines that get us all giddy. Paintwork on the sides remains as good as the front, with no signs of unwelcome damage - there are a couple of paint chips near the driver side rear wheel just in front of the cover that should be noted, as well as a small one in the same place on the passenger side.
Brightwork surrounding the windows all remains in lovely form with high levels of shine, and the panel gaps all appear to be that of factory fitment too! The original wheels present themselves nicely with the brightwork hubcaps well maintained, the wheels only show small signs of patina and appear to be shod in good tyres.
To the rear of the big cat, the low-slung rear end and narrow rear window looks absolutely fantastic. Paintwork here is again, in well kept condition with no scratches that we can see, and the brightwork rear bumper is in great condition too with no fading or pitting that can be found. A “GB” designation badge is located on the rear showcasing the car's roots (if you couldn’t tell from the right hooker interior), and the rear lights remain functional and in lovely shape!
All in all, there’s not a single thing bad to be said about this gorgeous luxury saloon, it looks fantastic inside and out, and the preserved originality is to be greatly admired, it’s something we often don’t get to see.
3,442cc inline-6 engine
Manual 4-speed transmission
Rear-wheel drive configuration
190bhp and a claimed top speed of 104mph
Well mechanically maintained throughout its lifetime, then it has been sitting in a garage for a while
This is a proper Sunday cruiser - it’s just easy. Soothing, almost. There’s no drama, and there’s plenty of torque from its sports car-based engine to shift its 3800 pound mass with no problems at all. Jaguar has long employed the slogan “Grace, Pace, Space”, and it really fits the Mark VII, especially for a heavy sedan in the mid 50’s!
The ride in these cars is nice, smooth, and sure the steering feels a little wooden at idle, but when you start creeping into the revs the assistance kicks in and you’re able to drive it with your fingertips. Bending the car through a corner and there is plenty of body roll, but it is well matched by confident grip thanks to the successful weight transfer - it’s no wonder they used to race these things!
The engine is reported to have been in great health before it was garaged, regularly maintained, and the same went for the transmission, that always was direct and confident. The gearbox remains the same from its predecessor except that it was changed to constant mesh and was given closer ratios for better acceleration. The brakes functioned sharp before it was standing and as they should, and the steering is reported to be light and agile under load as you would expect of this opulent Jag. A little recommission would bring this car back to its former glory, and that's what we want!
Well kept Mark VII’s in its later M guise is a difficult one to find, especially one which retains its originality such as this. Coupled with the rich racing history and the fact this was a museum piece for the Museo Mille Miglia, you have a literal piece of art on wheels with this example. What a beautiful piece of history with some exciting stories hidden beneath its skin - a car worthy of preservation.
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1955 Jaguar MK VII M (Ex Millemiglia Museum)
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