Having a Jaguar in a garage was always a sign of style and commitment to British traditions. However, Mk VII was created primarily with the American market in mind. After the presentation in New York, it made a splash, and the company received orders for more than $ 30 million.
The iconic Jaguar Mark V was introduced in 1948 with the XK120. It lasted three years on the market and was succeeded by the no less outstanding and high-end Mark VII. Interestingly, the Mark VI index was missed because the Bentley company had already produced a model under such an index. This car was created for promotional purposes in the United States and was quite large compared to European vehicles. A few months later after the release, it was introduced in New York confirming the success of the company: during the month on the exhibition stand, Jaguar received orders for more than $ 30 million. It was a resounding success!
In the 50s, the Browns Lane plant, owned by Jaguar, deservedly became one of the most promising and prominent in the UK. At this time, many automakers began to move from manufacturing frame vehicles to more modern analogs with a load-bearing body (unitary method). This design opened up a variety of new opportunities that the company’s chief designer William Haynes approved. In his opinion, this could become a springboard for the implementation of complex design solutions, and allow the production of faster and lighter cars. So he convinced the company’s founder William Lyons to invest in this idea. Sure, the production of vehicles with this new approach was more expensive. But technological improvement was more important. So the decision was made, and the all-new automobile with a small displacement engine, a new lightweight chassis, and a bodywork design appeared. The project was named “Utah”, which, in fact, was the heir to the 2.5-liter engine Jaguar Mk IV, discontinued in 1949. The model was announced on October 22, 1950, at the Earl’s Court Motor Show. The Jaguar Mk VII was available in classic Saloon style bodywork, although a couple of Drophead Coupe body styles were made. With the advertising slogan “Grace Space Pace”, the Mk VII became a worldwide success and especially in the USA. The power, comfort, and silent drive, sophisticated genuine leather upholstery, a front panel with wood trim, and upholstered inside doors were astonishing to the buyers.
In 1950 the Jaguar Mark V was replaced by the more modern Mark VII. In 1952, the model was practically unchanged: it received a body with integrated fenders and headlights, XK120-style embossed sidewalls, a one-piece hood, and a two-piece windshield. The chassis with a 120-wheelbase remained unchanged. The automobile had a 6-cylinder DOHC engine from the Jaguar XK120 and a power of 160 HP. This stylish vehicle could develop a maximum speed of 160 km/h and was available only in a sedan body. For export, particularly, for the US market, the company offered Borg Warner automatic transmission. Despite high taxes, it sold well in the British market as well: in total, from 1951 to 1954 20,908 vehicles were built at the Browns Lane plant in Coventry. At first sight, the 1952 Mark VII looked heavy and clumsy, however, it had good racing potential. From 1952-1956 the vehicle participated in the touring races at Silverstone and won three first places during the mentioned period. Famous racers Stirling Moss, Tony Rolt, Mike Hawthorne, and Ivor Bube drove this incredible automobile in various racing competitions.
The late Queen Elizabeth II owned Mk VII until 1973. Later it was returned to the factory and exhibited in Jaguar Heritage Trust Museum. The car was slightly different from the standard automobile, as some elements of later Mk VIII/ X models were added to it during its exploitation. Particularly, a one-piece windshield, as the original model had two parts.
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