Tuesday 21st May 2019,

Jaguar MKV 1948 – 1951: “Grace, pace and space”

The MK V was a natural development of the MK IV but had some important improvements. Jaguar was constantly improving it`s models with new ideas and technology. More streamlined than the MKIV, though similar in style, the MK V had independent torsion-bar front suspension and servo-assisted hydraulic drum brakes, making it faster and safer.

The rear suspension was a live-axle on semi-elliptic springs. Unfortunately, lever-arm shock absorbers were `the order of the day` at that time. The MKV was a four-door saloon on 16” wheels with 6.70 cross-ply tyres. Available with 2.5 or 3.5 litre six cylinder engines it was a very popular car. Though the XK engine became available in 1949 it was not fitted to the MK V.

The MK V was available as a fixed-head saloon or a drop-head saloon, the last convertible saloon that Jaguar made. The doors were rear-hinged, popularly known as `suicide-doors`. The boot-lid was big and bottom-hinged, ideal for picnics! The fixed-heads usually had a factory-fitted sunroof. The interior of the MKV was a veritable forest of burr-walnut veneer, with leather upholstery, naturally.

The steering-wheel was a traditional four-spoke with a most wicked booby-trap built into it! The centre horn-button was a conical bakelite thing that protruded about three inches towards the driver`s chest! Bearing in mind that there were no seat-belts in those days it was an accident waiting to happen. The bonnet mascot was not the stylised leaping cat that everybody knows. The mascot was more realistically cast, with spots and all!

Perhaps I should tell the reader that I grew up with the MKV, my father bought one in 1952 when I was four years old. In 1956 he sold it and I sulked for weeks! Registration number was LGF 626, I was so wounded I`ve never forgotten it. At least he gave me the cat mascot as a souvenir… I still have it.


The better and more popular engine choice was the 3.5 litre Standard Motors straight six producing 125 bhp and a colossal 184 ft/lbs of torque at only 2300 revolutions due to the very long stroke of the engine. The power-to-weight ratio of the Jaguar MKV was 71 bhp per ton. It was a push-rod OHV. Jaguar were using their own 3.4 XK DOHC in the XK 140 sports car but there were no XK motors to spare for the MKV. The 3.5 Standard had a compression ratio of 6.75 to 1. Twin SU carburetors were used and a four-speed gearbox.

Acceleration was a little pedestrian by modern standards, 18.95 seconds O – 60 mph and the top speed was around 90 mph. Considering that most cars on the road back then would struggle to make 75 mph it was quite lively. With the suspension it had, the Jaguar MKV would not have cornered well but it was as comfortable as a Bentley.

Of all the cars that I`ve owned I will always remember that one, one of my earliest memories.


Jaguar MKV 1948-1951
Body TypeFixhead & Drophead saloon
Engine PlacementFront
Drive TypeRear wheel drive
Cargo VolumeNeat with a tool box built into the boot lid
Engine2 1/2 Litre Standard OHV
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement2664 cc162.6 cui
Power75 Kw100 bhp4500 RPM
Torque195 Nm144 ft. lb2500 RPM
Power/weight57 bhp/t
Top Speed129 km/h80 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph20.3 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1767 kg3896 lb
Engine3 1/2 Litre Standard OHV
Cylindersstraight 6
Displacement3486 cc212.7 cui
Power93 Kw125 bhp4200 RPM
Torque250 Nm184 ft. lb2800 RPM
Power/weight71 bhp/t
Top Speed145 km/h90 mph
Acceleration0-100 km/h - 0-60 mph18.9 s
Fuel consumptionl/100 kmImperial mpg
Gearbox4 speed manual
Weight1767 kg3896 lb
GD Star Rating
Jaguar MKV 1948 - 1951: “Grace, pace and space”, 8.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
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About Bev Roberts

Speed, the smell of hot oil, the roar of a straight-through exhaust and the scream of an engine at max revolutions. They have all been a large part of my life for almost 50 years. It is time to share my experiences with you, dear reader. Do you want to know more? Read on through my `Full Bio` and many articles.

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I was born in Hereford UK in 1948 and brought up in Gloucester UK. I played Rugby football internationally as a schoolboy. At the age of 17, a new and wet driving license in my paw, I entered motor racing. I was supported and financed by my parents and so my journey began.

In 1965 I bought a 1293cc Mini-Cooper `S` and campaigned it for a season. Having quickly made some good friends in the racing fraternity, several interesting opportunities came my way. I joined a sports-car team and raced in the Le Mans 24 hours in 1968 and 1969 in a Lola T70. Mechanical failure defeated both efforts. During that period I owned and raced a `D type` Jaguar and an AC Cobra. In those days cars like that were available and not too expensive, now they reside in museums and private collections. I had a chain of interesting cars through my youth including Jaguars, Minis, Mustangs and Lotus-Cortinas.

As a young driver I had my share of accidents too. Often the car would only be worth scrap-metal value by the time I got it home! I worked for an Aston-Martin/Jaguar dealership for a while, which enhanced my experience and gave me the opportunity to sample some very exotic machines, Ferrari, Facel-Vega, Iso and Maserati to recall a few of them.

At the end of 1969 I moved to South Africa to work on my uncle`s farm but the S.A. government had other ideas and drafted me into the army. After five years had passed I was thanked and released from the service. While I was there I bought a beige Cadillac Eldorado, previously the property of Marilyn Monroe. While I was away on a patrol my girlfriend had it re-sprayed pink! I was unimpressed by both the joke and the bill for the work!

When I returned to UK in 1974 I left it behind. On my return I found that the once-mighty British motor industry was in decline and was headed for oblivion. Motor racing was now very expensive so I turned to commercial transport. Driving large trucks gave me freedom and a chance to see some of the world. I don`t remember ever making a career choice but for the next thirty years a truck was my home. For about ten years in that period I owned two trucks of my own.

I also owned a famous MGB-GT, known as `Lucky`. If you`d like to read `The Story of Lucky` there is an article in Inopian`s archive. I finally retired, due to ill-health, in 2008. Since I had varied knowledge and many experiences on our subject I decided to share the stories of the cars I enjoyed (and hated) with the new generation.

Enjoy Inopian… it is constructed and written for you.

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