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Beautiful Lines: 1947 Jaguar 1.5 Liter

1947 Jaguar

There are some cars that just take my breath away – even if they are “down on their luck” at the moment, something about the shape or character lines just reaches my automotive passions. This is one of those cars. Although this is the smallest-engined version of these immediate post-war Jaguars, with the Standard 1.5 rather than the 2.5 or 3.5 engines, it still has a lot of appeal to me. This one is located in Santa Maria, California, and is listed for sale here on eBay. I’m sure bidding will go up from the current $3,550 as the reserve has not been met yet. The owner has done some initial work on the car and was getting ready to pull the “stuck” engine. The wood is said to be in good shape, and only minor rust is showing in the lower regions of the body. The odd color on the chrome is stated to be copper plating commissioned by a previous owner and in need of care. I think I’d go back with chrome unless there’s some history here I don’t know about. Wish this one were closer to home, I’d at least like to see it in person!


  1. A.J.

    I have always liked these but if you are going to jump in you need the left hand drive and the bigger engine, at least 2.5 if not the 3.5

  2. moosie Craig

    Something this sexy looking is screaming to be rodded,,,,,,,,, BB chev. O/D automatic, Cruise, A.C. 4 wheel disc brakes, power R & P steering,,,,,,,,,the whole 9 yards. You’d be the hit of any cruise

  3. Capt Doug

    I just learned last night that the ‘whole nine yards’ originally referred to the tail gun in a B-17 where the ammo belt was 9 yards long.
    Beautiful car – even the restored value probably would not be diminished by a swapping a period larger Jaguar engine if this one is too bad or just too little power.

    • Alan

      Sorry to be a nerd, but the whole 9 yards comes from the ammo belt of the Vickers machine gun in WW1. i.e. give them the whole 9 yrds.!.

  4. John H.

    No, no, no! Jaguar collectors want them original. If this one didn’t have much power, so be it. Looks like there may be some serious bondo? The copper on chrome parts could be a godsend in that you can sand it, smooth it out in prep for a really good chrome job, if the copper layer is deep enough. Many parts to be sorted out. But this is an SS so i suspect it is no where near the reserve.

  5. DRV

    In 1996 I was driving down the Main Street in a really small Scotland town with the houses and a few businesses placed right up against the road. I pulled over for some fish and chips wrapped in newspaper and grabbed a warm soda. When I walked out the door of the deli a solid 6 foot gate opened from a solid 6 foot fence across the street and I saw a little old lady about the size of tweety birds owner get in a warmed up 47 or 48 one of these in black and all original condition and pull out and head down the road. To date it is my favorite car cperience, and I have had many.
    This car in a 3 position drop head is my favorite, but I am prejudiced as my dad had a yellow one in1955 when I was a mear prat. It was a hoot then in a small Ohio town.

  6. jim s

    seller also has a Citroen ” boattail ” for sale. looks like an airport hanger is being used to store vehicles. the beetle is interesting. has the seller lost interest or done the math on the time/money to restore this. nice find.

  7. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    These cars were SS’s/Jaguars bread and butter. The four cylinder cars in the early days and the 2.4 liter sixes in the 50’s and 60’s. Shear numbers back me up when looking at the production.

    The engine in should be an OHV.

    Being a ’47 these were some of the first non-wood structured cars when compared with the ’30’s variants. Not that there were issues. Jaguar ran into a little trouble when they were first building these. Lead was used extensively and to say pounds were used is no exaggeration. The raw panel fit was lacking, and the lead made up for the fit.

    These move pretty good and this one does appear complete.

    These usually do not bring the price the owners expect as they are not open cars. Earlier ones are somewhat more problematic as the sellers believe the age of the car demands more money but the wood structure underneath can mean the difference between restore and parts.

    Have seen many examples that have had good metal but the internal wood structure is dry rotted. That means cutting the door, cowl, body or other affected piece apart to replace the wood and then welding it all back together. That’s when having an open car might make the difference, but remember the open ones suffer the elements more.

    I’ll be surprised if it sells for more than $10K.

    It is a nice ride especially with the sunroof.

  8. Barry T

    Wow! Tiny engine, that is only a little more than 91 cubic inches.

  9. Chris A.

    The post WWII tax laws resulted in good sized sedans with tiny engines to reduce the purchase tax. Most had small bores and long strokes for the torque to move the heavy chassis. Riley built an RM series with both 1.5 liter and 2.5 liter engines. They looked the same but the engine horsepower difference was huge to move all that weight. Same with this Jag. 1.5 liters moving that chassis would not be much different than VW bug performance.

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