British Classic: 1950 Jaguar Mark V Drop Head Coupe

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While this Jaguar Mark V Drop Head may not be the cheapest project car on the planet, the prices being achieved by well-restored examples may make this an interesting project to consider. Barn Finder Wayne A spotted this Jaguar for us, so thank you so much for that Wayne. The Jaguar is located in Reno, Nevada, and is listed for sale here on Craigslist.

Not only is the Jaguar complete, but the owner states that he has a number of spare parts that will be included in the sale, although he doesn’t specify what these are. When compared to its Saloon sibling, I personally think that the Drop Head is a much nicer looking car. The Drop Head lacks the heaviness in its appearance of the Saloon, but both are still attractive cars. This one looks to be a solid car, and it has been partially dismantled for restoration. Thankfully, it hasn’t been completely dismantled, so it shouldn’t be too hard to work out which part goes where.

The interior of the Jaguar looks to be in remarkably good condition. The timber on the dash will definitely require some restoration work, but the leather upholstery on the seats and door trims looks like a good clean and some work with a quality leather conditioner would bring them up well. The soft-top also looks like it is in pretty decent condition, and would probably look good after a clean.

As far as vehicle originality goes, this is the area that may negatively impact the ultimate value of the vehicle. What should be under the hood according to the VIN plate is the 3,485cc pushrod straight-six engine. The car has been fitted with an XK DOHC engine, with a capacity of 3,442cc. The owner doesn’t indicate when or why this change occurred, and while the replacement engine would provide increased performance, it is going to have some impact on vehicle value. The owner also doesn’t indicate whether the engine either runs or turns freely. The transmission appears to be the 4-speed manual that was standard on the Mark V.

With the Jaguar Mark V Drop Head Coupe, the challenge is finding a nicely restored example for sale under $120,000, because that isn’t going to be easy. The lack of the original engine is going to have some impact on the value of this car once restored, but how great that impact could be is a great unknown. The owner has set a price of $37,500 for the Jaguar, and I really can’t decide whether or not it’s a good thing at that price. What are your thoughts?

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  1. Billy Banger

    Hello Everyone, i don’t know what’s going here but a quick look in completed listings on eBay shows this car was sold for $34,900-00 on January 4th of this year. Weather someone is doing a quick flip, i don’t know but the photo’s are the same. Check it out.
    Cheers. Billy.

    Like 8
    • Olle Ljungström

      The XK engine in the car is a very early one having no studs at the front of the cam covers. Made before April 1952. Comes from a XK120 or MkVII. Looks very good with correct early carbs etc.
      I think this engine is valuable and worth much more than a 3.5 litre pushrod MkV engine.

      Like 0
  2. Solosolo UK kenneth TILLYMember

    A lot depends on whether you are buying it as an investment, where you are hoping to make a wad of cash on it in the future, or if you are buying it to enjoy as a useable every weekend classic. When I was a youngster I used to wash and vacuum a Mark 4 Jag saloon every Sunday morning and afterwards the owner would drive me home with my cycle in the boot. Let me tell you that even at 14 years of age I realised that it was a gutless wonder. He traded it in on a Mark 5 which he claimed was a lot better. I don’t know what engines they both had though but I know the SS Jaguar had anything from a 1 1/2 litre up to 2 1/2 litre. Could be wrong after 65 years.

    Like 4
    • luke arnott

      The pre war SS was available with 11/2,21/2 & 31/2 litre engines.

      Like 1
  3. madbrit

    When I owned my Triumph Roadster I was told it used the same 4 cylinder 1800cc engine as the SS Jags. Now, whether it was a Jag motor or a Triumph one, I don’t know.

    My earliest Jag memory was a school buddy’s dad had a Mk 9 auto and he drove it like a sports car round the English winding roads. Loved it when we got to go with him. Second was the guy I worked my Saturday job for, had an XK 150S drop top. If I helped him wash it, I got to go for a ride. Great treats for a young teenage gearhead. Third was when I bought a Mk 2 3.4 auto. Loved that car but it was starting to develop problems so it had to go as I didn’t have a garage at the time to fix it in.

    Like 2
  4. CapNemo

    I’ll bet those inner door panels would look a lot nicer after a good cleaning.

    Like 1
  5. wuzjeepnowsaab

    Off topic, but I have those same aluminum jack stands and they are da bomb!

    Like 1
  6. Del

    Another unassembled Lego kit with wrong engine.

    Does not say if it runs.

    Ridiculous price

    Like 1
  7. DRV

    This car has been my favorite car since I can remember, and at age 4 when my dad had a MarkV , that’s impressive. He used it to rally and to my surprise when watching vintage film of Watkins Glen racing in Watkins Glen during vintage week, he drove by in the foreground in it. I gave the original dealer ad pamphlet to the buyer of the last one I saw on BaT. It has left the biggest car impression on me for life along with sitting in a ’58 Corvette as my dad drove it fast. I later built one just like it.
    I sure wish I had the time to build this one. I think it should be more like $15k.

    Like 4
  8. Ross W. Lovell

    Greetings All,

    MadBrit, Standard supplied the engines for the early SS cars, along with the frame.

    The problem with this example is the firewall has been hacked to allow the XK engine to fit. This is probably a fun drive, though the brakes should be upgraded.

    Standard supplied SS with the first engines, frame and running gear, to which SS built the bodies to SS spec. Later Standard became Standard-Triumph, then just Triumph.

    This era the StandardTriumph connection, was no longer in use.

    Like 2
    • madbrit

      Thanks Ross for the info on the Standard Triumph engines.

      If the Jag was $15K as DRV suggested, I would consider taking a closer look……. Might have to find a corner where the wife doesn’t go too often…… LOL.

      Like 2
  9. Barney

    If the 49 uses the same motor as the 50 I know where the proper drive train is located for this car. The motor and trans were pulled from a Solon to facilitate the building of a hot rod.

    Like 1
    • Ross W. Lovell

      Greetings All,

      Barney, the pushrod OHV engine for this car came in two sizes, a 2.5 and a 3.5.

      Couldn’t tell you the specific differences, if any between the two years.

      Like 0
  10. Barney

    Thanks. I have no idea which one this motor is. I just know it came with the 49. My friend opted to convert to a 302 Ford with an AOD. The car sits on a custom chassis with the motor and trans bolted in and that’s where it is stalled

    Like 1
  11. Andre

    Hi Barney, excuse my ignorance. What’s a Solon?

    Like 0
  12. LMK

    A saloon is a sedan ….

    Like 0

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