Classic showcase, 1954 Jaguar MK VII Saloon
The Mark VII sold almost 21,000 from 1950-54 which may have been due to the six-passenger sedan for the family, but it was also filled with rich walnut and the finest leather. During the 1950’s wood and leather were mostly found only in a Rolls-Royce or Bentley, and for the day it was also packed the latest technology and performance parts including the 3.5-liter engine (Used in the XK120 Roadster), torsion bar font suspension, power brakes, a radio, and a heater. The burled walnut dash was a sophisticated way to house a full cluster of gauges and because the engine had been moved forward, it added three inches of legroom for the rear seat passengers.
Although this sedan was not a sports car or even a roadster, it still sported a respectable cruising speed of 80 mph and a top speed of just over 100 mph. The zero to 60 mph was tested at 12.6 seconds so the 160 horsepower was more than enough to get you where you needed to go and fast. The dual overhead cam six-cylinder engine was fitted with twin SU carburetors. The Mark VII may have been the genesis of where Jaguar began to show their flair for luxury and sportiness in one vehicle.
Hagerty is currently showing these cars on a slight trend upward with an average value of almost $16,000. This 4-door sedan with rear-wheel drive and a 4-speed manual gearbox was a way for Jaguar to offer a sporty sedan (saloon) that was large and filled with luxury and a posh cabin. The Mark V was beginning to look a bit dated, so the Mark VII was just what Jaguar needed to attract new buyers. The separated fenders and familiar grille were a little retro and would appeal to the historic Jaguar fans. The nearly flush mounted headlights were sleeker than the previous bulging look of the Mark V’s and the elegance of the sculpted fender lines flowed along the profile of the vehicle with a modern flair.
When we see these cars today it makes you think about the English Monarchy and stirs up feelings of royalty. The old saying “They just don’t make them like that anymore” is very true and makes me wonder if today’s cars have lost this culture-changing style and elegant sophistication. If I owned one of these cars today, I would want to go for a Sunday drive in the country every week and cruise down a long winding road.
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