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MK V Saloon and Drop Head Coupe

DRAFT Judges Guide

Authors Rob Reilly and Steve Kennedy


The author, Rob Reilly, of the 1st and 2nd Editions of the MK V Judging Guide, at age 17 with 627933.


Judges Guides are an important part of JCNA’s program to improve the quality and standardization of JCNA Concours judging and the Judges’ knowledge of various Jaguar models. Judges Guides are intended to augment official Jaguar publications by supplying well-researched information not readily available or conveniently presented elsewhere.

Following AGM approval, a Judges Guide becomes an official JCNA document. The Judges Guides, and other official Jaguar Cars publications, (see Rule Book Appendix C) may be used by Entrants and Judges alike to validate or challenge the authenticity or appropriateness of items, features, materials, patterns, colors, configurations or accessories found on the Jaguar automobiles covered. All Judges Guides are subject to editing and/or correction as additional verified information is acquired.

Production Information

30 September, 1948 William Lyons makes a speech at a factory meeting introducing the Mark V saloon to a presentation meeting of sales distributors and dealers, at  which time he said the name was chosen because it was the fifth prototype body made by his panel beaters to fit the new chassis, and was referred to as such in internal company documents. (reference Clausager)

The DHC was not introduced until the middle of 1949.

27 OCTOBER, 1948 The 2½ and 3½ litre MK V, Drop Head Coupé and Saloon models are introduced. The MK V is available in the Drop Head Coupé or Saloon model either of which may be fitted with the 2½ or 3½ litre pushrod engine. The 1½ litre engine is discontinued.

The name ‘MK V’ is chosen because the design that William Lyons is happiest with is the 5th prototype of the independent front suspension developed by Jaguar. It may also be due to the rivalry between Jaguar and Bentley’s MK VI.

2.5 Litre RHD Saloon 520001-521480 approx. 1480 cars 26 Apr 1949 to 10 May 1950
2.5 Litre LHD Saloon 527001-527190 approx. 190 cars 26 Apr 1949 to 18 Oct 1950

2.5 Litre RHD DHC 540001-540017 approx. 17 cars 23 Feb 1950 to 5 Dec 1950
2.5 Litre LHD DHC 547001-547012 approx. 12 cars 4 Apr 1950 to 8 Nov 1950

3.5 Litre RHD Saloon 620001-625926 approx. 5926 cars 2 Mar 1949 to 24 May 1951
3.5 Litre LHD Saloon 627001-628905 approx. 1905 cars 10 Mar 1949 to 4 Jan 1951

3.5 Litre RHD DHC 640001-640395 approx. 395 cars 16 Sep 1949 to 2 Jul 1951
3.5 Litre LHD DHC 647001-647577 approx. 577 cars 16 Sep 1949 to 29 May 1951

(reference Crouch)

TOTAL PRODUCTION A total of 10,502 MK V Drop Head Coupé and Saloon models are produced over a 2 year, 9 month time span.

To the best of our knowledge, these are the final chassis numbers in each series, making a total production of 10,502 cars. Some published sources have slightly fewer totals, possibly because they are reporting wholesale or retail sales figures, which may not include factory service and test cars.

The chassis number on earlier cars is stamped on the chassis frame side member at the left front jack socket, while for later cars it is stamped on the mounting bracket provided for a left hand brake master cylinder, regardless of whether the car is LHD or RHD. Some cars including mine have it in both places.


Reference Sources

Where a feature can be documented by a good reference source, it is noted in the text with initials such as (SM) for Service Manual or (PC) for Parts Catalogue, and Plate numbers given are from the Service Manual.

(PC) Publication J7 Jaguar Mark V Spare Parts Catalogue – October 1949
(SM) Publication M2 Jaguar Mark V Service Manual

(OMH) Publication (H2 ?) Jaguar Mark V Operating and Maintenance Handbook
(SB) Jaguar Service Bulletins 1948-57

(Sales1) the 26 page full color Sales Brochure covering the Mark V and XK120

(Sales2) the 6 page blue sales brochure covering the saloon

(Sales3) the 6 page orange sales brochure covering the DHC

(Sales4) the 6 panel color sales portfolio covering the saloon, DHC and XK120

(AutocarRT) Autocar Magazine Mark V Road Test Report; July 8, 1949

(MotorRT) The Motor Magazine Mark V Road Test Report; October 6, 1948

(AutocarAd) Autocar Magazine Mark V 6 page advertisement; October 1, 1948

(Skilleter) “Jaguar Saloon Cars” by Paul Skilleter © 1980

(Reilly) “Jaguar Mark V 1948-51 Saloon and Drop Head Coupe Restoration and Originality Guide” by Robert E. Reilly [anticipated publication date 2014]

(Buckley) “Jaguar, Fifty Years of Speed and Style” by Martin Buckley © 1998

(Crouch) “SS and Jaguar Cars 1935-51” by Allan Crouch © 2013



This Judges’ Guide is not designed as a restoration guide, but as a guide for the JCNA Judge to become better acquainted with the correct appearance for the MK V Saloon and Drop Head Coupe models.

This JCNA MK V Saloon and Drop Head Coupe Judges Guide has been developed following the layout of the JCNA score sheets. The score sheets are generic and designed to cover all models, thus some headings are not applicable to each model, however, each heading is addressed and noted where it is not applicable.

Each section’s Section headings, like Exterior, Interior, etc. are bold and Left Justified at the beginning of each section.

Each major block heading on the score sheet is surrounded by a large rectangle.

Each item addressed in the Score Sheet Block heading is then surrounded by a rectangle, whether or not they are actually an item on the car, such as “Power Steering”. It is on the score sheet, but it is not an item on the particular model being judged.

Items Judges are to look for have a check mark, and are bold and italicized.

XK Engines in Mark Vs (Ghostly MK VI)

It should be noted that only two MK V Saloons were fever factory fitted with the XK Engines. All other XK engined Mark Vs other than 620004 and 623053 are not original factory fitments. On  20 MARCH, 1950 Car number 623053, Reg. No. JVC 441 is built for Lyons and fitted with XK engine W1130-7, the 130th XK engine manufactured. (XK 120 production began October 1948) The suffix “7” indicates the engine to be a 7:1 compression ratio. The bonnet is extended by 2½ inches and the bulkhead recessed 1½ inches to accommodate the XK engine.

A comment about Jaguar’s ‘ghostly’ MK VI. The name is not used by Jaguar works due to the rivalry with Bentley’s MK VI, produced between 1948 and 1952. It is rumored that the Jaguar ‘MK VI’ could have been the MK V with the XK engine replacing the pushrod engine. Two such cars are built, one as a test bed and one for William Lyons. However, such a combination is never intended for production. Lyons selects the name ‘MK VII’, for the model that succeeded the MK V and the MK VII is the first production Saloon fitted with the XK engine.

1949 Car number 620004, Reg. No. HRW 488 is built. HRW 488 chassis number 620004 is transferred to the Experimental Department and given the chassis number of 623173. An XK engine is recorded at this same time. In 1954 Car number 623173 is sold to J.E. Bird Autos Ltd. as “Experimental, fitted with XK engine”. Its fate is not known.



Roger Payne, Cordell Newby,



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