Jaguar Mark IV

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SS Jaguar
1½—2½—3½ Litre
Jaguar Mk IV 2.5 Litre (1947) (8051567557).jpg
Jaguar 2½ litre sports saloon 1947
Production 1935–1949
Assembly Coventry, England
Layout FR layout
Predecessor SS Cars Ltd SS1
Successor Jaguar Mark V

The Jaguar Mark IV (pronounced mark four) is a more recently developed name now commonly used for a range of automobiles built by Jaguar Cars from 1945 to 1949. This range was a return to production, without the brand name S.S., of the SS Jaguar 1½ litre, 2½ litre and 3½ litre models produced by SS Cars from 1935 to 1940.[1] Mark IV is a name now applied in retrospect to separate this model from the succeeding Mark V range.

Before the Second World War the name Jaguar was the model name given to the complete range of cars built by SS Cars Ltd. The saloons were titled SS Jaguar 1½ litre, 2½ litre or 3½ litre. The two-seater sports car was titled the SS Jaguar 100 2½ litre or 3½ litre.

In March 1945 the name SS Cars Ltd was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd.[2]

All the cars were built on a separate chassis frame with suspension by semi-elliptic leaf springs on rigid axles front and rear.

SS Jaguar and Jaguar 1½ Litre[edit]

SS Jaguar 1½ Litre
Jaguar 1½ Litre
SS Jaguar 1.5Litre (1937) (14268238138).jpg
SS Jaguar sports saloon 1937
Production 1935–1949
10,980 made[3]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine 1,608 cc (1.6 l) I4
1,776 cc (1.8 l) I4
Transmission 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 112.5 in (2,860 mm)
Length 173 in (4,390 mm)[4]
Width 65.5 in (1,660 mm)
Height 60 in (1,520 mm)[5]

The smallest model of the range originally featured a 1608 cc side valve Standard engine but from 1938 this was replaced by a 1776 cc overhead-valve unit still from Standard who also supplied the four-speed manual transmission.

Pre-war the car was available as a saloon or drophead coupé but post war only the closed model was made. Up to 1938 body construction on all the models was by the traditional steel on wood method but in that year it changed to all steel. Performance was not a strong point but 70 mph (113 km/h) was possible: the car featured the same cabin dimensions and well-appointed interior as its longer-engined brothers.[3]

Despite its lack of out-and-out performance, a report of the time, comparing the 4-cylinder 1½-litre with its 6-cylinder siblings, opined that the smallest-engined version of the car was "as is often the case ... the sweetest running car" with a "big car cruising gait in the sixties".[5]

Mechanically operated brakes using a Girling system were fitted.

SS Jaguar sports saloon 1937

SS Jaguar and Jaguar 2½ Litre[edit]

SS Jaguar 2½ Litre
Jaguar 2½ Litre
Jaguar 1936 - Flickr - mick - Lumix.jpg
SS Jaguar sports saloon 1936
Production 1935–1948
6281 made[3]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine 2,664 cc (2.7 l) I6
Wheelbase 1935–1937: 119 in (3,020 mm)
1938–1948: 120 in (3,050 mm)
Length 186 in (4,720 mm)[4]
Width 66 in (1,680 mm)

Again the engine was sourced from Standard but had the cylinder head reworked by SS to give 105 bhp.[3] Unlike the 1½ Litre there were some drophead models made post-war.

The chassis was originally of 119 in (3,020 mm) but grew by an inch (25 mm) in 1938 to 120 in (3,050 mm). The extra length over the 1½ Litre was used for the six-cylinder engine and the passenger accommodation was the same size.

SS Jaguar and Jaguar 3½ Litre[edit]

SS Jaguar 3½ Litre
Jaguar 3½ Litre
1947 Jaguar MK IV Limousine IMG 0925 - Flickr - nemor2.jpg
Jaguar sports saloon 1947
Production 1937–1948
3162 made[3]
Body and chassis
Body style 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine 3,485 cc (3.5 l) I6
Wheelbase 120 in (3,050 mm)
Length 186 in (4,720 mm)[4]
Width 66 in (1,680 mm)

The 3½ Litre, introduced in 1938, was essentially the same body and chassis as the 2½ Litre but the larger 125 bhp [3] engine gave better performance but at the expense of economy. The rear axle ratio was 4.25:1 as opposed to the 4.5:1 on the 2½ Litre.


  1. ^ Pre and Post war 1.5/2.5/3.5L Models, Retrieved on 1 November 2014
  2. ^ S.S. Cars Limited. The Times, Wednesday, Apr 04, 1945; pg. 10; Issue 50108
  3. ^ a b c d e f Robson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  4. ^ a b c Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  5. ^ a b "Second Hand car guide supplement". Practical Motorist. vol. 6 Nbr 68: 768–769. April 1960. 

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