Jaguar MK VII 1950 to 1954 Trivia

Launched by Jaguar Cars Coventry October 1950 at the Earls Court Motor Show London.

The car replaced the stylish, slightly dated looking (but still a magnificent car and highly collectable today) MKV model.

Unfortunately, Bentley had also introduced their new flagship car the MKVI So Jaguar moved straight to MKVII to avoid confusion.

It is rumoured that two MKVI Jaguars were actually built.

The MKVII shared the same chassis as it’s predecessor the MKV with a modern Stream-lined body and spats covering the rear wheel arches.

The engine chosen to power this car was the XK engine fitted into the, by now, legendary Jaguar XK120 sports car launched in 1948. Displacing 3442cc and capable of moving the MKVII along in excess of 100 miles per hour (160 KM/H for the younger generation brought up on Euro gook). This speed was only attainable utilising the 8:1 compression unit but this proved unsuitable for the then current “pool petrol” Issued under Government control and of poor quality, a 7:1 compression engine was offered to buyers as an alternative until the refineries could re-introduce branded petrol.

The main market for the car was overseas partly as the Government was extolling UK firms to export to generate income and foreign exchange (we had a recent war to pay for – no change there then) and partly that the Government had imposed a car tax regime that heavily penalised domestic purchasers of large engined cars (why does that sound familiar too?).

Incidentally, “Pool Petrol” was introduced to the civilian population during World War II by the coalition Government under Sir Winston Churchill, all branded refiners “pooled” the fuel which was generally of low octane. Quality fuels of higher octane and properly refined aeroplane fuel were needed for the war effort. In June 1942 petrol ceased to be available to the general public, only “official” cars, emergency services and public transport firms were allowed fuel. In June 1945 pool petrol was again released under ration to the public, a better quality non-rationed fuel was available to commercial vehicles and buses – to prevent misuse a red dye was added to this fuel. In June 1948 Petrol for private use was rationed further to one third the previous allowance.

On May 26th 1950 petrol rationing ended and branded variable octane fuel was again available. In 1956/1957 the Suez Crisis bought back rationing for a short time.