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SS Jaguar & Jaguar Mk IV
[[File:Mark IV|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Manufacturer Jaguar Cars
Production 1935–1949
Assembly Coventry, England
Predecessor SS Cars Ltd SS1
Successor Jaguar Mark V
Layout FR layout

The Jaguar Mark IV (pronounced mark four) is a saloon car built by Jaguar from 1945 to 1949. It was a relaunch of a pre-Second World War model made by SS Cars Ltd from 1936.

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.

After the war the company name was changed to Jaguar Cars Ltd. Although the post-war saloons were officially the Jaguar 1½ litre, 2½ litre etc., the term "Mark IV" was sometimes applied retrospectively by the trade to differentiate them from the officially named Mark V.

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

SS Jaguar and Jaguar Mk IV 1½ Litre

SS Jaguar & Jaguar Mk IV 1½ Litre
[[File:Jaguar SS 1½ litre mfd 1939 1776cc.JPG|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Production 1935–1949
10,980 made[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine(s) 1,608 cc (1.6 l) I4
1,776 cc (1.8 l) I4
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 112.5 in (2,860 mm)
Length 173 in (4,390 mm)[2]
Width 65.5 in (1,660 mm)
Height 60 in (1,520 mm)[3]
Fuel capacity 14 imp gal (64 L/17 US gal)[3]

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.[1]

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".[3]

Mechanically operated brakes using a Girling system were fitted.

SS Jaguar and Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre

SS Jaguar & Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre
[[File:Jaguar Mk IV 2½ Litre first registered June 1947 2663cc.JPG|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Production 1935–1948
6281 made[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine(s) 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)[2]
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.[1] 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 Mk IV 3½ Litre

SS Jaguar & Jaguar Mk IV 3½ Litre
[[File:Jaguar3,5 SS DHC 1939.jpg|frameless|upright=1.25|alt=]]
Production 1937–1948
3162 made[1]
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
2-door drophead coupé
Engine(s) 3,485 cc (3.5 l) I6
Wheelbase 120 in (3,050 mm)
Length 186 in (4,720 mm)[2]
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 [1] 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.

Jaguar Mark IV 3½ litre drophead coupé, built in 1948


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Robson, Graham (2006). A–Z British Cars 1945–1980. Devon, UK: Herridge & Sons. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Second Hand car guide supplement", Practical Motorist. vol 6 Nbr 68: 768–769. date April 1960. 

External links

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