The Jaguar Mk VII and MK VIIM  1950-1957

Years MK VII 1950-54,  MK VIIM 1954-57
See also MK VIII   MK IX
Notes After the war Jaguar, like other manufacturers wanted to produce and sell exciting new models. Development work on a new flagship sedan model to replace the prewar design had been started even before the end of the second world war. However, as mentioned in the MK V and XK120 pages, in the austerity years after the war, development took longer than Jaguar could afford to wait if they were not to loose potential sales, so in the end, major components that were ready were incorporated into other models, both to give these components a trial run, and also to introduce face lifted cars to a fickle public that might otherwise have bought other makes. Thus it was that the new chassis developed for the MK VII first appeared in the MK V model, and the then all-new XK engine was first fitted to the XK120, which was initially intended as a "concept car" of the day. The MK V, while it looked very similar to the pre-war design was apparently enough to hold potential buyers attention until the introduction of the MK VII with its promise of both new styling and the marvellous new XK engine.

The pieces finally all came together with the introduction of the MK VII in 1950. Logically this model should have been the MK VI but legend has it that, as Bentley had already used that name, Sir William thought he would upstage them with a "newer" Mark. The car featured styling which was evolutionary from the previous MK V model, but with definite hints of the beautiful lines of the XK120. It was also a much bigger car than the MK V - 9 inches longer and 4 inches wider. Taking cues from the XK120 it had a somewhat unadorned appearance with even the the radiator grille lacking a prominent chrome surround.
MKV!!-grille.jpg (14854 bytes)

It was available initially only as a 4 door sedan with 4 speed  manual transmission. Apparently a drop head coupe model was considered, but never produced. From the outset it was very popular and sold well, especially in the USA where it earned valuable foreign currency for England.  It was reputably the American buyers who let Jaguar know, that while they loved the car, they would appreciate an automatic gear box, and Jaguar responded by making a Borg Warner automatic option available in 1953.

The car was updated to the MK VIIM in September 1954 and numerous small changes were made. External identifiers include the changing of the old fashioned trafficator semaphore signals for fender mounted flashing turn signals, a more "wrap around" rear bumper, free standing fog lamps instead of being fitted flush to the front of the car, and more modern headlamps. Inside the car the major change was fitment of a full width bench front seat on automatic models. Engine power was up 30bhp with the use of the engine from the XK140 of the same year, which featured high lift camshafts.  

Twin fuel tanks were fitted in the rear fenders, starting a trend which was followed by the MKVIII, the MK IX, the MK X and 420G, and the XJ6/12 models.

A point of interest is that all the years from the MK V to the MK X Jaguar always introduced the latest model in parallel with the one that replaced it. Thus the MK V was sold alongside the MK VII in the showroom, as was the MK VII and the MKVIII, the MKVIII and the MKIX, and the MKIX and the MK X. Typically they had a parallel sales period of up to a year before production of the older model ceased and/or supplies ran out.

Description 4 door sedan (saloon), separate chassis
Colors See the large sedans colors page
Pictures MKVII-1.jpg (19294 bytes)

Jaguar MK VII

Model Engine Bore/Stroke Power
MK VII 3442cc 6 cyl twin ohc 83 x 106 mm 160 bhp @ 5200 rpm
MK VIIM 3442cc 6 cyl twin ohc 83 x 106 mm 190 bhp @ 5500 rpm
engines are versions of the XK 3.4 engine first featured in the XK120, but originally designed for use in the MK VII
Carburettors Twin SU 1/3/4 inch H6
Brakes Hydraulic drum servo assisted (Girling)
(Various sources differ, slightly)
MK VII 20939 Total 30200
MK VIIM 9261
MK VII 3864 pounds
MK VIIM 3892 pounds
Length 16 feet 4 1/2 inches
Height 5 feet 3 inches 
Width 6 feet 1 inches 
Top speed 100 mph  (MK VII) 105 mph (MK VIIM)
Wheelbase 120 inches
Transmission 4-speed manual.  From 1953 a Borg and Warner 3 speed automatic transmission was made available, and at the beginning of 1954 a Laycock de Normanville overdrive was made available for the standard transmission car.
Front Independent. wishbones and torsion bar, anti roll bar
Rear Live axle, half elliptic leaf springs.
Chassis Numbers BW Suffix indicates fitment of Borg Warner automatic transmission
MK VII Sedan 710001 and up - Right hand drive
730001 and up - Left hand drive
MK VIIM Sedan 722755 and up - Right hand drive
738184 and up - Left hand drive
Standard Equipment Leather seats, fog/spot lights (fitted in front fenders in MK VII, freestanding in MK VIIM), sun roof
Options Borg Warner automatic transmission from 1953, Laycock de Normanville overdrive on standard transmission from 1954. Wheel rimbellishers were optional on MK VII and standard on VIIM