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Originality Guidelines : Mark VII, VIIM, VIII & IX
by Larry Martz

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JCNA Champion Class 8: Mk VII/VIIM/VIII/IX, Mk 10(X), 420G, Majestic Major

Last revision 7/08/2002

This series of elegant luxury racing saloons was built at Browns Lane, Allesley, Coventry CV5 9DR by Jaguar Cars Ltd., in four variations - the MkVII, the Mk VIIM, the Mk VIII, and the Mk IX - between October 1950 and September 1961. They were basically the same, but with numerous additions and modifications.

1960 Mark IX, Jim and Kala Beranish, at
the 2002 Challenge Championship, Franklin TN

The purpose of this document is to visually identify these cars, both individually and by model. Sources for this information: Paul Skilleter, JAGUAR SALOON CARS; Nigel Thorley, JAGUAR Mk VII TO 420G - THE COMPLETE COMPANION; Jaguar Cars Ltd. Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbooks (owners' manuals); Service Manuals; Spare Parts Catalogues.

This document does NOT deal with the Mk X, 420G, or Majestic Major.

The discussion deals with "visuals" -- items SEEN (and judged) by JCNA judges. Note that specific JCNA non-authenticity deductions are dealt with in the OFFICIAL JCNA CONCOURS D' ELEGANCE RULES and JUDGES' INSTRUCTION MANUAL (rulebook), 1997 6th Reordered Edition, pp/6/1 - 6/9. In taking points off for non-authenticity, judges must refer to this book, to determine points to deduct.


Original Colours

Exterior and Interior (JCNA scoresheets #s 1 and 2)

Mk VII (original cellulose finish, 10/50 - 9/54)

Suede green -- Suede Green interior
Ivory -- Red or Pale Blue interior
Birch Grey -- Red, Grey, or Pale Blue interior
Battleship Grey -- Red, Grey, or Biscuit interior
Lavender Grey -- Red, Suede Green, or Pale Blue interior
Gunmetal (metallic charcoal) -- Red, Grey, or Pale Blue interior
Black -- Red, Tan, Grey, or Biscuit interior
Pastel Green -- Suede Green or Grey interior
Pastel Blue -- Pale Blue interior
Dove Grey -- Tan or Biscuit interior
Twilight Blue -- Blue interior (this was 710003, the Earls Court/New York show car, 10/50)

In December 1952, Jaguar changed from cellulose to synthetic enamel, with these exterior colour revisions:

Cream (replacing Ivory), red or pale Blue interior
Mediterranean Blue (replacing Twilight Blue), Blue interior
British Racing Green (replacing Pastel Green), Suede Green or Grey interior
Pacific Blue, Blue or Grey interior

A few Cats were supplied for export in a duotone finish, usually a darker colour for the roof, bonnet, boot, and pillars, with a lighter colour for the rest of the body. These were never listed by Jaguar as standard options.

Mk VIIM (in synthetic enamel, 11/54 - 7/57)

As above for Mk VII, but in synthetic enamel.

Mk VIII (9/56 - 12/59)

Single Colours:

Cornish Grey -- Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
British Racing Green -- Tan or Suede Green interior
Pastel Blue -- Light Blue or Dark Blue interior
Sherwood Green -- Tan or Suede Green interior
Mist Grey -- Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
Indigo Blue -- Light Blue or Dark Blue
Imperial Maroon -- Red or Grey interior
Claret -- Red or Grey Interior
Cotswold Blue -- Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
Old English White -- Red or Tan interior
Black -- Red, Tan, or Grey interior
Pearl Grey -- Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
Carmen Red -- Red interior

Duotone Colours:

Claret over Imperial Maroon -- Red or Grey interior
Indigo Blue over Cotswold Blue -- Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
Cornish Grey over Mist Grey -- Red, Light Blue, Dark Blue, or Grey interior
Sherwood Green over Forest Green -- Grey or Suede Green interior
Black over Sherwood Green -- Suede Green, Tan, or Grey interior
Black over Claret -- Red, Tan, or Grey interior

Secondary colour combinations supplied by the factory although never listed as standard include: Sherwood Green over Mist Grey; Imperial Maroon over Cornish Grey; Black over Cornish Grey; and Salmon over Cream.

MK IX (10/58 - 9/61)

As there were no changes to the exterior specification of the Mk IX from the Mk VIII except for a chromed, scripted "Mk IX" on the lower right of the boot lid (used ONLY on the Mk IX, not on any other models), the range of colour schemes remained virtually unchanged. Many other colour options were available to special order as before, including (among others) Carmen
Red, White, Black over Cream, Silver, Pastel Blue, and in interior trim Champagne (light tan) and Black.


Engine Compartments

(JCNA scoresheet #3)

MK VII, MK VIIM: These engines were identified by the engine # prefixes A, B, D, and N. All were 3.4 litres, fitted with the "A" series cylinder head (unpainted, in natural alloy, a silver colour), and twin SU H6 carburettors.

Mk VIII: These engines were identified by the engine # prefixes N and NA. All were 3.4 litres, fitted with the "B" series cylinder head (painted turquoise between the camshaft covers), and twin SU HD6 (diaphragm) carburettors. A few Mk VIIIs were fitted as an extra-cost option with the Burman power-assisted steering; these cars had the canister (in gloss black) for the power steering fluid fitted to the left of the left camshaft cover.

Mk IX: These engines were identified by the engine # prefixes NC and NE. All were 3.8 litres, fitted with the "B" series cylinder head (painted metallic blue between the cam covers), and twin SU HD6 (diaphragm) carburettors. The Burman power steering and its canister became standard on all Mk IXs.

All engine #s were recorded on the cylinder head, at the front of the valley between the twin camshafts , as well as on the Oil Filter Mounting Boss, on the Engine Block. The # can be seen on a clean engine, by shining a flashlight from above, with the engine in the car. The engine #s were also recorded on the commission plate (see Miscellaneous, below).

ALL alloy parts (camshaft covers, air filter/silencer connection to carburettors, etc.) were polished aluminium, NOT chrome-plated.


(JCNA scoresheets #s 1, 3)

Mk VII: These were originally fitted with 4-speed Moss gearboxes. In March 1953, the Borg Warner automatic gearbox became available at extra cost; in January 1954, the Laycock de Normanville overdrive (on the 4-speed) became available at extra cost.

Mk VIIM, VIII, IX: The 4-speed was standard; the Borg-Warner automatic and the Laycock de Normanville overdrive were available at extra cost.

Cats with Borg Warner automatic and Laycock de Normanville overdrive Gearboxes: Automatic-equipped Cats had a shift lever above the steering wheel, with the plastic indicator reading P-N-D-L-R. With the Mk VIII automatic-equipped Cats, an Intermediate Speed Hold switch (patented by Jaguar in 9/56) was installed on the top-of-dash burled walnut cantrail left or right of the steering wheel (LHD/RHD), to allow drivers control of the intermediate speed (2nd gear). For cars shipped with the Laycock de Normanville overdrive, the control switch was in the same location. Automatic-equipped Cats were identified by the suffix "BW" on the chassis #; Laycock de Normanville overdrive-equipped Cats were identified by the suffix "DN" on the chassis #.



(JCNA scoresheet #2)

Mk VII: Front and rear bumper overriders (guards) were about 9" tall. Rear spats (skirts) were flat on the bottom, a straight horizontal line. Fog lamps were installed in the front wings under the headlamps, which for "home" models, were the Lucas "Tribar" lamps. Models despatched for export had headmalps corresponding to the export countries' legal specifications for lamps -- for example, the United States (Lyons' primary export market) required sealed-beam headlamps, so Cats exported to the USA had the original Lucas "Tribars" replaced. Wheel rimbellishers (wheel trim rings) were an extra-cost option, as were wing mirrors.

Mk VIIM: There were new front and rear bumpers, with wraparound sections in the rear, and overriders now 11 1/2" tall. Round flashing direction indicators were installed, 6" up from the bumper in each front wing. Fog lamps were moved to pod mounts on the front valance, and chrome-plated horn grilles were fitted in the original fog lamp holes. Wheel rimbellishers were now standard fitment. Whitewall tyres were available at extra cost, and wing mirrors became standard on export models. Cutaway spats (skirts) similar to those on the Mk VIII and Mk IX models became available.

Mk VIII: The windscreen was changed to a single piece of glass, replacing the earlier two-piece setup. There was a bolder chrome-plated surround above the radiator grille, with a re-designed Jaguar wing badge, and a leaping Cat mascot on the front center of the bonnet. There were now thin chrome strips on the sides, running the length of the Cat, and the spats (skirts) now had cutaways, revealing most of the rear hubcaps. Because of the new chrome side strips, most Mk VIIIs were finished in duotone colours.

Mk IX: These Cats were visually identical to the Mk VIII, except for the chromed, scripted "Mk IX" on the lower right of the boot lid.


(JCNA scoresheet #s 2, 3)

The entire series (Mk VII/VIIM/VIII/IX) employed 16-in. Dunlop wheels, 5" wide, with 6.50/6.70 x 16 Dunlop Roadspeed tyres, and Jaguar-badged hubcaps (initially part-painted to match the body colour; these became totally chrome plated early in the Mk VIIM production run, in 1955). Tyres were initially tube-type, but the May 1952 introduction of 5 1/2"-wide wheels allowed a change to tubeless tyres.



(JCNA scoresheet #1)

Mk VII: The seats (front individual buckets, rear a wide single seat with a fold-away center armrest) were upholstered in Vaumol Connolly leather, with Rexine matching the leather grain on the seat side facings and door trim.

For automatic-equipped Cats, beginning in March 1953, the shifter was above the steering wheel with a lever and a black fitting reading P-N-D-L-R, and the front seat was changed to a single bench, with a fold-away center armrest. With introduction of the Laycock de Normanville overdrive in January 1954, the overdrive switch was placed on the top-of-dash burled walnut cantrail at the far left (LHD) or far right (RHD).

Carpets were Wilton (wool), with a leather gaiter around the floor-mounted gear lever for 4-speed and MOD-equipped Cats. There was a single cigar lighter, left of the tachometer on the dash panel. The headliner and matching sun visors were in wool, and a sliding (sun) roof was fitted as standard equipment.

The Bluemels steering wheel was 18" in diameter, with adjustment for reach by a knurled ring. The center boss included a prominent cone-shaped horn push and the trafficator (turn signal) switch.

The wood trim was of burled walnut, with panels including the four door cappings, the glove boxes and surrounds, the instrument panel, the cantrail on top of the dash, the cantrails above and behind the door windows, the vertical cantrails between the doors, and the panel(s) behind the front seat(s). Non-burled wood included the flat panels above the door cappings, and the four pieces around the sliding (sun) roof.

Mk VIIM: The only visual change was to the horn push, which was now flat instead of cone-shaped.

MK VIII: The primary visual changes in addition to the new one-piece windscreen and the chrome side trim were addition of twin veneered fold-away picnic tables on the rear of the front seat(s), a veneer magazine rack on bench-seat models between the tables, the "Boudoir" electric clock above the magazine rack, and placement of four ashtrays in the four door trim panels. There were now twin cigar lighters for rear-seat passengers, in the vertical burled walnut cantrails betweeen the doors. Also now included was a nylon deep-pile overrug, on top of the Wilton carpets in the rear seat.

Automatic-equipped Cats now recieved a (Jaguar-patented) Intermediate Speed Hold switch, allowing the driver e xtra gearbox control, located at the far left (LHD) or far right (RHD) side of the dash top burled walnut cantrail. Overdrive-equipped cars received the overdrive switch here.

Mk IX: Visually identical to the Mk VIII, except that the trafficator (turn signal) switch was now a column-mounted stalk.

ALL of our big Cats had instrument panel bulbs visible to a JCNA judge who kneels at the open L or R front doors, and looks up at the center of the dash panel. There were four small bulbs, with purple-shaded covers.



(JCNA scoresheet #3)

Tools were supplied in compartments in the left and right front doors. In the left door, these included the valve timing gauge, the bleeder tube and container for bleeding brakes, the box spanner for sparking plugs, two additional sets of three box spanners (B.S.F and A.F.), the tyre pressure gauge, the spare sparking plug, the feeler gauges for checking valve timing and distributor points, two tommy bars (short and long, for the box spanners), and the grease gun on the outside of the compartment lid. In the right door, they included the four open-ended spanners (A.F.), the 4" adjustable spanner, the screwdriver, the pliers, and three spare light bulbs (small for instrument panel, 2-filament for rear stop/tail, large forfoglamp).

The jack was fitted to brackets at the right rear of the boot floor. The ratchet lever operating the jack and the wheel brace (to remove lug nuts) were fitted to the upper right of the boot with clips, partially hidden by the spare tyre.



(JCNA scoresheet #3)

Mk VII, VIIM: Boots were fitted with board panelling to the sides to cover the petrol tanks and at the upper front to cover the rear of the rear seat, and a hardura cover for the floor; there was NO cover for the inside of the boot lid, and there was NO spare tyre cover. All these were in light tan; the right side petrol tank (visible) was also painted in light tan.

Mk VIII, MK IX: Boots were now fitted with additional board panels covered in rexine on the inside of the boot lid, and with a hardura spare tyre cover, all in the same light tan paint.



(not on JCNA scoresheet, but judges need to know this)

ALL of these cars (10/50 - 9/61) had twin petrol tanks, with fillers located to the left and right of and behind the rear windscreen. Twin electric SU petrol pumps, under the rear passenger seat, delivered petrol to the engine. The petrol switch on the instrument panel, next to the petrol gauge (marked with L and R and twin arrows) determined which tank/pump was in use; the petrol gauge read the amount in the tank in use.

Tank capacities were 8 gallons left, 9 gallons right (Imperial), 9.5 gallons left, 11 gallons right (U.S.), 36.5 litres left, 41 litres right (litres).

Chassis #s, Years of Manufacture

ALL of these Cats had commission plates riveted to the scuttle (firewall) behind the engine; the plates included the Cat's chassis, engine, body, and gearbox or automatic transmission numbers. A judge unsure of the specifics of a Cat being judged can check the chassis # on this plate, and can accurately determine exactly which model is being judged; the judge can also check the engine # for authenticity.

The following list details chassis #s, years of manufacture, and LHD or RHD for the four models in the production sequence:

Model Chassis Nos Total run Built

("71" #s ran out, switched to "72 #s)

12,754 cars 10/50 - 9/54
MK VII LHD 730001-738183 8,183 cars 10/50 - 9/54
Mk VIIM RHD 722755-750795
("72" #s ran out, switched to "75" #s)
8,042 cars 11/54 - 7/57
Mk VIIM LHD 738184 - 740200
("73" #s ran out, switched to "74" #s)
2,016 cars 11/54 - 7/57
Mk VIII RHD 760001-764644 4,644 cars 9/56 - 12/59
Mk VIII LHD 780001 - 781668 1,668 cars 9/56 - 12/59
Mk IX RHD 770001-775984 5,982 cars 10/58 - 9/61
Mk IX LHD 790001-79402 4,021 cars 10/58 - 9/61


1959 Mark IX, Rick & Diane Hartwell,
at the 2002 South Florida Jaguar Club Concours.



About the author - Larry Martz is a long time JCNA member and Judge. He is also the registrar for the Mark VII, VIIM, VIII and IX. He can be reached by Email at

Posted: 7/2/2002