Talk about uncovering a beauty!  I couldn’t believe my luck when, over a completely un-related chat, a friend mentioned this stunning 1950 Jaguar Mk V.

words: Judy McAuliffe

During the 1940s and 50s, with WWII ended and positivity on the rise, the demand for luxury vehicles increased and Jaguar made a name for itself by creating a number of stunning sports cars.

When production began on the Mk V in 1948, there were still restraints on materials, so Jaguar reverted to this 1930’s shape, streamlining it to enhance its already elegant lines. The lights were fared into the front mudguards, the side vents in the engine cover removed, double bumpers added front and rear, and a sloped front windscreen all added to its appeal.

There were also significant technological advances. The Mk V was the first Jaguar with independent front suspension and ball joints, first with all around hydraulic brakes, first with flashing turning signals and first to be specifically designed to be produced with both left and right-hand drive options. This model also boasted increased horsepower to 125bhp.

There are just 25 Mk V’s registered in NZ, making this pristine 3.5 litre 6-cylinder model owned by Wayne O’Donnell of Geraldine, a rare beauty.

What makes this vehicle even more rare, is the fact that it was “Christchurch new.”  When Wayne discovered it almost 20 years ago it had been in storage for the previous 20 years. “There had been a family of rats living in it when I bought it, but I could see the potential,”

Wayne carried out a complete engine rebuild, a total re-fit of the interior including carpets and leather seats, and the wood capping on the doors and sunroof was replaced. He also had an electric overdrive fitted by Jaguar, so it can cruise nicely at 100kph.

Everything about this car takes your breath away. With its sleek lines, the original two-tone paintwork, the upright chrome grille and the leaping Jaguar radiator cap mascot, it turns heads wherever it goes. Inside, original burled walnut veneer graces the instrument panel and interior trim. It’s nothing short of stunning.  Open the boot, and you’ll discover the original tool set inside!

Wayne says he doesn’t get out in it often enough but does like to take a road trip in it once or twice a year. “It really is a dream to drive. It corners well, and the extra long torsion bars for the independent front suspension give it a really smooth ride. I always get people stopping to look. They love it, love to ask about it and chat.”

 Keep your eyes open for it this spring and summer –you can’t miss it!

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Judy McAuliffe is a writer, and publisher Essence Mid Canterbury. Her experience in media is extensive and includes approximately 15 years as Creative Director for The Radio Network, writing, and managing the writing of radio advertising, mainly in Invercargill and Greymouth. In the late 1990’s she transferred to Christchurch, moving into an Account Management role with 91ZM. In 2007 she and a business partner set up Essence Mid Canterbury, very quickly adapting her radio-writing skills to print media. Judy became sole owner of Essence Mid Canterbury in June 2014. Judy is a ‘people person’ and has found her niche writing feature stories about the community she lives in and the people who live there. She is also available for freelance writing assignments.