In 1950, 100 mph twin cam luxury saloons were pretty thin on the ground. Still fewer were pitched under the $1000 barrier. No surprise, then that the Jaguar plant at Brown’s Lane in the Midlands could hardly keep up with the orders when they announced the flagship MK VII. Although the identically engined XK 120 sports car tended to grab the limelight, it was the Mk VII and its siblings that filled Jaguar’s coffers and positioned the company for a virtual takeover of the English luxury car market in the decade to follow. Total production was 46,000 units. The MK VII/ VIII/ IX differs from later saloons in its use of the separate chassis, derived from the MK V with a servo for the big drum brakes and torsion bat front suspension, the rear end being handled by semi ellipitcs. Styling, too, was descended from the pre and immediately post war saloons, but was more voluminous and well fed. It looked good on the outside, and then the cabin was even better. It had more room than its predecessors, wide armchair seats and polished walnut veneer on the dash, cantrails and door cappings. In this gentleman’s club ambience, the Mk VII driver could dominate the road like few others: third gear alone was enough to dispose of most sports car pretenders, whilst top gear could ease the MK VII to 101 mph (162 km/h). It was, in ever sense of the word, impressive.
The 1954 MK VIIM brought detail improvements to trim and a bit more power, whilst on the 1956 MK VIII the emphasis was shifted to tycoon luxury and extra chrome glitz. Last and many think of its as the best of the line was the 1958 MK IX with a neat 223 bhp 3.8 liter, power steering and Dunlop discs on all four wheels. The MK IX died in 1961 to make way for the unitary, all independent suspension MK X.