Sir William Lyons and his SS cars were at the forefront of British automotive design. Offered as an option against the likes of Rolls Royce, Bentley, and Aston Martin he had hardly been in business long enough to call himself a competitor. However, he was quick to gain traction with SS90, SS100, 1.5, 2.5, and 3.5L Coupe, Sedan and DHC offerings. During this pre-war automotive era it was also a prime time for grandeur and design. A great deal of customers often ordered a chassis and would then outfit that chassis with artistic bodywork of a desired coachbuilder. However the post-war landscape had an effect on this practice and after 1946 both SS, now Jaguar, and the rest of the industry had to rebuild. In doing so many of the body manufacturing became an in-house process and the phasing out of foreign coachbuilders was at its infancy of its demise. Thus a postwar coach built Jaguar of any kind is a truly unique and sought after item that is seldom found.
The example on offer, a 1947 Jaguar MK IV DHC 3.5L RHD, Chassis # 611107 has a long and interesting history that has been well documented but still stands to be revealed in some aspects of early ownership. According to Jaguar & comprehensive accompanying paperwork, chassis # 611107 was produced on April 4th, 1947 and was invoiced new and dispatched on May 2nd, 1947 as “chassis only” to the Swiss Distributor Emil Frey, of Zurich Switzerland. The gap in this cars history is from this very point until August of 1951 when a Dr. O. Winterstein of Zollikon, Switzerland is noted as the registered owner on an original Swiss registration document. According to another Swiss Registration, by March of 1957 the car was in the possession of a Wolfgang Swatek, an Engineer from Zurich. However his ownership was quite short, as it would soon be sold to its most recent & long-term owner, a Mr. Frank Inannuzzi. Mr. Inannuzzi was stationed throughout Europe as an American Serviceman. A registration certificate shows his ownership started in or around November of 1957. From this point forward there is substantial registration and vehicle ownership documentation and correspondence showing Mr. Inannuzzi and his Jaguar traveling throughout Europe. From Switzerland, to Germany, France, and the UK; before eventually traveling home to New Jersey in 1960 where the car would be put into long-term storage until the early 1980’s where it was moved to the Washington, DC area until being discovered in 2015.
The ownership history is quite clear and easily defined thanks to comprehensive documentation. There are even service documents from 1957 and notes in the Jaguar Club magazines that accompany the vehicle about this very car. Fantastic documentation that we seldom see with cars this age; there is however one mystery still being researched and as conclusions are made updates will be provided to any interested parties. The documentation with the car overwhelming concludes that the car is indeed a Graber bodied example. The claim to a Graber body is cited as follows: delivery information from Jaguar, and Jaguars “notes” on the heritage certificate stating, “eventually bodied by Graber”. Again in a club newsletter showing a registry of club members and stating, “Mr. Inannuzi’s Graber bodied MK IV” along with a photo while touring in Europe. Numerous letters and correspondence stating Graber as the body and most notably a statement by Mr. Inannuzzi in September of 1960 while writing the New Jersey DOT. While all of the documentation from more of an second hand account states Graber there is no exacting proof from the time of production that solidifies this theory. As our research has been conducted it has become overwhelmingly evident that Reinbolt & Christe is most likely the builder. A well-known coachbuilder from Switzerland, Reinbolt & Christe’s style is ever evident in this Example; and a period photo shows a nearly identical example with such coachwork. Thus we feel this is indeed a 1947 Jaguar MK IV DHC by Reinbolt & Christe. However, it should be noted that there is no supporting evidence beyond a single photo and outside expert opinions. That said, we do encourage any prospective buyers to conduct further research and come to their own conclusions.
The condition of the car today is that of an extremely original untouched car with the hallmarks of a fine, Swiss built body. The paint is faded but mostly original with some spotting and blending completed over the years. The top is the original, shrunk and stained, and the interior is incredibly complete and well preserved but presents with a heavy patina. There is no rust noted on the exterior of the body, and overall it is very straight with impressive panel fitment and no structural issues of any kind noted. It carries a set of Yellow bulb P100’s and shows to have previously had fog lights. The rear lucas lights are most likely modified from the original flush circular lights it likely carried. There are dents, scratches, dings, and many imperfections. However the car is consistently weathered in a manor that can be appreciated by sophisticated collectors understanding the notion and worth of preserving an example like this. Alternatively, there couldn’t be a better base for restoration. It will be up to the next owner to decide the appropriate course of action.
The photos tell the story in detail and the majority of the car can be understood by studying these photos. The engine bay is highly original and a sort of fawn colored paint is consistently applied on the underside of the hood as well as behind the door panels. These “B” surfaces seem to have been given this color on this car from new. The engine does turn freely and we do believe it would only take a basic servicing to see this car run and drive. Though a comprehensive servicing would be ideal for a reliable car that could be enjoyed in its current state. It is numbers matching however, and appears to be unaltered or modified over the years. Having been kept in dry storage all these years as certainly preserved the car in many ways. The underside of the car is straight, original, and in some spots totally untouched as new. It is otherwise matching the 12,918 miles reported on the odometer, which stands a good chance at being the original mileage.
Post-War Coach built Jaguars are seldom discovered or even witnessed by most collectors and enthusiasts. This is an opportunity to own a significantly prettier variant of the MK IV with potential for class wins, concours debuts or even a simple admirable part of a collection. It is without a doubt a car with a great story, incredibly documentation and a legacy that will inevitably be continued. Included with the sale is the original spare, jack, a plethora of documentation and boot cover.
Available Documentation:(Click the links below to view the file)