1948 MK IV door hinges

When I first started restoration work on my 1948 MK IV 1.5ltr SE over 5 years ago (delivered to the first owner in the UK on 1st December 1948, and being the next to last RHD 1.5ltr made according to Jaguar Heritage) the door hinges taken off were brass with no signs of any paint on them.

They were very tarnished and so I simply polished them up with Brasso, and later re-fitted grease points to those that had them broken off.

Some 4 years ago when I started rebuilding the car back up I visted both classic car events and the Jaguar Heritage Centre in the UK to check various information and ensure correct parts, and I noticed some differences to the door hinges on differenct cars and pictures. Whilst I believe the earlier SS had chrome hinges, the MKIV seemed to my observations to have both painted hinges and brass only hinges. An original Jaguar sales leaflet I was shown for the MK IV (I took a photo of) seems to show these hinges NOT painted to the body colour. This was a small booklet, as apparently lack of paper at the time meant Jaguar could not print large size sales brochures.
MK IV door hinges (3)

Here are a couple of photos of other 1948 cars with what appear to be unpainted hinges.
MK IV door hinges (1) MK IV door hinges (2)

The Jaguar Parts List shows different hinges for different chassis numbers, and for my car the SE (Special Equipment specification) and factory options are included on my car.

So my question is - was there both painted and unpainted brass hinges in the late production run of the MK IV or optional choice of finish? I would like to know if I am correct in the restoration advice I was given 4 years ago to keep and retain what appeared to be original brass hinges (which were an obsolute devil to get off in the first place, and all match each other, so I dont think they have been changed in the car’s lifetime).

The hinges I have seen painted on other cars to match the body colour always seem to be “worst for ware” and have flaking paint between the moving faces of the hinges - so the brass hinges certainly do look smarter, if indeed they are authentic, but I will be painting them if indeed there is a definitive answer that this was the only Jaguar build spec for this year and model of MK IV.

I have no explanation for any bare brass hinges that appear on cars but as far as I know there are no other bare brass parts visible on the outside of MkIVs. Bare brass tarnishes and these cars do not come from the Edwardian era where the chauffeur was to do the daily round of polishing. A painted finish is less satisfactory than a chrome plated one but it’s still better than bare brass. If the brightwork on these cars was to be in yellow metal then it should all be in yellow metal and not a mix. William Lyons was very careful in his styling and choice of accessories. I refuse to believe that he would sanction any lacquered brass on the MkIV let alone bare brass.

That said, every owner has the right to do what they prefer with their own cars so far be it for me to lay down any laws.

Peter :innocent:

p.s. This picture shows an SS type gear lever with mushroom knob and the interior lights are not MkIV either. Looks like a transitional drawing possibly MY1940?


Here is the illustration from the MY1940 brochure. This appears to be the basis for the above drawing but with subtle changes to the door cards and interior lights and seat runners. The incorporation of chrome hinges may be just an oversight or may actually have been present on early MkIVs just to use up existing stocks.



Ok the reason I made such a bold statement is these photos.
The doors are set prior to paint.

My own experience on my Mark V has shown me how difficult it is to work with doors that have already been painted, getting them aligned

The last is a set I pulled off a set of doors I bought from an unknown Mark IV, which had been originally suede green and then overpainted black. You can see the suede green on these hinges.
As always, our archaeology on these things can only go so far as what we find on a few cars. Happy to be proved wrong. :smile:

And so begins The Great Brass Hinge Argy Bargy of 2020…:grimacing:

David, What’s your Chassis Number ???
Information I have is that the last 1-1/2 litre RHD Saloon - 415450 was actually made in February 1949, and indeed 415417 was the first one made in 1949, so there is at least 34 cars made in 1949, let alone any made in December 1948 that post date your car - so something doesn’t add up with your advice…

You are right, Rob, and your photographs confirm it. From the advice I have received from very experienced and knowledgeable people here is that each set of doors is unique to each car and are impossible (almost?) to interchange. If you have an accident the door would need to be rebuilt. Fitting them to the car then painting them in situ would have been far more sensible when the cars were being built as time was more pressing. Therefore each hinge must have been painted in the body colour. Of course in a restoration, fitting the doors then removing them to be painted before refitting is more likely but then you would still be better off painting the hinges attached to the body and the doors.


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Thanks for the information everyone. Just to clarify that my brass hinges probably were originally laquered when I first took them off, but tarnished almost black in blotches where they had been worn (the inside faces were certainly more brass like in colour I recall, but I dont have a photo unfortunately). Certainly I didn’t spot any paint on the hinges, and underneath on the fixing pillars was body colour paint - which perhaps would have been expected as primer if the total car was painted together with the doors and hinges in place?

Likewise Jaguar Heritage confirmed to me that the last MK IV was 415450. Mine is chassis number 415249 which in correspondance states “yours being the last but one RHD 1.5 litre manufactured”. It does not make it clear if this was referring to the 1.5 litre or the Special Eqipment SE variant I have. Paperwork I have confirms it was ordered in June 1948, but not delivered until 1st December 1948 and was recorded by Jaguar factory records as having 2 engines allocated to it - this I was told (when I visited the Jaguar Heritage Centre) was prehaps being the case of engine test problems during production or a lack of these smaller engines being phased out and stock being allocated to other vehicles.

Along with the brass hinges on my car is another aspect which I’ve only seen in the UK on one other 1948 SE MK IV. I have chrome weathershield strips to the bottom of the windows, which I’ve always assumed was a factory option or SE specification along with the brass hinges.

These are perfect fits to the window and door shapes, and accommodate the weathersheild strips for the glass within the door casing. I cannot see these are “aftermarket” add ons, as the entire inner door panels, quarter lights, window glass, etc has to come out to remove or fit them. I took these off during my initial restoration strip down, had them re-chromed, and fitted back on as they were. They are a set of 4 bespoke and nicely engineered chrome parts that are specific to the MK IV windows. So are these a Jaguar factory option or (as the other car I saw with them on was also supplied by Henlys of London in 1948) are these a showroom enhancement ?

This is how they are fitted:

And this is the only other car I’ve seen them on (a burgundy 1948 MK IV):
Window chrome 1948 Jaguar MK IV 1.5 litre SE

Oh no! :worried: The reason I bought this spare set of doors was one of mine is pretty bad. I guess we’ll see when I start in on it.

With this Covid lock-down I’ve been digitising a load of my old 35 mm slides and came across this photo that should interest those with SS Jaguars. This was a meticulous restoration of an original, previously unrestored 1939 SS Jaguar.


Interesting Peter that these look the same as my brass hinges when I first stripped my MK IV. Perhaps the question is did Jaguar offer the option of plane brass or painted body colour hinges (as many buyers would know the historical problem of painted hinges getting chipped and loosing edges of the hinge paint), or a option of the SE Special Equipment model (which I have)?

Hi David, I think the MkIV hinges were always completely painted in body colour but the SS Jaguar hinges, like the one in the photo above were chromed on the barrel but painted in body colour over the remainder of the hinge.image image image image


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