Frame Colour of the Rear Number Plate Lightbox

Last night I went to see a friend’s Lavender Grey MkIV that is part way through a respray. The above subject arose with me saying that the lightbox frame should be body colour and my friend insisting that his frame is original to the unrestored car and is painted black. It looked a little strange to me but it does make sense that Jaguar would not spend time masking the bought in lightbox so that it could be sprayed body colour. I also checked photos of a known unrestored car and also GVC677, the Autocar Road Test car of 1948 and sure enough they are not body colour. The SS Jaguars use a different lightbox but there again the frame is not body colour.



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Yes, mine is black, on a car that was originally Ivory. There doesn’t seem to be any evidence that it was ever any other color (colour).

The inside is ivory/cream/oldenglishwhite/eggshell whatever, but I have always presumed that was intended to reflect the light better. Refrigerator white might make more sense in there.

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Hi Peter,

Looks very sharp with those Ace wheel discs. :slight_smile:


A nice original old car but alas, not mine.

Peter :frowning:

I looked through “Jaguar Saloon Cars” by Paul Skilleter.
Though of course not many shots are of the rear and they are B&W, pages 101, 107, and 123 show light to medium colored cars with dark rear number plate boxes. They all appear to be period shots, not recent restored cars.

Always Black as per the Lucas catalogue.


Thanks for that Tim. It makes sense that SS/Jaguar didn’t attempt to apply body colour just like with the Clayton heater. :wink:


Ouch!! Or should I say ‘touché’? :laughing:

I think that the Lucas Catalogue is better evidence than ‘thoughts’ about the colour of the Clayton Heater cover. Does anyone have an original Clayton Heater catalogue? In truth, I guess that there was no reason for anything to be done to the heater other than take it out of the box and fit it, just like the Lucas light box. :wink:

Thanks Peter.

:wink: :grinning: Peter.

The SMITHS Heater Catalogue I have only gives line drawings and descriptions, with no mention of colours nor there being alternate colours - but given they were supplied to multiple OE customers, I imagine Jaguar simply fitted what they received - as with the LUCAS supplied Lightbox…

I just happened to be reading Paul Skilleter’s book ‘Jaguar Saloon Cars’ and found the photo of a brand new MKIV 3.5 about the be tested by Autocar which Rob mentioned. I thought I upload the photo. Nice looking car. I wonder what colour the bodywork was painted?


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Eliminating the very light and very dark colors leaves Gunmetal and Lavender Grey.
Here is a Gunmetal car in color and b&w.
gunmetal Mk4
gunmetal bw Mk4

Here is a Lavender Grey car in color and b&w.
Lavender Grey
Lavender Grey bw

Gunmetal was more than twice as popular as Lavender Grey, so if I had to guess I would lean more towards Gunmetal.

The Gunmetal car you have posted is rather stunning. Allan Crouch’s Lavender Grey car is very nice too. :blush: The car used for the Motor test drive was Suede Green. Perhaps the Autocar test car was also Suede Green?


Looking on saloondata there seem to be slight variations on what is suede green. Here is one.
suede green
suede green bw
I suppose it could be. Maybe somebody has access to the factory records for GVC 677.

Funny looking number plate box. At least the original is black! :grin:

That’s 415061 located in Yokohama Japan. I found it by browse-searching suede green cars on saloondata. I suppose the authorities there make you put on their size plate which won’t fit in the number box just as America does so people rig up something. Someone bleeped out the number in the pix.