MKIV Lavender Grey

(Timothy M Fox) #1

Hello again,

I have purchased a 1948 3.5L “MKIV”. It is an Australian delivered (Melbourne) car which was originally painted Lavender Grey with a Suede Green interior. I am intending to put the car back to this colour & interior scheme from Black with a Red interior. It will be a nice opportunity to drive the car around Melbourne in its original (albeit restored) form.

That being said, I have seen so many variations of Lavender Grey that I’m not sure which is original for the car? I have seen a very lovely, subtle and stately shade (far right on the MKV)

to a “Tan” looking colour on an XK 120 1955-jaguar-xk-140se-roadster-lavender-grey-on-mulberry-interior-clean-1

Which is correct for a MKIV?

What are the colour codes and where can I look online for a paint sample?



(Ed Nantes) #2

Ahh Southbank a ta JCCV display.
Personally I think the XK is closer to thecolour. BUt here is the old formula for lavender grey. which wasn’t really what I think of as a grey. ear in mind that tinters have changed and so has the method of mixing automotive paints. { weight instead of volume]

(Rob Reilly) #3

For one thing, the XK you show is a '55 XK140 and not necessarily representative of the 1948-52 colors. There was a major change in '52 from enamel to lacquer and all the metallics were dropped.

I have had good results with Gunmetal from this company.
TCP Global.
Scroll down to autocolorlibrary and click that,
then select 1949 Jaguar and it will bring up the 1948-52 color chart.
They have formulas for these colors.

Here is a screen shot of their Lavender Grey

This company is in California and there is no problem shipping to Illinois but I do not know about Australia.
I learned not to order 3 gallons of liquids in one order; the shipping carton was too heavy and was dropped on one end, denting a can and there was a leakage of paint.

Don’t know how they picked the name; I was surprised when I first saw the color as I thought lavender was a purple flower.

(Denis Foxley) #4

Allan Crouch’s book “SS & Jaguar Cars 1936-1951” has several pictures of his own Lavender Grey 1948 2.5 Litre DHC, on pages 108-111. As you say, the colour is nothing like the lavender plant, neither is it really grey, more like a khaki. I wonder why they chose that name for it.

Denis Foxley

(David) #5

Centre top left colour chip is the Lavender Grey - Codes are (I am told) as the original British Domolac Co Ltd paints used on the 1948 MK IV (which is the colour pallet I used when restoring my 1948 MK IV).

(Timothy M Fox) #6

Thank you for the responses.

I agree that the name “Lavender Grey” is rather odd and somewhat misleading. Lavender certainly is purple in colour not khaki. By the way have you heard the old gag, “What colour starts a car? Khaki!!” I remember that one from when I was 10 years old. Perhaps I should have left it back there?:grin:

What strikes me as odd is that I have it on very reliable authority that the MKV in the photo, belonging to a fellow in Melbourne who sadly died some time ago, was painted Lavender Grey! I think that it is a beautiful shade, subtle and dignified. Here are two more photo’s of the car when it was for sale.

Possibly it’s the light, but it certainly doesn’t look Tan / Khaki.

I looked up the photo of Alan Crouch’s car in his book and it doesn’t look Tan / Khaki either. It looks more like the MKV

Anyway, if I can’t find the right shade using the codes then I’ll have to go with the clotted cream colour “Ivory” as per the Colour Chart, though I’d prefer Lavender Grey.

Any further help would be greatly appreciated as the painting of the car will begin next February.

Best wishes to all and a Merry Christmas too!


(Paul Wigton) #7

That is a nice color!!

Mele Kalikimaka, to you and yours!

(Roger Payne) #8

Most definitely persevere with LAVENDER GREY.
It was on my short list of choice to repaint my XK140, being one of my preferred GREENS along with Pastel Green and BRG.

And that’s how I best describe it. It is a GREY, but the tones are definitely Green, thus the most common trim combination offered by Jaguar was SUEDE GREEN which really brings out the compatible green tones in the GREY. (Why on earth this colour was called LAVENDER GREY is anyone’s guess, not that a colour name is exact science at the best of times)

My suggestion is if your car was originally Lavender Grey, have a good look around car for signs of original colour. (In the doors, boot-lid, luggage compartment, spare wheel tray etc) Its most unlikely when your Mark V was repainted it was a 100% body off strip and repaint removing all traces of original colour.

Otherwise, I do have one of the exceptionally rare ZOFELAC (Cellulose Enamel) Paint Chip booklets, which is the exact same paint/colour as was used originally for Mark V (and XK120) prior to the Synthetic Enamels introduced in 1952 with LAVENDER GREY continuing to be a standard Jaguar colour name and shade.

There have been a number of efforts to exactly match both the ZOFELAC Lavender Grey and the Synthetic Enamel Lavender Grey (to my eyes the same, but to a colour experts maybe not 100%), but it should be appreciated there are other factors that have a major influence on the appearance of the end paint colour, and indeed there are variations paint brand/formula to paint brand/formula - thus best to match an original sample or original Zofelac paint-chip book. Really depends a lot on just how accurate you want to be, or just ‘near enough’, and indeed the skills of your painter and colour matcher and colour system used.

(Rob Reilly) #9

Yes, its a nice color. I personally don’t care for white cars, it says to me “fleet rental”. I once saw a Mark V in refrigerator white and I just couldn’t look at it, my own model!

Urs Schmid’s XK120 books have some Lavender Grey cars including his own 673029 which he said was original never repainted, and they seem to me to be a little bit darker than your Melbourne friend’s. He gives a mixing formula different from that shown by Ed.

TCPGlobal will do a quart of enamel for $60 if you want to try it without getting into too much expense as a trial.

BTW what is the source of your color chart? Is it the same 1938-39 chart as in the jag-lovers brochures?
I have been eyeing that, as I am looking to do my '38 in Mountain Ash Green, and in your picture it is slightly lighter than that of the brochure.

(Timothy M Fox) #10

Thank you for that information Roger. I really need to see a MKV or MKIV in Lavender Grey in the flesh, so to speak.
If the colour isn’t what I hope for then Ivory, as on this MKV is a nice compromise.

At least it’s not the awful “Wedding White”.


(Ed Nantes) #11

Worse than wedding white were a couple of MKVs around Melbourne about 15 years back, that had been painted to look like marble, blackish marble for the guards and a greyish marble for the main body.

And one was a stretch.
I think it was the same person who built up a stretch convertible 1 1/2 litre. Mk IV.

(Peter Scott) #12

To me it just says “wedding car” although personally I would not have wished to be transported thus on my wedding day.

Lavender Grey is nice because it evokes the very muted, dowdy even, paint colours that British car manufacturers used in the post war period and prewar, although the most popular “colour” pre war was black.

Unfortunately I don’t think the 1939 Colour Chart in Jag Lovers has weathered well with the years and doesn’t faithfully represent the original paint colours.


(Graham Jordan) #13

Hi Tim.
What condition is your newly acquired Mk IV in?
Is it a full restoration project or a tidy up.
Regards, Graham

(Graham Jordan) #14

Also, rather than start a new post, is some interesting 38-39 SS brochures for sale on Ebay including a paint / leather chart. Prices are frightening but hasn’t stopped someone bidding.
Check / search their other listings for the other SS items.
Also there is an original 38-39 handbook presently listed

(Timothy M Fox) #15

Hello Graham,

Thanks for the message. I have spotted the books and Sample Chart on eBay. I’m not that keen to pay the prices being asked. The photo I posted of the Colour Chart came from this listing on eBay - but don’t tell them!!:grin:

The car is a complete rebuild but a lot of the panel work had already been done by the previous owner quite some time ago. Lots of Jag Club members are helping which is just fabulous!



(Timothy M Fox) #16

Hello Peter,

What do you think of the shade of Lavender Grey on the MKV in the line up of cars in Melbourne? I’m keen to find that shade.

Ivory was an original colour for the period and quite nice. It’s certainly not Wedding-White! Ivory is the colour on the lower half of your two tone SS I recall. I’m going to use it on my other car, the MKV, so that it will be Black & Ivory as in this photo.


(Timothy M Fox) #17

Hello Ed,

I simply can’t imagine what the “marble” finish would look like nor would I want to!:rofl: The MKV’s seem to have suffered more indignities that most other Jag’s.

I believe this might be the “stretch” MKV you mentioned!

And it’s also “Wedding-White”. :nauseated_face:



(Ed Nantes) #18

Tim, actually the stretch was a MKIV. Weirdly he bought it from Sydney having seen only pictures and when he got it was surprised the 1 1/2 litre bonnet was shorter. But then by stetching it and making it into a convertible, he made the shorter body more noticible
At the price of the workshop manual , I’d want it signed by the author.

(Peter Scott) #19

Hi Tim,

I find it’s a bit difficult to judge in the line-up photo. It looks a little bit too pale for lavender grey but photos can be deceptive. I think Allan Crouch’s car is a good example and my photo below represents it quite well I think.


(Timothy M Fox) #20

Hi Ed,

It might be a bit expensive to dig the author up to attain his signature!:rofl: Sounds like a script from the ABC programme Glitch!

Do you remember the MKV in the photo at Southgate? It’s lovely and nothing like the Lavender Grey on other cars I have seen.

I’d love that colour for the MKIV with your headlights!