Removing Mk V rear wheel spats


I do not like the spats on my MKV, as I like to see the rear wheels. However, I think removing them completely may be a bit too much. I have seen photos of a beautiful black German MKV with what looks like ‘partial spats’. Can anyone tell me if ‘partial spats’ were ever made, or if what I have seen is some expensive custom construction? Thank you.

(Rob Reilly) #2

Custom body shop chop job, never from the factory.
Watch the used parts ads, you may find someone wanting to sell their cutaway spats and looking for factory correct spats.

(Graham Jordan) #3

This Mark V was restored in New Zealand (still has NZSS Register badge) and fitted with wire wheels and 1/2 rear spats.
Think it is now in Europe


Hi Rob, thanks for the answer. I wonder why its not more common, as most XK140’s, including mine, have the spats left off, so I presume people prefer the look. Did all 120/140/150 cars have their spats on when they left the factory? Squibble

(Peter Scott) #5

Cutting the spats may make the car look more modern but is that desirable in an old car? It was certainly done when the cars were about 10 years old.


(Rob Reilly) #6

120, 140 and 150 with disc wheels always had the full spats from the factory.
120, 140 and 150 with wire wheels never had spats from the factory.
Mark V never had wire wheels from the factory because they are not strong enough for such a heavy car.


That’s interesting, thank you.


Thanks for posting these photos. This is exactly the car I had seen with the partial spats. I am very new to the classic car world and it is a revelation to me to see what what stunning pieces of design Jaguars were. Everybody knows the E-type, but when I found the XK 140 FHC I felt it was even more beautiful. Same for this stunning MkV. It takes a rare skill to make something so beautifully shaped and proportioned, and to my mind very few classic cars come as close as this. The Mark 4 is similarly gorgeous. No wonder Jaguars are so popular around the world with collectors. Personally, I think Sir William would have strongly approved of this German MkV’s alteration.

(Ed Nantes) #9

I wonder , What are the relative weights of MK Iv and mK V? In any case Rolls Royce, Bentley and Daimler had wire wheels on much heavier cars
Here’s a couple of pics of the prototype MK V. I personally like the smaller bumper bars. TheP100s [ although perhapsP80s would be worth a try, and apparently it had wire wheels[ 18" ?]
If one wanted to alter spats to clear wheel centres, why not just remove the spats completely and neatly finish the edge of the wheel arch like MK iVs?
Wire wheels of course don’t need to have protruding centres and knock ons. The SS1s had a different offset and there was little protrusion. as shown in the attached pic

(Peter Scott) #10

I think the MkIV weighs 32 cwt and the MkV 33 cwt which probably explains why the MkV is a little slower off the mark.


(Paul Wigton) #11

Indeed: my ‘rent’s PIII Rolls weighed ca. 6800 pounds, and its wire wheels held it up perfectly well.


Hello Ed. Yes, I think I would remove the spats and neatly finish the edge as you suggest. I have seen several Mk V’s for sale in Australia, where they seem to have been commonly used as wedding cars. They appear to be in very good condition (would have to be if used regularly) and for sale at very reasonable prices compared with here in Europe, even including shipping costs. Any thoughts? Squibble.

(Ed Nantes) #13

Having worked in the wedding car industry in Aust, I wouldn’t go near a M.kV wedding car with a 10 ft pole.
Most have been operated by people with little understanding or empathy for the cars, typified by many having a Holden 202 anf Trimatic fitted, seats that were upholstered in any old pattern a cheap trimmer felt like … in vinyl of course
I’ve seen some stretched some where the interior woodwork was tired , so it was just painted white.
Most maintenance was left until something broke
And now Customs are being extremely difficult about cars being shipped that might contain asbestos
And thenthere’s shipping costs , VAT , plus possible import duty.

(Rob Reilly) #14

Wherry in “The Jaguar Story” gives the weights of the SS Jaguar 1.5Ls as 2750 & 2900 pounds, the SS 2.5 & 3.5Ls as 3530 pounds, the Mark IV as 3600 pounds, and the Mark V as 3840 pounds.
Folks on the XK forum have occasionally reported finding broken spokes on their unrestored cars.
The IFS is also a factor that was no doubt taken into consideration by Heynes if he recommended disc wheels to Lyons.

The first prototype photo posted by Ed shows that Lyons was certainly deeply involved in the design of the spats and tried an idea that reminds me of the French designers of the late 1930s. But since he settled on the final design as was put into volume production, we have to assume it was his favorite.

I mostly try to refrain from stating personal opinions on these forums, but I have to say I like the spats on my Mark V and XK120 and would not remove or alter them; they are part of the original character of the time period.


Hello Ed, thanks for your advice. A case of buyer beware! Squibble

(Paul Wigton) #16

Indeed they are: Ive never personally cared for them, but would not modify the arrangement, had I a car that had them.

I would imagine that the use of the disc wheel was driven by cost, as much as by aesthetics and engineering.

(Ed Nantes) #17

Yes cost certainly , and ease of cleaning ; >)
The prototype makes me think he had been looking at some of the Bentley coachbuilt bodies. Perhaps some of the Hooper Empress line.
The extra weight of the Mk V may also be a factor in the 16" wheels , lower gearing to compensate a little
I shall have to go out on Saturday nights looking for Mk Vs to drag off in the Mk IV.

I couldn’t see too much of a problem in modding a MK V to produce the same result that Bill himself tried

(Graham Jordan) #18

Here’s another one also from New Zealand

(Timothy M Fox) #19

This car confirms what I have said before, the MKV’s seem to have suffered more indignities than any other Jaguar model.


(Graham Jordan) #20

Agreed. Next thing they’ll be fitting white walls.