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Lot 448: 1985 Jaguar XJ12 Sovereign Series III

Fine Motor Cars and the Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2007)

In the late Sixties Jaguar had rather too many saloon models for a relatively narrow sector of the market. Equally, those worthy models were becoming a little outdated and it was time for another quantum leap and some rationalisation. The XJ6 arrived in 1968 and it was undoubtedly just what was required. Without question it was the finest Jaguar yet, and met with instant and ecstatic praise. First and foremost, the shape was another Sir William Lyons masterpiece. In an era when cars were starting to lose their character, the Jaguar strongly retained its identity. Not only did the car look superb, thanks to Bob Knight's sterling work on development, the XJ also set new standards of ride and refinement.With the advent of the XJ saloons, all other saloon models were deleted with the exception of the 420G which continued for a while at low volume. To satisfy a larger spread of the market with just one body style, Jaguar offered a choice of the familiar 4.2 litre XK engine or a new 2.8 litre variant; however, the majority of XJ6s were sold with the larger engine. In 1972 the car for which the engine had been primarily designed was finally launched. The XJ12 was another triumph of even greater proportions than the XJ6, which it joined rather than replaced.This was Sir William Lyons' crowning achievement. He had set out to imitate the most expensive cars with styling that suggested rather more performance than his cars really had. He was now producing a car that gave these eminent manufacturers a run for their money in any department you cared to name - style, performance, refinement, comfort and the use of traditional materials. Performance, not surprisingly, was superb and Jaguar could now claim that the XJ12 was the fastest production four-seater in the world. That maximum speed was just short of 140mph, whilst 60mph could be reached in 7.4 seconds.Launched in 1979, the Series III Jaguar XJ saloon is considered by many to be the ultimate example of the XJ marque. A crisp update of the classic Jaguar lines, combined with a thorough revision beneath the skin, saw the Series III gain lasting popularity. A towering V12-engined model topped the range and today fine examples are becoming increasingly sought after by collectors.C54 HDA was acquired by the current owner in 2001 at the end of a search for the finest example of a V12 XJ saloon. It has a complete Jaguar main agent service history, in recent years being cared for by R.A. Creamer of Kensington. A full history file attests to extensive works and considerable expenditure, from major items such as new springs, alternator, radiator, compressor and a reconditioned automatic transmission by GA Whitehouse, to numerous detailed improvements. Bodywork has received appropriate attention, completed with a comprehensive rustproofing by Before 'n' After. Original handbooks and toolkit are all present.Finished in Cobalt Blue with Doeskin hide, the car's overall condition must be described as exceptional. Indeed, it has just completed a return run from its Somerset base to the Le Mans 24 Hours race, covering over 1,000 miles. C54 HDA comes with a fresh MoT test certificate valid to June 2008, a current road tax disc and is ready to give its new owner many further years of enjoyment.No reserve

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor Cars and the Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace, UK
Lot Number448
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price£3646
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Condition rating
Registration numberC54 HDA
Chassis numberSAJJDALW3CC442817
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors