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Lot 066: Jaguar MkI 2.4 Saloon

Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles, Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers (18 July 2012)

Launched in 1955, the MkI saloon was a great step forward for Jaguar as it was the first car they had ever made using the unitary method of construction. The monocoque body  in which the basic shell doubled as the chassis  had the twin advantages of saving weight and being far more rigid than the old body-on-frame construction. Stress engineering was still in its infancy in the 1950s so the MkI shell was actually over-engineered by modern standards and the thick door surrounds and windscreen pillars made the body even stiffer than Jaguar had hoped for. The result was an inherently fine handling car to which relatively soft suspension could be added which paid dividends in ride quality and roadholding. Being a Jaguar, it also looked superb with an air of coiled energy that put it into a different league from rival executive saloons such as the stately Humber, bulbous Standard Vanguard and matronly Rover P4. Initially it was only available as a 2.4-litre with 115bhp and a top speed of just over 100mph, but it was soon obvious that the car was crying out for more power so the magnificent 210bhp 3.4-litre XK engine was also installed from 1957 onwards. The luxurious interior was of similar design to Jaguar's big saloons, with most of the dials and switches being located on the central dashboard between the driver and passenger. This arrangement reduced the differences between LHD and RHD production but it also makes for a wonderfully retro cabin ambience today. A natural track car, the MkI came to dominate saloon car racing of the era, racking up numerous wins in the hands of legendary drivers such as Tommy Sopwith, Roy Salvadori and Stirling Moss. The MkI also gained an enduring notoriety when, on 22nd January 1959, former motor racing world champion Mike Hawthorn was killed in an accident involving his own highly-tuned 3.4-litre (VDU 881) on the Guildford bypass in Surrey. This particular 2.4 MkI Saloon was sold new in 1957 to a Mr James Robertson, a member of the Diplomatic Service, and accompanied him to Mauritius aboard the SS Dunnottar Castle (paperwork within the history file including Mr Robertson's driving licence!) When he returned to this country in January 1960 the Jaguar came with him and was registered '2894 CR', its current number. The car remained in Mr Robertson's possession until at least 1970 when it was sold to the second owner, one Margaret Burnham Davis of Blandford Forum. In March 1994 '2894 CR' was acquired by the third owner, Richard John Davis of Grange-over-Sands, who spent around 16,000 on an engine rebuild, replacing the inner and outer sills, refreshing consumables and fitting a stainless steel exhaust. Service records on file show that between November 1963 and June 1970 the recorded mileage rose from 30,369 to 45,885 miles, while accompanying expired MoTs indicate that between May 1994 and January 2010 the total increased from 50,350 to 54,371 miles. Mr Davis sold the car in February 2010 to the fourth owner, Mr Julian Colclough. '2894 CR' is finished in its factory colour scheme of black and retains its original and beautifully patinated red leather interior. Arguably one of the most original surviving examples, the car is very well presented and comes with its original bill of sale from Jaguar, its original buff logbook and service booklets, the aforementioned service records, MoTs, tax discs, sundry restoration invoices, Swansea V5C document and MoT to June 2013. The history is a joy to peruse and the car would surely grace any collection.

Lot Details
Auction Classic & Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
Brightwells Auctioneers and Valuers, Easters Court, Leominster, Herefordshire, HR6 0DE
TypeCar
Lot Number066
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1957
Condition rating
Registration number2894 CR
Mileage-
Chassis numberS906639
Engine numberBB9722-7
Engine capacity (cc)2483
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors