AN incredibly special 1961 Jaguar Mk X owned by Sir William Lyons, founder of Jaguar, will be sold at auction at Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé Sale, being held at Blenheim Palace on September 2 and 3.
Manufactured in December 1961 at the Coventry factory, the car was delivered to Sir William in January 1962 and registered to his Wappenbury Hall address in Warwickshire.
Not just any ordinary Jaguar, this Mk X was one of the very first ‘Zenith’ cars produced and made specifically for Lyons to use as his daily drive and finished to his personal and exact specification.
Lyons clearly demanded only the very best and the top of the range car houses a 3.8 litre, 6-cylinder engine, which could have whisked him along at speeds of up to 120 mph, impressive for Britain’s widest ever production saloon. It featured the ‘new look’ four headlamps set above distinctive chrome bumpers and vaned grill.
Inside, the interior is trimmed in luxurious leather, with carpeted foot wells and walnut woodwork throughout. Extra features added on Lyons’ request include walnut rear picnic tables, complete with angled mirrors allegedly installed to allow women passengers to adjust their make-up. He also requested electric rear windows, which was not the norm at the time, allowing him to enjoy a cigarette when riding in the back seat.
Sir William Lyons used the car for three-and-a-half years before it was sold to the Cheltenham Motor Jaguar dealership. It was then purchased by a local man in 1968 who owned the car until he died in 2012, after which it was acquired by its fourth owner.
The current owner purchased the car in 2014 and then decided to subject it to a long-term, comprehensive restoration to near concours standard, carried out by Jaguar specialists under his supervision.
The car was then transferred to the Jaguar Heritage facility in Coventry, returning to its production site after 50 years, for final checks and sourcing of minor parts. Now back to its original and exceptional glory, it will be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ most prestigious sale of the year, estimated to sell for between £75,000 and £100,000.
Today the car is finished in its original colour of opalescent dark green with beige leather interior, and still bears its original Coventry number plate, 7868 RW. The odometer shows just over 71,300 miles, covered over the last 55 years between five owners.