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Jaguar founder William Lyons’ MkX to go under the hammer

Published 27 July 2016

A 1961 Jaguar Mk X owned by Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons will be sold at auction later this year at Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé Sale, held at Blenheim Palace on 2-3 September. It is expected to fetch between £75,000 and £100,000.

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 driver and finished to his very personal and exact specification.

Synonymous with his reputation, Lyons demanded only the very best and this top-of-the-range car has a 3.8-litre six-cylinder engine that in its day promised 120mph performance.  Inside, the interior is leather with carpeted foot wells and walnut woodwork.

Extra features added on Lyons’ request include walnut rear picnic tables, complete with angled mirrors allegedly installed to allow lady passengers to adjust their makeup. Sir Lyons 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, which his wife did not approve of.

1961 Jaguar Mark 10 Rear Interior HR

Sir William Lyons, also known as “Mr Jaguar”, used the car for three and half years before it was sold to the Cheltenham Motor Jaguar dealership. It was then purchased by a local gentleman in 1968 who owned the car until he died in 2012, after which it was acquired by its fourth owner.

The current owner bought 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.

Nick Wale, managing director of Silverstone Auctions said, ‘We are honoured to have Sir William Lyons’ personal car in the sale, and what a beautiful car it is. This car has a very special history but it is also a very stylish and elegant car to own. Every inch of the car says luxury. Cars like this just aren’t made anymore.’

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.

For more information on the Jaguar Mk X and Silverstone Auctions’ Salon Privé sale, please visit their website.

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