1957 Jaguar MkI Saloon
Lot 427
Subject of an over $100,000 restoration,1957 Jaguar MkI Saloon Chassis no. S986121BW Engine no. KE25618
Sold for US$ 38,610 inc. premium
Lot Details
Subject of an over $100,000 restoration
1957 Jaguar MkI Saloon
Chassis no. S986121BW
Engine no. KE25618
Body no. E002497

Launched in 1955, the 'Mk1' (as it would be known after the Mk2's arrival) extended Jaguar's domination of the high-performance car market in Britain, slotting neatly into the Coventry firm's range alongside the big MkVIIM saloon and the XK140 sports car. The medium size newcomer broke new ground for Jaguar, being its first model to employ unitary construction of the chassis/body. The Mk1 was released with a new 2.4-liter version of the proven XK 'six' but demands for more power, especially from American customers, prompted the introduction of the 3.4-liter version early in 1957. With 190bhp on tap the 3.4-liter Mk1 was good for a top speed of 120mph and could reach 60mph in nine seconds, though if used to the full this greatly improved performance severely taxed the drum brakes. All-round disc brakes were hurriedly announced as an option, becoming an almost universal fitting thereafter. The Mk1 was progressively updated throughout its life before a wholesale revision of the basic design saw it re-launched as the Mk2 in October 1959.

This Mk1 has been the fortunate recipient of an exceptionally well documented restoration with receipts total over $100,000. Purchased by the vendor on April 24, 1999 for $2,200, the car was brought to Vantage Motors, Inc of Stamford, CT for a complete, concours restoration. As detailed in the meticulously kept records, every bit of the car was gone over, refurbished or replaced, and made to operate like new. Any rust or prior repairs were cut out and refinished in metal. The 3.4-liter motor was completely disassembled, refurbished, and rebuilt. The interior was completely retrimmed in luxurious, red Connolly leather hides with Wilton wool carpeting and West of England wool broadcloth headliner at a cost of over $14,000.

Whilst completing the restoration, some select and subtle improvements were carried out as well. Mechanically, the original 3-speed Borg Warner automatic was replaced with a correct 4-speed manual with overdrive and the original drum brakes were replaced with correct four-wheel discs, both upgrades that will no doubt greatly enhance the driving experience. Additionally, an $1100 stereo with AM/FM radio and CD-changer has been artfully hidden to provide modern tunes without spoiling the appearance of the interior.

Completed in 2001, the Jag has been carefully stored under its fitted cloth cover and driven a mere 2,000 miles since restoration. In a ride with the vendor, the cataloger found the car to be very well turned out, no doubt looking as good as the day it left the restoration shop. The car ran very well on our drive, operating smoothly and accelerating swiftly—it truly embodied Sir Lyons motto of Grace, Pace and Space.

It is rare to find such an incredibly well presented Mk1 as restorations of this caliber are usually dedicated to its less practical cousin, the XK140. Additionally, every bit of documentation produced since the current vendor's 2001 acquisition—down to the checks used to purchase the car and pay for the work—has been retained and filed. One of the nicest Mk1s in the world, to be sure, it represents the perfect opportunity to buy an essentially brand new, turnkey 55 year old Jaguar!
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    Bonhams
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