Formerly the property of Gerry Marshall 1959 Jaguar Mk1 3.4-Litre Saloon Registration no. 220 LPE Chassis no. 978525DN
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. Jaguar's engineers were understandably cautious in their approach, making the bodyshell stronger than it actually needed to be and employing rubber mountings just about everywhere to insulate occupants from vibration and noise. The Mk1 was released with a new, short stroke, 2.4-litre version of the proven XK 'six' but demands for more power, especially from American customers, prompted the introduction of the 3.4-litre version early in 1957. With 190bhp on tap the 3.4-litre 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.
Dating from the final year of production, this 3.4-litre Mk1 reputedly was ordered by the then reigning Formula 1 World Champion, Mike Hawthorn, who tragically met his death in a road traffic accident on 22nd January 1959 and never took delivery, though there is no documentary evidence of a Hawthorn connection. The car is said to have been ordered as a duplicate of Mike's first Jaguar Mk1, complete with various factory enhancements. It later passed to motor racing legend, the late Gerry Marshall, its third owner. Although Gerry raced a wide variety of cars and excelled in all of them, as far as is known he only ever used the Jaguar on the road, no doubt relishing the superior performance of what looked like a standard showroom model.
The current (fifth) owner acquired the Mk1 from the Jaguar Museum in Maldon, Essex in March 1994. '220 LPE' has covered circa 15,000 miles from new and while in the vendor's care has been fully serviced regularly and annually MoT'd (up to July 2012). The accompanying extensive history file contains the car's original logbook, assorted correspondence and copies of magazine articles about Gerry Marshall and the Jaguar.