Less than 20,000 miles from new
1965 Jaguar XKE Series 1 4.2 Liter Roadster
Registration no. 1E 10658
Chassis no. 7E 2871-9
In 2012 Bonhams pioneered an auction devoted to cars that were preserved rather than restored, at the Simeone Automotive Museum in Philadelphia. This was the latest step in the evolving market for collectible cars, and reflected the fact that today some collectors prefer to own cars that have never been restored. Catering to this market are a growing number of classes at Concours level for both pre and post-war 'Preservation' automobiles. As the juries debate what makes a car to be of preserved order, one thing is for certain a car that has never been restored gives the collectors of today or indeed the future the chance to see the materials, colors, and finishes which were used on cars in a given period. This can frequently be a surprise, as an interpretation of these aspects is frequently exaggerated in terms of its quality, particularly on production cars. To find cars that have never been restored is also reassuring to collectors as it makes it so much easier to establish how good and correct it is and how simple a life the car may have had.
This is one such car, a later Series 1 XKE benefiting from the larger 4.2 Liter power unit, and all synchromesh 'box, that the company introduced mid-way through production, but pre-dating the '1½' cars. Almost forty-eight years ago to the day, the car rolled out of Jaguar's Coventry works on February 17, 1965, being dispatched for the U.S. ten days later, to be distributed through Jaguar Cars, New York as confirmed by the car's Heritage Certificate. That same document confirms its original supply in the Silver Blue with blue upholstery and top scheme that it still sports to this day. Curiously it also notes that a slightly later but correct series gearbox is fitted, which may have been a period change.
Beyond this, its original owner and early years are not recorded however it is safe to say that they cannot have been too arduous. Its previous ownership for many years was in Hollywood, California, where it was clearly well looked after and maintained, and in later years stored over the long term. Following its change of ownership a thorough service was undertaken at which point it became clear just how original and unspoiled the car was. To put the car into usable order the hoses, which appeared to be the originals, needed to be replaced, but these among other details testified to its integrity. Other particularly nice features are the fact that it retains its period Davis Radio Corp. "Le Chaperon" AM push-button radio, as well as an original tool kit, jack, knock off hammer, and rare ladies foot rest on the passenger side.
Now back on the road and driving well, as one would expect for a low mileage example the car shows light aging to its interior and top, but this is all part of its charm. In its stunning color combination this is certainly a highly desirable example and aside from being a great driver quality car it has the added benefit of the potential for future preservation class exhibition.
- Please note that the correct heading to this car should read: Chassis no. 1E 10658, engine no. 7E 2871-9.