Classic Sports Car



Year of manufactur­e 1969 Recorded mileage 39,000 Asking price £39,950 Vendor Specialize­d Vehicle Solutions, Manchester; 0161 789 0504; WHENITWASN­EW Price £2671 Maxpower 265bhp Max torque 283lb ft 0-60mph 9.9 secs Top speed 121.5mph Mpg 16

Without the misery of a collapsing British motor industry falling on top of it, Jaguar’s MKX might have been more readily recognised as one of the Coventry marque’s greatest products. As it was, with unitary constructi­on, independen­t suspension and a lusty twin-cam straight-six, this full-sized luxury barge was such a potent blend of Jaguar’s widely celebrated ‘Grace, Space and Pace’ tenets that owners were forgiving enough to keep orders in for a full nine-year term. Still, far fewer of the later, rebadged 420G models were sold than the earlier 3.8- and 4.2-litre Mkxs.

Used buyers normally had neither the patience nor the financial acumen to maintain these crumbling land yachts, so most of the 24,282 cars built disappeare­d as wrecks. Not so this example, on offer at Specialize­d Vehicle Solutions in Manchester. Registered in August 1969, a year before 420G production halted, its original owner had clearly cherished the car over the 37,000 miles it clocked up ahead of being sent into storage in 1980. Photograph­s from 1994 document the day it emerged, with only flat paint dulling its otherwise fine condition. That the decision to take it back to bare metal was a difficult one is supported by a handwritte­n note in the file, and that it was only to bring the finish up to shining perfection is also confirmed by photos showing no signs of corrosion. In a final proof of sympathy, the colour chosen was its original Opalescent Silver Blue.

“The file is six inches thick,” says Paul Coombes of SVS, “with every invoice all the way back to 1995, as well as lots of its earlier documentat­ion, including its brown service book and handbooks. It’s such an original car, I considered keeping it for myself.” Most recent in the raft of ongoing works that have accompanie­d a mere 2000 miles since its restoratio­n have been a full fluids service and a clean of the leather, ready for its fourth owner. At £39,950 it is top money, but its extraordin­ary condition, rarity and originalit­y – even including the remarkably unworn carpets, Paul points out – could justify it.

The extra treat is that this is one of the very few fitted with a four-speed manual gearbox, with overdrive. As much as I might like to lounge in the back as changes are slurred by a distant auto ’box, there is a temptation to stir the sports-car responses lurking under the flagship Jag’s vast yet finely drawn lines. It might even be the key to unlocking the most from this true great.

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