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In 1955 Jaguar extended their dominance in the high performance UK car market with the Mk1. Launched alongside the likes of Jaguars new saloon car, the MkVIIM and the XK140 sports car. Jaguars engineers broke new ground when designing the Mk1, employing a unitary construction body and chassis. Initially the Mk1 was installed with a short stroke version of the proven XK 'six' engine in 2.4L displacement but customers soon demanded more power and the 3.4L version was introduced shortly afterwards. The greatly improved performance now generated 190bhp and would accelerate from 0-60mph in just 9 seconds ultimately reaching a top speed of 120mph.
Despite Jaguars racing involvements elsewhere from rallying, privateers immediately saw potential in the Mk1 and set the car into competition. Most notably the Mk1 Jaguar run by the legendary Morley Twins who's 3.4L placed first overall in the 1959 Tulip Rally. This example was ordered by Essex based garage owner Frank Brown in 1957 via R P Powell Motors Ltd. Mr Brown intended to use the car to compete in the Monte Carlo Rally and so specified a number of options including Disc Brakes, Wire Wheels and Lead Bronze bottom-end bearings. Remarkably Mr Brown was given the generous discount of 12.5% from the total bill.
In September 1957 it was completed and registered with Brown's personalised registration plate "FWB 1". Shortly after in January 1958, Brown set off for Paris to start the Monte Carlo Rally alongside co driver Graham Arnold and an additional crew member Edwin J Snusher. Unfortunately Brown and his crew did not complete the rally and retired due to front suspension damage. Brown continued to compete in the Mk1 throughout his ownership in a number of sprints and hill climbs before selling the car to Edwin Snusher in 1959. Snusher continued the cars competitive streak and entered it in both the Monte Carlo and Tulip Rallies in 1960. Despite Snusher purchasing the car in 1959, it wasn't until 1962 that the title was transferred into his name and the registration '4938 VW' assigned. Like Brown Snusher was a keen racer and when not competing in the Mk1 he used it to tow his home built Coventry Climax engine sports car (the EJS Special).
Snusher would remain the owner until 1982 when it was subsequently sold to well-known historic racer and Goodwood frequent Mr John Young still equipped with its rallying accessories. Shortly after John subjected the car to a comprehensive restoration by Swallow Engineering with a number of improvements being carried out. To improve engine performance the cylinder head was gas-flowed as well as upgrading the brakes and suspension. Testament to the depth of restoration John spent over £10,000 on the car at a time where good Mk1 Jaguars were fetching just £3,000. John resurrected the Mk1s racing career where Snusher had left off and entered it into the Oldtimer GP at the Nurburgring. Despite being inferior to the front running cars John managed to run close to the front.
John parted with the Mk1 when the opportunity arose to purchase the ex-Jack Lambert E-Type in 1987. Sadly in order to purchase the E-Type John had to part with either his Porsche Carrera or the 3.4. Dealer Straight Six proposed a firm offer for the Mk1 and so it was subsequently sold to a Japanese collector who would keep it in his private collection for 20 years seeing very little use. Following its owner's death the Mk1 was returned to the UK with its original rallying modifications still present, and sold at auction where it was purchased for the second time by John Young. Once again Young subject the car to a comprehensive restoration before entering it into a number of competitions. During its modern stint of racing John competed with the car at the Nurburgring, Spa Francorchamps, Zandvoort, Snetterton, Castle Combe, Donington Park, Silverstone, and Brands Hatch. During John's ownership it has featured in a number of magazine articles all accompanying the cars history file.
In 2013 it was sold via dealer to the late Terence O'Reily. JD Classics would fastidiously maintain this exceptional car during Terence's ownership until it was subsequently purchased by its current owner. During this most stress free ownership it has been maintained with no expense spared by DK Engineering and is currently in the process of being awarded HTP papers. Contained within the history file is evidence of its most exciting racing career and ownership records. The file contains copies of many rare documents such as order forms, 'Buff' logbook, and historic racing memorabilia from its early racing life.
Eligible for some of the world's most distinguished racing events including the Tour Auto and Goodwood, this Mk1 is ready to be used and enjoyed immediately continuing its fine racing pedigree.
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