Manufactured in December 1961 at Browns Lane, the car was delivered to Sir William in January 1962 and registered to his Wappenbury Hall address in Warwickshire (see pictures). Not just any ordinary Jaguar, this MkX was one of the very first Zenith cars produced and made specifically for Lyons to use as his daily driver and finished to his very personal and exact specification.
Extra features added on Lyons’ request include walnut rear picnic tables, complete with angled mirrors allegedly installed to allow lady passengers to adjust their makeup. Sir William also requested electric rear windows, allowing him to enjoy a cigarette when riding in the back seat, which his wife did not approve of.
Sir William Lyons used the car for three and half years before it was sold to the Cheltenham Motor Jaguar dealership. It was then purchased by a local gentleman in 1968 who owned the car until he died in 2012, after which it was acquired by its fourth owner.
The current owner purchased the car in 2014 and then decided to subject it to a long-term, comprehensive restoration to near concours standard, carried out by Jaguar specialists under his supervision. The car was then transferred to the Jaguar Heritage facility in Coventry, returning to its production site after 50 years, for final checks and sourcing of minor parts. Now back to its original and exceptional glory, it will be sold at Silverstone Auctions’ most prestigious sale of the year, estimated to sell for between £75,000 and £100,000.
The car is finished in its original colour of Opalescent Dark Green with beige leather interior, and still bears its original Coventry number plate, 7868 RW. The odometer shows just over 71,300 miles, covered over the last 55 years between five owners.