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When Jaguar Cars introduced their Compact Saloon in 1956, little did they realise what an impact it would have on the car-buying public at the time and – perhaps more to the point – to the Classic Car market some sixty five year later. Although eclipsed briefly by the Mk2 that followed, the rarer (and lighter) Mk1 today has true iconic status. These cars were truly ‘race-bred’ and are actively raced to-day.
Starting life as 2.4 engined car – with its distinctive cast alloy grille redolent of the contemporary XK140 – our brief was to produce a civilised, but quick, car for both pleasure and some rallying. Installed with a WinSpeed 3.8 Litre unit on 2” SU carburettors it was, in effect, to be built in the style of the famous Jaguars from Coombs of Guildford with `open` rear wheel arches and louvred bonnet.
To achieve this we obtained a rolling shell `project car` which had spent its life in Australia and, thus, had an astonishingly undamaged and rust-free body shell. A perfect platform upon which to create the finished item.
The images all speak for themselves: every single component, from the bodyshell down to simplest bracket, has been properly cleaned, repaired or replaced and fully rewired. Upgrades include Power Assisted Rack & Pinion steering, 5-Speed gearbox, Alternator, WinSpeed 4-pot front brake calipers, Stainless Steel Sports exhaust system and a genuine reproduction Coombs long-range auxiliary fuel tank giving it a range of some 400 miles. The rear axle is slightly wider, taken from the Jaguar Mk2, and the wheels are 5 1/2″ triple-laced competition wires, shod with our favoured Blockley 205 Radial tyres.
The result is an immaculate, Engineering-Led, restoration combining extremely brisk performance with great comfort, style and presence. A car of which WinSpeed can be justifiably proud!