A classic ‘48 Jaguar sports saloon, first owned by Arthur Whittaker, Deputy Chairman of Jaguar Cars, has been re-united with his family.
During the Historics at Brooklands classic car auction in Surrey last weekend, Whittaker’s four granddaughters – Lucy, Sally, Sarah and Charlotte – fought off rival bidders to make it their own. The cost: £70,000 for the jet-black classic. It will return to the eldest granddaughter Lucy’s family home in Kenilworth, just miles from the former Jaguar factory in Brown’s Lane, Coventry where it was originally manufactured 69 years ago.
“Once we discovered Granddad’s Jaguar was for sale, we just had to go and see it”, said Sally. “We had no intention of buying it, but sitting in it before the sale brought back so many fond memories of family outings in his cars that we decided we just had to bid for it,” she continued.
“We’d never bought a thing at auction before, but were determined to take it home if we could afford to,” added her sister Lucy. “It was all a bit of a whirlwind and suddenly, the hammer came down and it was ours.”
After Whittaker parted with the car in 1950, it passed through the hands of a number of owners before a complete, meticulous restoration started in 1982. Twenty-two years later classic Jaguar specialist, David Davenport, finally completed the car. It was returned it to its spectacular condition that remains today.
A supreme tourer in its day, Whittaker’s car was one of the last to be produced. It was specially built with a rare sunroof and trimmed in pigskin hide, complementing the stately burl walnut dashboard and fittings. Powered by a silky smooth 3.5-litre six-cylinder engine, the Jaguar Mk IV is revered for its graceful lines and magnificent presence, dominated by huge dinner plate headlamps flanking the imposing chrome radiator.
Will it become a museum piece? Not if Whittaker’s granddaughters have their way. “It’s just too lovely to leave locked away. The plan is to share enjoyment of the car among all our families, including Granddad’s seven great grandchildren. I’m sure that’s what he would have wanted too. All we need now is the picnic hamper and a bit of sun!”
For full results of Historics auctions, please visit www.historics.co.uk