The car shown here started life as a Jaguar Mk. VII and was purchased by an eccentric farmer who would use it as a vehicle for ferrying livestock around the farm. The farmer eventually came to his senses and traded the Mk. VII into the prestigious Caffyns Jaguar Dealership in East Sussex where their chief engineer, William Turnball Slack decided to purchase the car.
In 1954 ‘Bill’ began his endeavour to convert the Mk. VII into the unique two-seater roadster that is for sale here. He shortened the chassis and reduced the wheelbase by 30 inches. Mechanically, it has kept the original Mk. VII running gear which was retained and reconditioned. ‘Bill’ converted the rear suspension to coil springs and replaced the steering box with a rack and pinion setup. It uses a Jaguar 3.4 XK140 Engine (recently fully recommissioned) for its power, the bodywork is polished aluminium, the doors have wooden racing D Type hinges and it still has its original Mk. VII chassis number.
It was originally built for touring and competition, hence the body is composed of a very high standard aluminium which is riveted on a steel frame, and the bulkhead is also steel. He used the car on the road but also entered it into a few hill climbs. Bill owned the car for over 30 years, before selling it to his friend and neighbour in 1995. The car was then kept in dry storage by its new owner, who regularly started the car, but barely used it, meaning the car had a very genuine 6,833 recorded miles, when it passed to its third owner.
It is worth mentioning that Bill Slack did such a fantastic job on this Jaguar that his expertise were called upon by Colonel Rixon Bucknell. Bucknell is renowned for building the Rixon Bucknall Special, a car credited with the only chassis that Jaguar ever sold to a private individual for the creation of a one-off vehicle. Rixon wanted a car that had the charm of the pre-war cars, but he also wanted to enjoy the modern post war performance. Bill Slack would help him achieve this, adopting methods that he used on this car, such as shortening the length of the car by 30 inches. Slacks knowledge and skill meant he would subsequently join Rixon on many of his European tours, as well as helping him with more projects.
More recently the Mk. VII underwent a major 11 year recommissioning, a meticulous effort carried out by Timothy at Willow Triumph Classic & Sports Car Specialist in Darlington. The vendor has told us that the car is exceptionally fun to drive and that it starts first time and runs perfectly.
Today’s mileage is showing just over 7,100, which we are told is accurate by the vendor and would probably make it one of the lowest mileage XK engines in existence. It has now had a total of 6 owners with purchase dates and recorded mileages at each sale in the history file. This is without doubt a very rare car, a true one off and the only one of its kind.
The large history file has many receipts (including a bill for over £10,000 plus the bill for a full rebuild in 2011, together with photos of work carried out), a handful of MOT’s and a Heritage Certificate. The car also comes with UK V5C and current MOT.