Instigated by Director of Engineering Jim Randle, Jaguar’s new supercar was developed by company engineers in their spare time with the aim of developing a car that could win the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The team became known as the ‘Saturday Club’.
First displayed at the 1988 NEC Motor Show, the XJ220 supercar concept featured a V12 engine and four-wheel drive. Reaction to the car was good so Jaguar decided to put the car into production. Around 1500 deposits were taken and manufacture took place at the Bloxham plant in Oxfordshire between 1992 and 1994 as a collaboration between Jaguar and Tom Walkinshaw Racing.
However, production examples featured a version of the more fuel-efficient, lighter and more compact 3.5-litre turbo-charged V6 (similar in origin to that as used in the TWR-built XJR10, 11 and 16 Sports Prototypes and the MG Metro 6R4 rally car). With a peak power output of 550bhp quoted as standard, this enabled the XJ220 to become the fastest production car in the world at the time with a top speed of 212.3 mph.
It is reported that just 277 cars were produced in total of which only 70 were right hand drive, this car is customer number 268. On the 14th December 1989 Mr. David Cooke of Droxford applied to Project XJ220 to purchase a new Jaguar XJ220. In February 1990 he was informed that despite the fact that applications had been oversubscribed by several times he had been successful. In May 1990 the car was allocated number 268 and in December 1992 final build specification was set as right-hand drive with exterior finish of Spa Silver and Smoke Grey interior.
The history file that accompanies the car contains extensive correspondence between Mr. Cooke and various personnel at Project XJ220, from initial application to the delivery of the car on the 25th August 1993 and is a fascinating historical record of the journey XJ220 customers undertook at the time.
During the build phase Mr. Cooke contacted the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu offering the car for display. The museum accepted the kind offer and shortly after delivery the car took pride of place in the museum’s Hall of Fame exhibit in the entrance. As an aside, press cuttings of the time also quote Mr. Cooke as saying, ‘we had fun for a week and delivered it to Beaulieu with 411 miles on the clock’. The XJ220 remained on display there for some years.
By January 2007 the car was with specialist dealer Oakfields, Hampshire who were well known for handling more XJ220 sales than any other. Invoices on file show servicing was carried out by XJ220 specialist Don Law at the time with the odometer showing only 517 miles.
The Jaguar was then purchased by a Mr. Shakespeare of Essex who sold it in August 2009 to another Essex resident, Mr. R Tongue. The current owner acquired the car from Mr. Tongue in September 2011 with the odometer reading less than 1,500 miles. Maintenance has since been carried out by Don Law and Jaguar Heritage which included the installation of new tyres and a clutch in 2017.
Having now travelled less than 7,000 miles in total, this is a highly-original example of the breed and is presented in extremely good order.
09/1993 Beaulieu display 411 miles
16/01/2007 Service (Don Law) 517 miles
15/02/2007 MOT 527 miles
05/08/2009 MOT 559 miles
26/07/2010 MOT 1,402 miles
26/07/2011 MOT 1,481 miles
14/09/2011 MOT 1,490 miles
08/08/2012 MOT 2,530 miles
27/08/2013 MOT 2,833 miles
18/06/2014 Service (Don Law) 3,118 miles
01/09/2014 MOT 3,353 miles
12/08/2015 MOT 6,276 miles
10/11/2016 Service (Jaguar Heritage) 6,350 miles
09/05/2017 MOT 6,457 miles
27/05/2017 Tyres (Don Law) 6,476 miles
29/08/2017 Clutch (Don Law) 6,500 miles
23/05/2018 MOT 6,660 miles
The story behind the Jaguar XJ220 is an inspiring one. Professor Jim Randall, the head of Jaguar's engineering department, started the ball rolling by sketching out some ideas whilst on a Christmas.....
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