Intrigue surrounds classic 50’s Jaguar

15 January, 2014

Spies, intrigue and political scandal are all part of the deal for one classic Jaguar coupe set for auction.

The 1959 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupe was once the prized possession of Dr Stephen Ward, who became embroiled in the infamous 1963 Profumo Affair. The classic car itself, which has a dark red leather interior and is finished in the Old English White colour combination, underwent a comprehensive restoration by Dorset-based marque experts Marina Garage in 1990 and is in superb condition inside and out. Furthermore, only 9,500 miles have been put on the clock since its makeover. Any enthusiast with an interest in adding such a prized asset to their collection will be well aware of the importance of securing classic car insurance to cover all eventualities.

The Jaguar, featuring the number plate WLY 150, will be up for sale at Silverstone Auctions’ sale at Race Retro on February 22 and 23.

Osteopathic physician Dr Ward introduced Secretary of State for War John Profumo to his long time friend, model and showgirl Christine Keeler. When the Tory MP's affair with Keeler became public, Profumo had to resign amid fears of a national security breach because Keeler was also allegedly seeing Soviet spy Yevgeny Ivanov. Ward's story came to a tragic end when he committed suicide as his trial for living off the earnings of prostitution was drawing to a close. An Andrew Lloyd Webber musical based on the scandal, called Stephen Ward, was launched in December as the 50th anniversary of the affair generated renewed interest.

Silverstone Auctions managing director Nick Whale said: “Few Jaguars can boast such a fascinating ownership record and one that seemingly defined the era when it was first driven.
“Few cars offered at auction have such an amazing connection to such important events in British political history.”

The XK120 was launched in 1948 and was an international sensation. The XK finally put Jaguar on the world stage and the racing derivatives would see the beginning of a hugely successful period for the company. The XK150 was the final incarnation of the XK and it appeared first in May 1957.