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Rare Jags promise big bucks at auction

2014-03-19 11:13

CATS ON THE BLOCK: These two 1958 Jaguars - one a convertible, one a coupe - might make history at an auction in the UK. Image: SUPPLIED

LONDON, England - Two 1958 Jaguar XK150 "barn finds", each estimated to sell for £35,000 to £45,000, will go under the auction hammer during the first Restoration Show Sale in April 2014.

The sale will be hosted by Silverstone Auctions at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham, central England.

Each of the cars, a deep-blue convertible and a red coupe, has a fascinating history.

PRIORITIES, PRIORITIES...

Nick Whale, MD of the auctioneer, said: “It’s thrilling to be able to offer such exiting cars at thisnew auction. With 'barn finds' subjects of much intrigue, they could prove to be fantastic investments.”

The convertible, registration number VLP 929, is No.74 of the 622 right-hand drive units built just before The Beatles became famous. then, in the 1980's, the car was bought by an Italian collector and exported to Sicily - which is where it was discovered a short while ago alongside a treasure trove of other British sports cars.

It was repatriated to the UK where the now seller had intended to restore it to its former glory - but other priorities took precedence.

TUCKED AWAY - FOR 40 YEARS

The coupe, Whale said, had a even more interesting past - it had spent 40 years parked in, yes, a barn. The first owner was a Birmingham garage owner and renowned racing driver of the period, Alan Eccles. Fittingly for a racing driver, the car was ordered with a then ultra-rare close-ratio gearbox.

After working abroad in 1969 Eccles stored the car in a barn at his country home. Thinking this arrangement would only last for a few years, the car was eventually tucked away for the next 40 before being sold on.

Both cars, Whale warns, need some comprehensive restoration...

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