1957 Jaguar Mark VIII Saloon Registration no. TAA 210 Chassis no. 762369BW
Introduced in 1956, the Mark VIII was the penultimate version of Jaguar's flagship luxury saloon that had debuted as the Mark VII back in 1950. Work on Jaguar's advanced new saloon car had been interrupted by the war and in 1948 elements of the proposed newcomer made their first appearance in other models: the twin-overhead-camshaft engine in the XK120 sports car and the independently-front-suspended chassis design in the interim Mark V saloon. It was not until 1950 that the two were combined in the Mark VII. In 1954 the revised Mark VIIM appeared, followed in 1956 by the Mark VIII. The latter boasted yet more power (210bhp) and torque, making for improved top-gear performance, the maximum speed of this two-ton leviathan increasing to 106mph. When production ceased in 1958, slightly more than 6,000 Mark VIIIs had been built. Only 158 survivors are known to the International Mark VIII Register.
A automatic transmission model, 'TAA 210' was purchased by the current vendor in January 2002. Three previous owners are shown, although one of the changes of ownership was within the same family. The accompanying Jaguar Heritage Certificate states that this Mark VIII was delivered new via Russell's Garage of Chatham, Kent to Lt Col Adrian M W Cryar of Grayshott, Hampshire.
Between 2008 and 2015 the car was totally stripped and rebuilt, including a change of engine to a more powerful unit of the same type. In addition, the chassis was stripped and enamelled, and the suspension overhauled with new bushes. Many of the body panels were renewed, while both fuel tanks were refurbished and are operational. The wheels were bead blasted and powder coated, and new brakes and tyres fitted. An entirely new interior was crafted by two elderly specialists; selected hides were purchased and then conditioned, coloured, cut, stitched and fitted to refurbished seat structures, all this work being done, of course, by hand. The pair also made carpets and headlining to match. New chrome was sourced wherever possible, although some pieces are not available and so the originals were reused. A new wiring harness has been installed and the electrical system changed to negative earth so that modern electrical equipment can be used, and the car has also been fitted with power steering and an electric choke. In total, in excess of £15,000 has been spent on refurbishment since 2008. Associated bills are on file and the car also comes with a V5C registration document and an MoT certificate valid until late to 2016.