Jaguar XK120C ‘C-Type’

My father met my mother at Jaguar, so the marque has quite a significance in our household.  Recently my father told me a story about a friend’s XK120C ‘C-Type’ which I thought you might enjoy:

Nik Ellis

When I started at Jaguar in 1961, I quickly made three good friends: David Sunter, who shared digs with me at Browns Lane, Roger Woodley, and Denis Davis. Our camaraderie was instant, and we bonded over our shared love for cars and the thrill of being part of such a prestigious company.

David moved to Washington, USA, years later. We kept in touch via email, and it was through one of these exchanges that he told me an interesting story involving Roger, his wife Penny, and a particular Jaguar.

Roger met Penny Griffiths, and it wasn’t long before they were married. Penny’s father, Guy Griffiths, was a freelance photographer. One day, while on assignment, Guy was asked to photograph a Jaguar that was up for sale. Curious, he asked the owner why he wanted these photos. The owner explained that he intended to sell the car, which had an asking price almost as high as a house!

Intrigued, Guy returned home and shared the story with Penny, mentioning how much he wished he could buy the car. Penny, sharing her father’s enthusiasm, asked to see the car herself. They both went to view it, and Penny was so captivated that she eventually persuaded Guy to purchase the car for about 600 or 700 pounds, if memory serves me right.

After Roger and Penny married, they started to collect cars together with Guy. They built a modest collection over the years. Unfortunately, tragedy struck when Guy passed away, followed by Roger’s untimely death in 1995. Penny found herself the sole owner of their cherished car collection and realized she needed to sell some of the vehicles.

The last remaining car was the Jaguar that Guy had once bought with such excitement. David, in one of his emails, told me that when he spoke to Penny, she was in tears as the transporter arrived to take the Jaguar away. She was advised that it might fetch a good price, and I hoped that this news would bring her some comfort.

When you see the photos of the car, you’ll notice it looks quite run down, a shadow of its former glory. But now, with its sale, I believe Penny’s tears may have turned into tears of joy. The Jaguar, once a dream purchase and a symbol of family bonds, had found a new chapter in its storied life.

Take a look at the car here as sold by Bonhams Cars for a princely sum of €7,245,000!

Edward Michael Ellis

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