Clevedon Salerooms are delighted to present our Summer Specialist Sale on 9th June. Offering a huge variety of fine and rare pieces, including outstanding furniture, ceramics, silver, and works of art, it promises to be an auction to remember. In the lead up to this exciting sale, we take a look at some of the star lots going under the hammer starting, appropriately enough, with Lot 1
A right-hand drive 1955 Jaguar Mark VII M Saloon in green, estimate £15,000 - £20,000 (+BP 6% VAT Inclusive)
This exception motorcar was once owned by David McAdam Eccles, 1st Viscount Eccles (1904-1999), who was a British Conservative Party politician, Member of Parliament for Chippenham (1943-1962), Minister of Works (1951-1954), President of the Board of Trade (1957-1959), Minister of Education (1959-1962) & Minister of State for the Arts Paymaster General (1970-1973). He also served in the Conservative Administrations of Winston Churchill, Anthony Eden & Harold Macmillan.
Jaguar had been working on an advanced new saloon since the Second World War, but due to the understandable production issues, developments had stalled - and in 1948 the first incremental developments which would culminate in the Mark VII M made an appearance: the twin-overhead-camshaft engine (in the XK120 sports car), and the redesigned chassis (Mark V Saloon). In 1950 the two were combined, with the additional of all-round hydraulic brakes, in the Mark VII, but it was another four years until the ‘upgraded’ 190bhp Mark VII M was launched at the British International Motor Show in October 1954, with a claimed top speed of 104mph.
In its two-years of production, the Mark VII M proved very popular, achieving just over 10,000 sales. However, just as we see today, geopolitics changed the landscape overnight. The Suez Crisis of 1956 forewarned of fuel rationing and created higher prices through supply chain issues and panic buying. Smaller and more fuel-efficient bubble cars quickly became popular, and Jaguar responded in kind by turning their attention to smaller, more efficient saloons (such as the 2.4-litre Mark I).
Nevertheless, the Jaguar Mark VII M, especially when compared to its nearest competitor the Bentley Mark VI, represented a step forward in quality, luxury, performance and value for money during its short lifespan.