XK's at AutoRoyale

Arguably one of the most important figure in British motoring history, and certainly the one with the most prolonged impact as the leader of his company for more than 40 years was Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons. This year marks the 120th birthday of “Mr Jaguar”, along with a number of other significant milestones including the 70th anniversary of the C-Type and the much-publicised 60th anniversary of the E-Type, often considered the most beautiful car ever built. To honour these achievements, the Organisers of Auto Royale announce the second of this year’s exciting headline classes in the British International Concours d’Elegance.

The William Lyons / Jaguar XK class will celebrate the great and the good of Jaguar’s design, technical and competitive achievements with a focus on the XK engine, a motor that remarkably powered the marque for more than 40 years, and surely one of the most successful engines of all time. Designed by chief engineer, William Heynes, the XK engine debuted at the 1948 London Motor Show, powering the new Lyons-designed XK120. Named for its top speed of 120 mph, it was the fastest production car of the time, and was just the beginning of one of Britain’s greatest motorsports legacies.

A dozen legendary XK-engined Jaguars will grace the lawns at Waddesdon Manor in July, every car a standout, including a number which return to our shores after many years away. Heading up the competition cars are the XK120 Competition (JWK 651) the first production car to average over 100mph for 24 hours, and the 1951 Works Le Mans entry (AEN 546), the XK120’s highest-placed Le Mans entry, achieving 11th overall. The competition cars continue with the fascinating 1953 XK120 “Hansgen Special”, designed and built by American racer, Walt Hansgen, to take on the C-Types, the most important competition lightweight E-Type, 4 WPD, and the ex-Mike Hawthorn, works C-Type.

Not to be outdone, the simple beauty of Jaguar’s road cars will also be showcased, in a display that includes the very first E-Type unveiled to the media and public at the 1961 Geneva Motor Show, returning to Britain for the first time in 60 years. Accompanying what is arguably one of the most important E-Types in the world are a pair of sensational, Italian- coachbuilt XKs – the XK120 Pininfarina and XK150 Bertone. Rounding out the class are a rare and ultra-desirable XKSS and Sir William’s own, fastidiously-restored Mark X with its unique ‘CEO extras’.

“Twelve months ago I don’t think we ever could have anticipated that such a display of important Jaguars might grace our concours, but thanks to a sensational bunch of entrants, here they are, from some of the most private collections, for everyone to enjoy”, said Chief Curator, Jarrah Venables. “Some very careful curation has gone into this group to ensure we get exactly the right cars to honour the multiple anniversaries, so I will be interested to see the reaction from visitors when they see it”.

Joining the event on Saturday are 14 specially-curated cars from the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club as part of the annual Club Invitational. Held over three days, the Club Invitational enables one club to show the pride of its fleet each day, whilst enjoying its own Club House hospitality on the Parterre Lawns of Waddesdon Manor.

Event Director, Paul Mathers, could not be more pleased with the line-up in what is Auto Royale’s inaugural year. “As a Jaguar owner, it has long been a dream of mine to bring together a showstopping display of genuinely important Jaguars, and it really is a privilege to do so for the 120th birthday of Sir William Lyons.” said Mathers. “I don’t think the world has seen such an impressive and diverse showcasing of the marque since the famous XKSS display at Pebble Beach a decade ago. To me, this alone is worth the price of a ticket”.

The inaugural Auto Royale will take place at Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury from Friday 16th to Sunday 18th July 2021. More than 100 rare and collectable cars will grace the lawns of the former Rothschild pile, complemented by a motoring expo with more than 70 exhibitors, award-winning street food concessions, three bars, live entertainment and VIP hospitality.

Tickets are now on sale, starting at £48 for general admission, and VIP experiences starting at £336.

JEC members have a discount using a discount code in the members area of the JEC website

JEC members discount code

Special offer for members of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club.

JEC will be participating in the Club Invitational on Saturday, and members are encouraged to join us in our own Club House hospitality suite. For a 15% discount on your general entry ticket, simply visit www.autoroyale.org/buy-tickets and enter the promo code:


There are no limits on the number of tickets you can purchase at that price, so bring your friends and make a day of it on Saturday 17th July.

To learn more about Auto Royale and its vision, please visit www.autoroyale.org.

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