1964 Jaguar MKII “Coombs”


Pendine is offering this Jaguar MKII for sale. A genuine “Coombs” modified MKII.

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Much has been written about John Coombs over the years – team owner, raconteur, businessman – and as much has been written about the MKII Jaguar saloon cars he modified – race proven, and as quick as an E-Type to 100mph. For many, they are considered the ultimate incarnation of the Jaguar saloon.

This is a known Coombs MKII Jaguar, finished in its original colours of Opalescent Dark Blue with Light Grey trim.

Coombs upgrades were not ‘all or nothing’, more a tailored suit for the individual ordering the specific extras they wanted. As such, no two Coombs cars tend to be the same. On file is a letter dated 1977 from Ian Rothwell, confirming that he had owned the car. He bought it as a Coombs uprated car, and also sent it back to Coombs for further upgrades.

Leaving the Jaguar factory as a standard 3.8 MKII, it was modified in the first few months of its life by Coombs, including a gas-flowed head, 9:1 pistons, lightened flywheel, balanced crank, rods and clutch assembly, open trumpet carbs, manual choke, competition exhaust, lowered suspension with high rate front springs, strengthened rear spring location, high geared steering, anti-roll bar and an E-Type steering wheel.

When he bought it in 1970, Mr Rothwell returned the car to Coombs and had Koni adjustable shock absorbers fitted and flared the rear arches. He notes the top speed was around 138mph and lists lap times at race circuits, so he was obviously an enthusiastic owner driver.

There is a letter from John Coombs, then living in Monaco, confirming that this car was indeed modified by his workshop. Jaguar authority Paul Skilleter also inspected the car in 1991 with Dave Cooper, an ex-Coombs mechanic, and there is a letter confirming it is a genuine Coombs modified example.

Restored in the early 1990s, today this matching numbers example presents very well indeed. Further upgrades were fitted at the time of the restoration, including Coopercraft disc brakes and Competition wheels all round, making it a highly usable example.

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Pendine specialise in the sale of historic cars for road and track. Whilst focusing specifically on the immediate post-war period through to the 1970s, their experience ranges from Edwardian racers through to the supercars of the 1990s. James Mitchell: Having worked as Business Manager at the world’s leading historic car specialist for over a decade, James’s specialist knowledge is of post-war British sports and racing cars. He has a reputation for being one of the foremost authorities on early Jaguar E-Type’s. James is also the Senior Editor of Speed Age Books, a publishing company dedicated to the publication of bespoke, limited edition volumes on important cars and collections. Historical research is an increasingly important factor within the classic car market, making his specialist knowledge a great asset. James founded Pendine in 2014. Jonny Shears: Raised in and around classic cars, it was only natural for Jonny to pursue a career in the motor industry. Initially starting as an automotive photographer, Jonny helped build one of the country’s leading auction houses. As such, Jonny has been involved in the sale of a great breadth of significant cars, specialising in both the Porsche and Alfa Romeo marques. As an avid enthusiast and historic racer you will often find him at race meetings, either spanner in hand or piloting his Austin Healey Sprite.