Owen Sedanca

I believe that certain types of vehicles are unique in time and place, for instance, muscular European grand tourers like the Lamborghini Espada. What was originally designed for the Jet Set was replaced by the jet as airfare fell sharply over the last few decades. Why bother with the pain and expense of maintaining a continental bruiser like the Espada, when a Ryanair flight from London's Heathrow to Barcelona, Spain is probably half the cost of an oil change?

Of course, we know this now. Back in the '70s, it must have seemed like a great idea to woo the upper class with a made-in-Britain GT coupé, and that's exactly what Jaguar dealership HR Owen commissioned north London coachbuilders Williams & Pritchard to create. Take a donor Jaguar XJ chassis, craft a flowing but ultimately bulky body on top, and ask punters to wait in line for the £8,500 car. That's twice the price of the donor car, by the way.

Incredibly, 80 deposits came in before—you guessed it—the Arab oil embargo tightened everyone's belts and orders dried up. Two were sold, and the excellent aronline.co.uk has a lengthy interview with the daughter of the first car's owner. Three total—one prototype survives—are all that's left of this special Jaguar coupe.

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