All of the great grand tourers were turned into one-off coachbuilt stunners at some point. The cars from Ferrari, Maserati, Lancia, and Aston Martin were common bespoke fodder, offering a blank canvas to anyone with a big enough checkbook. Jaguar is less known for their design-house specials, but don’t tell Cartier that. At this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, a small field of low-production coachbuilt Jaguars comprised a portion of the Cartier Style et Luxe concours. Not content with picking favorites, here’s the entire showfield.
1956/1963 Jaguar XK-D (D-Type) by Michelotti (Top Photo)
If we had to pick just one, it’d be this. In photos, it’s stunning – in person, it’s spectacular. To our eyes, this is one of the design greats, challenging anything from Aston or Ferrari. As the story goes, a ’56 D-Type crashed out at Le Mans in 1958, prompting the team to sell the scrap to designer and engineer Giovanni Michelotti. He stripped away the ruined bodywork to find an undamaged D-Type chassis, which was draped in the aerospace-grade shape you see here today.
1955 Jaguar XK140 SE Coupe by Ghia
Inspired by a love for Ghia-bodied Fiats and Alfas he saw at auto shows, Jaguar’s Lebanon distributor commissioned Ghia to build a car of his own. After a few years, the car moved to Switzerland, where it remained until the 1990s. This isn’t the only Ghia Jag–superstar actor Ricardo Montalban owned one back in the 1960s.
1954 Jaguar XK120 by Pininfarina
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this car. The lovely Italian-Brit hybrid was also in attendance at this year’s Villa d’Este festivities. The car was ordered new by legendary importer Max Hoffman, and changed hands over the years until it sat in extreme disrepair. Now, it’s looking wrapper-fresh thanks to 6,700 man-hours of restoration work.
1952 Jaguar XK120 “The Flying Jaguar” by Stabilimenti Farina
That’s quite a name, both car and design house alike. This was one of three one-off Jags commissioned by the aptly named Mme. Bourgeois, the primary Jaguar importer for Belgium. Despite being intrinsically British, its time spent on the Style et Luxe lawn was the first time the car had ever been shown in the U.K.
1955/1963 Jaguar XK140 Coupe by Michelotti
Boy, that Michelotti sure liked his crashed Jags. After an unfortunate wreck in 1957, the donor car was shipped off to Michelotti’s shop for repair and rebodying, resulting in this intriguing shape. At one time owned by Brigitte Bardot, the car has clearly seen better days, but the fine folks at JLR seek to remedy that by restoring not only the coachwork, but the rare C-Type engine found underneath the bonnet as well.
1958 Jaguar XK150 Coupe by Ghia-Aigle
Working with a subsidiary of Carrosserie Ghia, Pietro Frua penned new lines for an XK150, resulting in a handful of bespoke cars. Here’s one of them, looking very much like a Maserati from the same era.