According to its seller on eBay, this Jaguar Mark I sedan has a famous past owner– though we are a little skeptical. We’ll get into that more in a bit, but for now, take in this immaculate ’57 Mk I. The poster of this listing says that the car is completely “numbers matching” and that it was previously owned by John F and Jackie Kennedy.
The car looks factory-new, complete with 3.4-liter inline-6, a full “rotisserie” restoration– a term for a complete body-off restoration where the entire car can be spun to get at every angle. These types of restorations can cost as much as $125,000, but the true value of this car resides in the supposed previous owners. Bidding has already passed $60K, and the proceeds are going to the CRUDEM Foundation, supporting the Hopital Sacre Coeur in Haiti. So everything sounds legit, but hear us out.
The listing describes how Jackie Onassis and JFK were married in ’53, and then Jackie O’s stepfather, bought the Jaguar and delivered it to Merrywood, their estate. The listing also says that JFK and Jackie O spent several vacations here, and that JFK wrote the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Profiles In Courage” while at Merrywood.
There is just one problem– The Jag is a ’57 and “Profiles” was published in ‘55, earning its Pulitzer in ’57. JFK may have stopped by Merrywood, but JFK vacationed at the Kennedy Compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. The poster of this listing asks us to infer quite a lot based on unrelated events. The car may have been driven by JFK once or twice, but it was likely never owned by the 35th President.
So, was this car bought by Hugh Auchinsloss in ’57 and delivered to Merrywood, VA? Yes. Did Jackie’s mother Janet marry Auchinsloss? Yes. Did JFK ever drive this vehicle? It is anyone’s guess.
Even if JFK and Jackie O did in fact spend plenty of time driving this Mk I Jaguar, no bill of sale to JFK or title is provided. Furthermore, if it was really owned by JFK, one should not be foolish enough to do a full restoration. A vehicle of this historical significance should not be restored, but rather left in its original condition. In restoring such a vehicle, you polish away any mark or fingerprint that JFK may have ever had on the Jaguar.
We might be overly skeptical here, but anyone looking to bid on this Mk 1 better do his or her homework first. What do you think? Was this JFK’s personal car while at Merrywood? Or just a background fixture, and the seller is riding coattails? Tell us in the comments below.