Tom Walkinshaw Racing was responsible for producing the iconic Jaguar XJ220 supercar of the 1990s – and this low-mileage example once belonged to the man himself
There are very few car designs that are truly timeless but the Jaguar XJ220 looks as good today as it did in the showrooms of 1992. Its soft flowing silhouette, covered headlights, and subtle creases all contribute to a beautiful mid-engined supercar.
While things didn’t go to plan for Jaguar when the XJ220 was new, collectors a beginning to take advantage of this misunderstood icon of the 1990s. A prime example, once owned by the man who built them, is coming up for auction at RM Sotheby’s Arizona event in early 2019.
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The original concept car for the XJ220, finished just hours before its reveal at the British International Motor Show of 1988, got enthusiasts foaming at the mouth as this Jaguar was set to become the ultimate supercar money could by. A 6.2-litre V12 was to sit at its centre with an advanced all-wheel drive system dishing out the power. It has been previously reported that over 1500 individuals registered an interest in the car providing a sunny forecast for the future of the XJ220.
However, Jaguar lacked the resources to actually build the car in any serious number and so outsourced the project to Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Costs began to rise and it was decided to ditch the V12 and all-wheel-drive system – something that caused many buyers to cancel their order. Late to market and lacking the headline grabbing features originally promised, the car was written-off by many before it had the chance to prove itself.
The Jaguar XJ220 might have lacked its big V12 engine, but it still became the world’s fastest road production car. Formula 1 driver Martin Brundle took the Jag to a top speed of 212mph, then to 217mph after the car’s catalytic converters were removed. Come 1991, a prototype XJ220 also became the world’s fastest car around the infamous Nürburgring. If it wasn’t for the mud-slinging of those who wanted twelve cylinders instead of six, this Jaguar would have been greatly celebrated.
Today people are waking up to what an incredible car the XJ220 is and that its stigma as a failure is unwarranted. This beautiful example heading to auction has 9000km on the clock and is in desirable left-hand drive configuration.
Finished in its signature Silverstone Green, this supercar was actually sold to Tom Walkinshaw for his personal collection in 1993. It was then sent to another collector who actually didn’t register the car until 1998. Before hitting the road it underwent an overhaul that included replacing the fuel tank, a common practice in supercars of this era.
The car was once again restored to its former glory through 2010 and 2011 before it participated in that year’s Rallye de Paris. After its motorsport jaunt, it was imported into Switzerland and used very occasionally. Prior to this sale with RM the XJ220 was sent to world-renowned specialist Don Law who inspected and serviced every element of the car at an approximate cost of $50,000.
This low mileage Jaguar XJ220 would make for a prime collectors item, or better yet, a stunning supercar to actually enjoy as intended. It will hit RM Sotheby’s block in Arizona during the January 17-18 event, with no estimate released at present.