“The Saturday Club” was an unofficial group of 12 Jaguar engineers and designers who worked after-hours and on weekends to secretly develop the car that would launch the company directly to the top of the list of the world’s fastest car manufacturers.

The Jaguar XJ220 was a revelation when it was first shown to the public on the 18th of October 1988 at the British International Motor Show in Birmingham, the team working on the concept car were still building it until 3am, it was transported to the stand at 6am and the first members of the public saw it at 11am.

The public response was effusive, many of the more wealthy visitors to the Jaguar display handed blank cheques to the sales staff and when a deposit of £50,000 was announced to place an order for an XJ220 – over 1,500 people signed up.

In 1989 the process of turning the concept car into a production car began in earnest, the car shown to the public had been a V12 with all wheel drive and adaptive suspension – but the car that made it into production was a twin-turbo V6 with rear wheel drive and far less complex double unequal length wishbones front and back.

These changes saw a few names from from the pre-order list and the early-90s recession caused a further cascade of dropouts. Jaguar had originally intended to produce 350 cars but eventually just 275 of these were built, many finding their way into private collections tucked well away from the public eye.

The XJ220 you see here was ordered by an official Jaguar importer in Belgium who gave it pride of place in his showroom and only drove it sparingly. Despite being 23 years old it has just 1,080 kilometres on the odometer, and as you might expect, a comprehensive history file.

The values of the XJ220 haven’t yet skyrocketed in quite the same way as fellow supercars from the same era, Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 prices have gained significant value on a year by year basis over the past decade or so but XJ220s like this one can be had for somewhere in the €280,000 to €420,000 range.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit Bonhams.

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Published by Ben Branch -