15th April 1988

Jaguar XJ40 E604JJU


On 22nd March 1988 XJ40 546898 came off the production line – a relatively low specification XJ6 in Silver Birch with Cotswold Tweed trim, steel metric wheels, automatic transmission and a sunroof.

The next day it was despatched from the factory to Sturgess of Leicester.

Jaguar XJ40 3.6 Sovereign


A few days later on 31st March 1988 XJ40 548436 came off the production line – a Sovereign, in Bordeaux Red with Doeskin Hide, alloy metric wheels, automatic transmission and a sunroof, plus a factory fitted battery cut-off switch .

This one was dispatched to Harvey Hudson in Woodford, Essex.

By complete coincidence both of these very different XJ40’s were first registered on 15th April 1988.

546898 (E604JJU) and 548436 (E264OMP) both retain their original registration numbers to this day.

E264OMP – The later car of the two was sold by Harvey Hudson in Woodford, Essex and remained with her first owner for 28 years, spending most of her time stored in a garage in London. Most of her 39,000 miles appear to be the result of occasional trips to France.

In 2016 she was entered into Silverstone Auctions sale in the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC, where she failed to reach her reserve price. Sister company, Classic Car Auctions therefore entered her into their Spring Sale at The Warwickshire Event Centre as a late entry the following week, 19th March 2016. This meant that she never appeared in the catalogue and was last lot of the day. XJ40’s being considered relatively undesirable, she was shoved in the back corner of the auction room where very few people even noticed her.

Rob Jenner and Letitia Mace had gone to the auction with the intention of bidding on a Maserati Quattroporte V (which, as it transpired, was disappointing) and only noticed her by chance. We decided to bid on her, and successfully purchased her. Letitia Mace and E264OMP (Opium)


Now known as Opium her story has been told before in Xclusively Jaguar News, and as  testament to her condition, she won car of the day at the XJ40 30th Anniversary Celebration at Dunkeld in August 2016.

Letitia Mace and 'Opium' (XJ40 3.6 Sovereign - E264OMP)


One of the other XJ40’s that came to the event was E604JJU, driven there by Jonathan Partridge, the then Jaguar Heritage Marketing and Communications Manager.

It is unlikely that the paths of these two XJ40’s ever crossed before this event !!

Jaguar XJ40 E604JJU at Dunkeld with Jonathan Partridge


E604JJU – The earlier car of the two was sold by Sturgess of Leicester and remained with her first owner for 12 years. In August 2000, with only 23,457 genuine recorded miles she was traded back to Sturgess of Leicester for a new XJ8.

Knowing the full history of this XJ40 and considering its condition, Chris Sturgess urged Jaguar Heritage to buy the car as he was aware that there were no early XJ40’s in their collection.

Jaguar XJ40 E604JJU at Browns Lane Heritage (JDHT)


Tony O’keeffe, then Curator of the Jaguar Heritage Collection agreed to buy the car, and its history with JDHT has been recorded and shows that it attended very few events and was mostly kept in storage.

In a very recent Jaguar Heritage shake-up and clear out, the car was placed in the Classic Car Auctions sale at The Warwickshire Event Centre on 2nd June 2018.

Rob Jenner was perusing the list of entries in the Classic Car Auctions June Sale and recognised E604JJU. We were due to be in Shetland at the time of the sale so we registered for a telephone bid and purchased the car over the phone from Lerwick! We didn’t need to view it as we were already familiar with the car, having seen it in the museum and at Dunkeld.

On returning from Shetland we collected E604 JJU and took her to David Marks for servicing, via Sturgess of Leicester for some photos with Chris Sturgess Jaguar XJ40 E604JJU at Sturgess of Leicester with Chris Sturgess and Letitia Mace


I think it is quite astonishing that having purchased the two cars completely independently of one another, they should turn out to have been registered on the same day!

Both are in exceptional, original condition and they make a remarkable pair !!