Blenheim Salon Part 2

So after having ogled the cars etc. in the exhibition area (and the avenue leading into the exhibition, see yesterday’s post), Your Humble Narrator ambled off to the auction hall, where sundry items of deliciousness were to be found, pre-auction. Once more, I shall say but little, just post a few examples. The model dates are approximate, for reasons which will become apparent later.

1963 MG:

1950 Jaguar Mk V:

1958 Mercedes 300S:

1962 Sunbeam Tiger:

1965 Lancia Flavia (This car was so beautiful — the picture does not do it justice — that I wanted to marry it so that it could bear my children. Suffice it to say that of all the automotive pulchritude on display, even Mr. FM had found it memorable.)

1958 Jaguar XK 140:

Now, I have to confess that Mr. FM was getting somewhat impatient, tapping his watch and muttering something about “getting going before darkness falls”. Also, I have to confess that by this point, some six hours since our arrival, I was starting to feel the effects of the open bar at the PrivĂ© — let’s just say that I’d consumed fairly substantial quantities of wine, champagne and J&B — and I think Mr. FM was trying to spare me from the indignity of loud proposals of marriage to some of the cars. At least, that’s what I thought at the time.

So he bundled me into the Range Rover and off we went — but curiously, not along the same road we’d come in on. Instead, he took an abrupt turn off the main road and plunged down into a series of hills and dales along an allegedly two-lane road that was so narrow, I would have had trouble riding a Fiat 500 down it without grazing both rearview mirrors on the roadside hedgerows. Then, as the evening sun was getting close to the horizon and we reached the bottom of a valley, he pulled off onto a small piece of open land and said, “You might want to take a picture of this.”

And I did; more than one. First, the house of (I think) the owner of the property:

…followed by a couple of vistas:

Good grief. Words cannot describe the beauty of the Cotswolds. You just have to see it for yourself.

Then we went home, and Mr. FM and I finished the day’s festivities off by imbibing vast quantities of whisky before retiring for the night.

Altogether, an unforgettable day, and one for which I will be eternally grateful to my gracious host.


  1. Sir Kim;
    I believe that the car described as a ’56 Bentley is in fact a late 40’s early 50’s Jaguar Mk V.
    The car described as a ’56 Jaguar XK 120 is in fact a Jaguar XK 140. Its those big ugly bumpers
    that give it away. I am in a position to know as I had a ’54 Jag 120 M in my garage for over 25 years.

    1. Velo,
      Thankee for the corrections. As I may have mentioned, my condition at the time did not lend itself to detail. Changes duly made.

      /Orwell 1984

  2. Kim: The MG-A?
    Is that a Twin Cam?
    The knock-off disc wheels could be a tell, along with the small chrome badges aft of the “hood” vents.

  3. Beautiful cars, and even nicer scenery. I will never forget the time we were in England and I had to upgrade the rental car to a Renault Scenic just to fit us and the luggage. They ladies at the rental counter were laughing that this small car (to me) was a hedge scraper on the roads that we were going to be traveling on between Bath, Avebury, and Limpley Stoke. They were right, we took many of the “A” roads and most were nothing more than sheep paths with building on each side. Get out of town and the mirrors kept on hitting the hedges on each side of what they called a road. Passing was a gas. The road to the hotel was about a 45 degree angle, so if you were coming up you blew your horn and people coming down would pull off to the side on the sidewalk to let you pass.

  4. My Dad had a 1958 MG-A coupe, with the base engine. Beautiful little car in bright red with a white top, knock off wire spoke wheels, etc. I got too tall to ride in it (and to drive it, before I reached driving age) but it was a blast to ride around in with him until then. It smelled of leather and wood (and cigarettes, sigh) and sounded so much more powerful than it actually was. Sweet car.

  5. The Tiger is a Series 1 (260 Ford V-8) that dates between 1964 and 67. There were a few 289 Tigers built which didn’t have the chrome strip in the fender. I’d have to look a little closer at the car to identify the year exactly as they didn’t make a lot of cosmetic changes through the four year production run. I seem to recall that the very early cars had a “sharper” tail fin and smaller tail lights on the US models at least.

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