Martyn Raybould

Martyn Raybould

A car where the ‘K’ word does not apply!

A car where the ‘K’ word does not apply! That word of course is ‘Kit’, because this hand-built and beautiful example of a collectible car is beautiful. It has all the presence and power of a Jaguar and will be a fine investment for some serious enthusiast we think. The Specialist Vehicle Association congratulates to its originator John Barlow.

The Jaguar ‘Royale’ Special (And for us, the rear is simply perfect!)

This fabulously elegant Jaguar Royale Special is an example that evokes the feel of pre-war/early post-war cars built on an especially custom-made chassis frame to a very high standard using a 3.6 litre XJS from 1989 as a basis and a hand built fiberglass coupe body and that is beautifully finished in every detail with a ZF 4-speed auto transmission.

It was created by homemade specialist builder John Barlow.  John founded his company The Royale Motor Co in 1991 after leaving JBA and produced similarly styled roadsters which were distinguished from the kit-car herd by virtue of their superior design and build quality, being based on a substantial, steel, ladder-frame chassis clad in aluminium/glassfibre bodywork with reinforced side impact bars in the doors for increased protection.

The lines of this car just go on and on for ever, few cars outside of a ‘Duesenberg’ have lines like this!

He initially designed a pair of roadsters, the Windsor and Sabre. The former looked like a Bentley Mk VI, the latter the BMW 328. Thus to this unique project that was only recently completed by John in 2017 with the aim of designing a rendering that could have been replicated by Sir William Lyons himself had the second world war not occurred. The snug cabin even has a quality finish befitting any contemporary jaguar of the period. The quality of the finish to its paintwork is excellent with a superb automatic transmission, lovely exhaust note and precise power assisted steering as well as a taut chassis that remains rattle-free to drive. The gunmetal grey metallic paint seem to suit the car’s Thirties character, as do the fat 16in MWS wire wheels which add to its elegantly proportioned lines. Having initially being favorably recognized, the original company did not last long and rights to the designs passed to a firm in the Netherlands, then to the Vintage Motor Company of Carcroft, Doncaster and finally to Asquith Motors Ltd of London SW19, whose intention was to re-launch the previous Sabre model in 2012. This unique specimen has been valued at around £95,000 still unsold on and is perhaps worthy of a Jaguar connoisseur!

The cabin is also a lovely place to sit..

SVA Says: Our thanks to our subscriber and content provider John Byrne for sending us this piece and his kind and supporting actions on behalf of the Association. We were delighted to see this simply lovely and highly collectible car..

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