AH - Antony Hopkins, musician, radio broadcaster and conductor bought 850203 in October 61 from ???? Roland Jaguar dealership in Grimsby after hearing they were due one in stock whilst attending a music festival in Lincolnshire. Before the e-type AH had several Jags including an XK120 and 140 also. The day came and once the AH600 registration had been acquired from the Norfolk registry AH sped to Grimsby to collect the car paying exactly £21?? for it on ?? October 61
Finished in White with a Red Connolly Vaulmol leather interior the combination was set off with a navy blue hood.
AH recalls in his book 'Beating times' how he sped away from the dealership out of Grimsby in his new e-type 'Pursued by a bear' The local constabulary no less! It seems AH was chastised by the officer for his enthusiastic driving and then sent on his way.
Once back at the family home in Berkshire modification works commenced for racing the e-type, this included removal of the e-types air filter assembly and fitting of trumpets to the inlet manifold along with a reworked accelerator that allowed AH to heel and toe.
AH raced 850203 at numerous club events during 62 and 63 including Snetterton, Silverstone and Goodwood and even drove the car to Leman and on track in 62 accompanied by a BBC photographer who recorded the event shown the speedo at 140mph on the Mulsanne straight.
This love of e-types would see Hopkins buy the ex- Phil Scragg lightweight e-type S850??? (PS - Phil Scragg) Scragg was the supreme master of hill climbs and was rarely beaten in his white LWE. His reputation and wealth was so well known that Jaguar chose him for one of the 12 LWE cars made. Scragg installed a low ratio diff to suit the hills and AH recalls how it would scream its head off at 100MPH.
Scragg a wealthy mill owners son from West Yorkshire died racing a V12 e-type at Silverstone some years later, his son also died in another tragic accident whilst transporting Gold bullion after his fathers death in his Ferrari Dino.
The pictures below were taken at Castle Combe meet and greet in 1966.
AH600 Chassis No: S850669 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight LWE ex: Phil Scraggs PS1175 now owned by Adrian Newey. Shows Antony Hopkins wearing sun glasses at Castle Combe 1966.
Marks father Keith Snowden bought 850203 from ???? a scrap dealer based in Darlington in 72 ? for £550 ? the car was by now ready for restoration and Keith fitted a pair of new doors, a new boot skin and repaired the rusted sills at an engineering friends workshop in Littlethorpe, Ripon where the panels were covered in Waxoyl and the white paint work was made good recalls Keith. Several period photos show the car in pristine condition wearing KS3 (Keith Snowden) with a large Ariel fitted to the drivers side bulkhead. Keith also owned a Red 4.2 FHC at the same time with the fabulous JO2 registration no. A period picture of Mark Snowden with twin brother Tim aged c.5-years old shows the pair infront of the two cars taken a the Spa Hotel garage in Ripon where dad would fettle the two cars at weekends. The brothers recall endless weekends of boredom with dad cursing one task or another on both cars, this been offset on other occasions with great fun been laid out in the back of the fixed head coupe whilst dad would throw the cars into corners causing the twins to roll from side to side and back again at the next bend. The car left the Snowden's in 82? and was found by Mark in Florida in 2012 during a search of the chassis number. Tim made contact with the Florida resident who had inherited the car on his uncles death and struck a deal to buy back AH600.
A picture shows the deterioration caused by spending 17-yrs uncovered on the top floor of a Florida multi storey car park. Amazingly, AH600 retains all of its original major components and is a matching numbers car.
The car arrived back to the UK in 2013 holding a Florida title