Firstly a 1955 XK140SE Michelotti Barn Find

Experts could not believe it when a Jaguar XK140 with a Michelotti body was found in a barn of a deceased Belgian car collector. The car belong to Mr Schepens, who was a coach builder, in the town of Ghent. It is one of only 3 known XK140’s rebodied by the famous Italian coach builder Michelotti.

With the chassis number S814-286, this car has been confirmed as the one delivered to a Jeanne Gaymont on 10th June 1955. However, in 1957 it was involved in a serious accident. The car’s body was beyond repair, so it was shipped to Michelotti in Turin, Italy.

In 1960 or 1961 it received a new body. Only 3 XK140’s have received the same body style and are thought to be in private car collections.

This car has often been referred to as the “Brigitte Bardot car” as she either owned it or has many times been photographed draped over its bonnet.

In 1999 Mr Schepens purchased the car and drove it for some years, but then decided to undertake a full restoration. However he passed away at the age of 80 leaving the car unfinished.

Like Brigitte Bardot, who was involved with many animal welfare organisations, Mr Schepens was very much an animal lover. Childless, he decided he would donate his cars to the Animal Rescue Centre in Ghent.

This unique Jaguar is said to be 100% complete. It has been discovered that this chassis S814-286 has had some racing competition components, but also that the engine bears no E-1016-8, which is a Jaguar C Type engine that was installed in a different chassis.

It is possible that the engine was installed in this Michelotti body as far back as 1957. After assessing its potential value at about US$70,000 by Bonhams Auction House, it was eventually sold for an amazing US$425,477.

Secondly a 1963 Jaguar D Type Le Mans Michelotti

Michelotti, like many Italian coach builders, had more than a passing interest in the British Marque, Jaguar. After working with his 1955 XK140, he wondered if he could influence the British car maker to accept another of his designs. His opportunity came when a D Type Jaguar, which was entered in the 1960 Le Mans 24 hour race suffered a major smash. Unfortunately the driver, Frenchman Jean-Marie Brassin was killed and much of the cars body was scrapped.

However, the monocoque underpinning, suspension, gearbox and engine survived and ended up with Michelotti in 1960 for him to design a classic GT European body which was built around the D Type and shared the same dimensions and wheel track etc. In 1963 it was displayed at the Geneva Motor Show and still called a Jaguar D Type, in the hope that Jaguar UK would take notice.

Michelotti had success helping to restyle a number of European car models. But Jaguar was unimpressed, or too involved presenting to the world their new Jaguar E Type.

By Neville Barlow