Neville Bycroft had turned up with it unannounced in July 1968, to surprise his wife on the birth of their third child.
“Most dads would have come home with a cot, but not him,” said his eldest daughter, Sandie.
“But mum liked fast cars and she’d always dreamed of owning a Jag.”
The vehicle was a Jaguar 240, last in the line of the Mark 2 models beloved of policemen and criminals alike. Several were skidded across bomb sites and driven over cliffs in cops and robbers films of the time. According to car logbook data, Mr Bycroft’s is the only one of its type to survive on British roads.
He kept it for nearly 20 years and lavished as much care on it as the racehorses he trained at his stables in Malton and at Bransby, near Lincoln.
He last saw it in 1985 and wondered occasionally what had happened to it. Last week, he got his answer, when he and his wife, Hazel, scanned the auction columns of The Yorkshire Post to discover it had been bought for £22,425 at Spicers of Goole by Jon Denton, a retired farm manager.
With just 60,460 miles on the clock, it had been beautifully restored by the two owners who had kept it after Mr Bycroft.
“Mum and dad were delighted to see it looking so good,” said Sandie, whose parents are now in their 80s. “They always treated it as their ‘Sunday car’ for special occasions and going to the races.”
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