This lovely old motorcar was sold to me by the original owner, a now elderly lady who used it primarily to be chauffeured for shopping and for polo matches on adjoining estates on Boston's north shore. Because she was raised in England her American born husband in 1950 bought it because he felt she would like something "a bit British".
This car is the rare export model, which means it has left steering and the larger 3.5 liter pushrod engine. This was the last hurrah for the old prewar engine design, since the new XK engine was already developed and being installed in a new roadster model, the XK120. The sunroof and elegant mahogany reveals around the windows, sunroof, and elaborate dash combine with the red leather interior (coordinated with the red pinstripe the length of the car) feel luxurious. The car is extremely stylish, with lines borrowed from the late prewar Bentleys, and most people first seeing the large car assume it is a Rolls-Bentley (I'm glad it isn't).
When I was negotiating the purchase of the car from its original owner, I heard over tea some of stories of her upbringing at a chateau on the coast of France in the early 1930's. She knew from my arrivals in interesting motorcars that I liked the classics, so she told me of the automotive events of her childhood. Every Thursday there would be a Concourse d'Elegance at one of the estates, and these were nothing more than events to show off your handsome chauffeur and motorcar. The correct arrival would be in an open drive limousine (town car), and it was important that there should be not only a driver but also a coachman, in matching uniforms, because "the driver never leaves his post at the wheel." So upon arrival it is the coachman that emerges from the front of the car, opens the door, and as the young lady alights, hands her the miniature poodle.