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Scandal-laden Jaguar up for auction

Fri, 17 Jan 2014

A STUNNING 1959 Jaguar XK150 Drophead Coupé with connections to one of the most famous British political scandals of all time has been lined up for auction.

The car, with the number plate WLY 150, was owned by Dr Stephen Ward, the osteopathic physician who was at the centre of the Profumo Affair in 1963.

Ward was the man who introduced John Profumo, Conservative MP and Secretary of State for War, to longstanding friend, model and showgirl Christine Keeler, who at the time was also allegedly in a relationship with Soviet spy Yevgeny Ivanov.

The subsequent revelations of their affair led to Profumo’s resignation amid fears of a national security breach. After the scandal surfaced Ward was prosecuted with living off the earnings of prostitution and took his own life just as his trial was coming to an end.

Commenting on the car, Nick Whale, managing director, Silverstone Auctions, said: “Few Jaguars can boast such a fascinating ownership record and one that seemingly defined the era when it was first driven.

“Few cars offered at auction have such an amazing connection to such important events in British political history.”

As well as the amazing history, WLY 150 is finished in the lovely colour combination of Old English White with dark red leather interior.

Benefiting from a ground up restoration in 1990 by Dorset based marque experts Marina Garage, both the interior and bodywork are in superb condition, having only covered 9,500 miles since.

The sale of the car comes amidst heightened interest in the scandal, which marked its 50th anniversary last year, the launch in December of a musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Ward, based on the affair, as well as for calls for Ward’s conviction to be overturned.

It is part of Silverstone Auctions’ sale at Race Retro on February 22 and 23.

By Press Association reporter