Jaguar XK140 Aerodyne

As a car designer, sometimes your life might be not so easy. Depending on where you are employed, you have to adapt to the given house design and style appropriate vehicles. What do you do in such a case if you would like to let off a little steam? You let your thoughts run free in your spare time after work. John Toom, who was employed as a designer at Nissan USA, did the same. He dreamed of a Jaguar with a powerful engine and visual quotes from pre-war coachwork cars made by European coachbuilders. Since the Jaguar brand didn’t exist in its current form before World War 2 (at that time the British company still operated under the name Swallow Sidecars and the abbreviation S.S. Cars, which seemed inappropriate after the war), it was obvious for him to choose a suitable base and then draw his dream car himself. He decided on the chassis of a Jaguar XK140, which resulted in a wheelbase of 2,591 millimeters. Toom designed a two-seater Coupé bodywork that could have come from Pourtout, Figoni & Falaschi or Vanvooren in this form back in the days. Free-standing wide fenders, a high, rounded radiator grille and a curved roof give the ‘Aerodyne’ christened result an unusual appearance for a Jaguar.

John Toom created the sketches on paper and then turned them into clay models. When he was satisfied with the shapes, he made hand-sawn wooden bucks in his garage on which he hammered the steel sheets by hand for days. He spent a total of eleven years working on this project and received help from some colleagues, friends and his daughter Joni, who among other things designed the instrument panel on the dashboard. Unfortunately John Toom passed away before the completion of his dream car. His good friend Ron Kellogg took over the project and presented the Aerodyne to the public for the first time in 2003 after another two years of work. According to the wishes of its builder the car got a dark blue paint job with some chrome accents and a grey leather interior. A special plaque refers to him: “Designer and Coachbuilder John C. Toom”. Under the bonnet there is an inline six-cylinder engine with 3.8 liters displacement from an early Jaguar E-Type (XKE).

Gooding & Company is offering this unique Jaguar conversion at their Scottsdale car auction on 17 January. As the car will be auctioned without reserve, it will go to the highest bidder. The auction house expects a hammer price between $ 125,000 and $ 150,000.

Images: Gooding & Company