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3 California owners since new – long-time single ownership, 43+ years
Large collection of receipts and documentation
Multiple-time car show winner
Original specification Honey Beige exterior, black Connolly leather interior
3.4-liter inline six engine, 4-speed manual transmission, optioned power steering
The final year of Jaguar’s Mark 2 production
Includes original owner’s manual, Jaguar maintenance poster, service/parts receipts
Jaguar’s luxury automobiles in the late 50s and 60s offered owners and drivers an affluent entry into the posh luxury market, and the 340s (previously called Mark IIs) were just that. Expanding upon the Mark I, these sedans were offered with a number of appointments that ranged from comfortable interiors, a variety of colors, and expanded powertrain choices, all while maintaining the essence of Jaguar. With their popularity rising due to the popular British TV series Inspector Morse, the Jaguar Mark II/340s were successful for the British automaker. Interestingly, they were highly popular amongst bank robbers, with their substantial horsepower, ample space for occupants, and superior handling characteristics. Widely regarded as the world’s first “sport sedan,” with advanced features such as 4-wheel disc brakes, a limited slip differential, a four-speed gearbox, and a tachometer. Over time the shape and timeless design of the Mark II/340 has appreciated more and more, with increased interest among collectors over the past decade.
This Jaguar 340 was reportedly first sold by Charles Hornberg Jaguar of West Hollywood, California to Dennis Mawer, painted in Honey Beige with factory copper-accented wheels. He went on to own the car for approximately 7 years before the Jaguar found its way to its new owners, Ad and Marsha Hirsch.
In 1974 Ad was looking for a new car for his wife, Marsha. Originally, they thought about purchasing a Rolls Royce, although after a few days and a number of sticker shocks later they decided that they weren’t Rolls Royce people. One day while shopping they drove past a Ralph’s Market on Devonshire boulevard in Los Angeles and saw the Honey Beige Jaguar sitting in the parking lot with a “for sale” sign in the window. They called Dennis Mawer and asked if they could drive the car. Marsha drove the Jaguar and loved it, and shortly afterwards the couple reportedly purchased the car for $3,250.
Being an executive for an international company at the time, Marsha drove the Jaguar daily to and from work. The Jaguar was the family car, taking kids to school, going on road trips, and overall enjoyed exactly for what it was built for. Ad even recalled that he pretended to be a chauffeur for one of his nephews on his prom night, using the Jaguar as their limo for the evening. During their ownership the Jaguar was taken care of with the utmost attention to detail since they felt that “Sweet Pea” was truly part of the family, and was maintained by Yorks and Lancs Automotive.
In 1986 Ad was involved with the movie industry with his company, and after 12 years of daily use the couple decided to restore the car completely to concours-level quality. Wanting the car to be perfect, the Jaguar was sent to Ron’s Custom in Van Nuys, California where it was fully restored. The entire car was stripped and the original sheet metal was repainted in its original Honey Beige color, and the interior reupholstered in black Connolly leather by Hilborn Motor Car Interiors. Ad and Marsha fully intended to still drive the car but wanted to take the 340 to shows, believing that “Sweet Pea” deserved to look the best that she could be. After being restored, Ad and Marsha brought their pride and joy to the Ventura Jaguar club and reportedly won first in class on its very first entry. The spare tire is original as is the tool kit in the trunk. During their 43-year ownership the couple took the Jaguar to countless events, driving to and from and taking home a number of awards over time.
During their ownership, they recalled that they never had issues with the engine or transmission. Never needing oil or rebuilding, both were reliable and thought to be that way because they were used and cared for regularly by the couple. A large collection of parts receipts and service documents that accompany the car help illustrate the care that went into this particular Jaguar as it was very much a part of their family. In the last 4 years of ownership, Ad and Marsha decided to stop driving the car in everyday situations and reserve the car just for shows, only because Ad was finding it more difficult to prepare the car being 84 years old. Around 2017 the couple finally decided that it was time for someone new to enjoy the Jaguar just as they did, and found a new owner in the Los Angeles area. This recent owner kept the car for approximately three years, driving it sparingly before it arrived at Canepa.
Cars have been an extremely important part of many American’s lives in the past century, often transcending their original purpose of being transportation while becoming something more. In this case for Ad and Marsha, the Jaguar “Sweet Pea” is the perfect example of a car being loved beyond compare, taken care of exceptionally well and enjoyed for decades. Moving from being a regularly-driven car each day to being fully restored to be perfect to drive to shows, few cars have seen the same type of care and commitment that this Jaguar has. Once part of a family, this Jaguar is ready to join its next caretakers and continue its history with someone new.