Posted on

An English car in a Medford driveway

An English car in a Medford driveway An English car in a Medford driveway



Many people stopped to see the car, both potential buyers and curious passersby.

The car emanated intrigue. It was an artifact of old fashioned luxury and a half-filled in story from England that ended up on a front lawn in Medford.

For years, the 1957 Jaguar Mark VIII was stored in a Medford garage and collected dust while various items were stacked on top of it to deter mice. The car stayed there until June, when the clutter was removed and the car was rolled out into the sunshine, bringing with it a rich history.

The Jaguar sports a two-tone paint job. The modest blue and off-white coloring of the car at first seem an undersell. However, to act as a symbol of opulence, the car doesn’t turn to over the top display; it doesn’t need to. Without gimmicks that shout, “Look at me,” the Jaguar sedan commands interest.

With a classic 50s body style, the Jaguar is reminiscent of a high profile character’s ride in an old television show, someone who would be helped out of the Jaguar by a driver, step out to flashing paparazzi, and shield their eyes from the light as they enter whatever gala event the night offered.

While the overall look dominates first impressions of the Jaguar, its details separate the car from its peers. Even now, in an age where common modern comforts exceed luxuries of the past, it is unmistakeable that it meant something to own this car in 1957. From the pouncing hood ornament to the food trays that fold down for passengers to enjoy a meal, this car was meticulously crafted.

It comes as no surprise that the Jaguar, with its subtle message of affluence, first belonged to a notable historical figure. The original owner of this car was Colonel George Drew, Canada’s High Commissioner to the United Kingdom from 1957-1964. Prior to working as High Commissioner, Colonel Drew was the national leader of the Canadian Progressive Conservative party from 19481956. During that time, he served in Canada’s House of Commons, leading Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition (the political party with the second highest number of members). He was premier of Ontario from 1943-1948, which is essentially the head of the government of Ontario.

The car’s current owner, Deidre Light, was confused when her mother, Rebecca Jacobsen, first referred to “the duke’s car.”

‘She kept saying, “the duke’s car, the duke’s car,” and I was like, Dukes of Hazard?’ Light said of her mother.

As it turns out, Light’s parents owned the 1957 Jaguar Mark VIII that once belonged to Colonel George Drew, Canada’s former High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.

Light only found out about the Jaguar when she moved back to Medford after living in Arkansas and Minneapolis while raising children of her own. Her mother showed her “the duke’s car,” which her father, Paul Jacobsen, owned for about ten years prior to his passing in 2008.

Paul Jacobsen purchased the car from an online auction in the early 2000s. Jacobsen was well-established in the Medford area for his computer business.“He owned PJ Software. He put in most of the computers in town here like the police station and the clinic. Most people knew him in town here for that, but his main love was for cars,” Light said.

During the time Jacobsen owned the Jaguar, he painted it the two-toned blue and grey style that it has today. He drove the car around town a few times and then put it in the garage, where it has been until now.

“It needs to go to somebody who can appreciate it, someone who loves old cars and can really give it some love. You know, restore it, drive it around town, and show it in some car shows,” Light stated on her decision to put the car up for sale.

Jaguar Mark VIIIs were made from 1956-1958. Only 6,227 of them were manufactured. Most were manufactured with the driver’s side on the right and sold in the United Kingdom, just as Light’s Jaguar was. The top speed for a Mark VIII is 106 mph.

For years this 1957 Jaguar Mark VIII was stored in a Medford garage. The classic car echoes an era of sleek sophistication. Once owned by a diplomat in England, the car made its way to Wisconsin.