This keyring is held in our reference collection and is on view here in our Jaguar section so that Jaguar enthusiasts have a chance of seeing an example of one of the rarest and most interesting of all Jaguar keyrings.
This keyring is a rare surviving example of the keyrings which accompanied new Jaguar cars sold by the Coombs dealership in Guildford in the early 1960s.
It is only the 2nd completely original example which we have ever seen .
This particular example is in almost new condition with vitreous enamelling in translucent red and green on the nickel plated badge .
The badge is mounted onto a genuine black leather keyfob with natural coloured contrasting stitching – this is not just any dealership keyring …………it is a beautiful item produced to the very highest standards.
Made by Caxton of Kew whose name is cast into the back of the badge. Caxtons have sadly been closed for many years.
Coombs used both Caxtons of Kew and J.Fray of Birmingham to make their keyrings.
By the mid 1950s Coombs of Guildford had become a highly successful Jaguar & Daimler dealership and were known particularly for road and racing modifications to 1950s Jaguar Mk I saloons and then the later Mk II saloons in the early 1960s.
At that time motor sport and motor racing commanded a much higher public interest than it does today.
The cars were so well prepared that John Coombs was able to attract the best drivers of the day including Salvadori, Graham Hill, Dan Gurney & Colin Chapman.
As Jaguar’s leading dealer – John Coombs was able to exert pressure on Jaguar’s chairman Sir William Lyons to make improvements to the Jaguar E-type leading to the development of the 170mph lightweight Jaguar E-type which went onto great racing success in the hands of Jackie Stewart.
It is sad to note that one of Britain’s most famous racing drivers – Mike Hawthorn – was killed driving a Coombs prepared Jaguar saloon.
The dealership continued until the very early 1980s when it changed to become a BMW dealership following British Leyland’s disastrous management of Jaguar.
Bud Marston’s Vintage Jaguar Keyrings book ( featured at the beginning of our Jaguar section in this website shop ) does include a page devoted to these Coombs keyrings and includes a photo of an almost identical example to the one shown here.