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Jaguars on the prowl at the home of the Queen of Crime

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

John and Tina Pollard with their 1960 XK150 drop top coupe at Greenway, as part of the Jaguar XK rally. Picture: Steven Haywood

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The summer home of acclaimed Westcountry crime writer Agatha Christie provided the perfect backdrop for a rally of classic British sports cars which had thrilled motoring enthusiasts shortly after the Second World War.

The Torquay-born "queen of crime" would almost certainly have felt at home in the company of the elegant yet sporty, two-seater Jaguar XK cars, which were produced throughout the 1950s.

A collection of the beautifully-preserved examples from the stylish British car manufacturer gathered at Christie's beloved Devon holiday home, Greenway, now owned by the National Trust.

The XK Register of the Jaguar Driver's Club spent the morning at the Georgian house, which overlooks the River Dart and reflects the style of the vehicle's heyday.

Nick Peace, proud owner of a white XK120 Roadster, said there were XK120s, 140s and 150s on display.

"It is the engine that is known as the XK, the 120 was the expected top speed of this streamlined two-seater sports car, though in front of the press, the car was in fact timed at 132mph."

Robyn Brown, general manager for the National Trust English Riviera, said: "The Jaguars took part in a slow procession down the driveway to the front of the house, where they lined up for photographs."

The 278-acre estate at Greenway includes a garden, farm, woodland and stretches more than a mile along the riverside.

It was opened to the public in 2009 after a £5 million revamp and contains many of the family's collections, including archaeology, silver, botanical china and books.

Christie spent her summers there from 1938 until her death in 1976, though she did not write any of her celebrated stories at the property, preferring total relaxation.

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