Ultra-rare lightweight racer has done only 6400km in 54 years and is almost totally original. File photo: Bonhams

Scottsdale, Arizona - This is the the most expensive Jaguar E-Type ever sold at auction and, at $7.37 million (a few dollars less than R100 million!) at the annual Bonhams classic car sale in this small Arizona town, it’s the highest price ever paid for a Jaguar of any model made after 1960.

For that kind of money, it would have to be a very special E-Type, and this one certainly is. It’s the 10th of just 12 all-aluminium lightweight racing E-Types built at Browns Lane between 1961 and 1963; there were originally supposed to be 18, but that’s another story.

Chassis No. S850667 originally went to Australia, where it won the 1963 national GT championship with Bob Jane at the wheel - but after that it seems to been treated more as a show car. It’s almost completely original inside and out, including the original 220kW, 3.8-litre aluminium-block straight six and four-speed ‘box, it has had only three owners and it has done just 4000 miles (about 6400km) in its 54-year history.

Original tags

In 1999 its second owner had it completely restored by Lynx Engineering in England, who noted that the car had never before been completely stripped - all the body tags were still held in place by their original rivets and none of the factory spot-welds had been drilled out. For a 54-year-old racing car that’s beyond rare - it’s unheard of.

The original Lynx Engineering report, all the car’s original race history result sheets and photos - even the original factory correspondence and specification sheets were included in the sale, giving this car unimpeachable provenance.

And if you think $7.37 million is expensive, it pales beside the $21 870 000 (R288 million) paid at a Sotheby’s auction in 2016 for the 1955 D-Type with which Ecurie Ecosse privateers Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson won the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours after all three of the factory cars had fallen by the wayside, making it the most expensive Jaguar ever and the second-highest price yet for a car at auction.

IOL Motoring

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