Record auction result for Jane racer
ex-Bob Jane 1963 Jaguar E-Type factory lightweight has set a new auction record for a car with Australian competition history. The Jag, with which Jane won the 1963 Australian GT Championship, sold at Bonham’s Scottdale Arizona auction earlier this year for US$7.37 million (A$9.7 million) including buyers premium.
It was one of only 12 Lightweight purposebuilt racing E-Types built by the factory in 1963 and ’64. Jane, as a Jaguar roadcar dealer in Melbourne, developed close ties with legendary Jaguar competition chief Lofty England, as he explains in our Muscle Man profile this issue, that helped him land the car.
He campaigned it in Australia for six months, posting several wins, before it was shipped to England in mid 1964 for a gearbox and fuel tank upgrade at Browns Lane, Coventry. Jane proposed to run at the classic tracks of Europe, but had it shipped back home after racing at Brands Hatch and being underwhelmed by its competitiveness and Jaguar’s unwillingness to carry out more aggressive modifications.
Bonham’s marketing material highlights that the car raced at Bathurst in 1965 and at Lakeside in the hands of Bob’s brother Bill Jane. Driving duties passed to Spencer Martin for 1966, the car’s last season of competition. It made sporadic public appearances over the ensuing 14 years before it was sold to West Australian Peter Briggs for $80,000 in 1980. Briggs retained the car until 1999, before it was sold overseas. Jane has commented that selling it was the biggest regrets of his life.