Market highlight Simon Kidston explains why a Jaguar E-type just sold for almost £6m
Simon Kidston explains why this striking example is the world’s most expensive E-type
Potential clients for Bonhams’ Lightweight E-type faced an all-too-familiar dilemma: how to value a highly original car, blessed with only minor period history, against a battle-scarred warhorse that has experienced countless crashes, upgrades and engine swaps.
The E-type presented in Scottsdale this January was first ordered by Australian tyre tycoon Bob Jane. It ran in only minor events Down Under and barely at all in Europe. Its 1963 Australian GT Championship success, boasted about in the catalogue, was actually just a single ten-lap race held at Calder Park Raceway in Victoria.
The car has been rarely seen since it last changed hands – for $847,000 at Amelia Island, Florida in 1999. Compare that with the veterans that were raced mercilessly throughout the Sixties, Seventies and right up to date at the Goodwood Revival. You sometimes wonder which bits of them remain that were actually made in Coventry in the Sixties...
Bonhams’ car was authentic but in the scheme of things a bit boring, lacking the stardust of a Salvadori, Hill or Stewart in its CV. The eventual all-in price of $7.37m (£5.9m) was market-correct and showed its vendor (who bought it privately months earlier) a quick-flip profit, although this is perhaps half the price of an average Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato, 19 of which were produced versus just a dozen genuine Lightweight E-types. However, those millions also made it the most expensive ‘E’ ever sold at auction, so that’s at least a step in the right direction.
Ferrari values operate on a different level. Witness the $17.6m paid in August 2015 for the ex-ron Fry 250 LM. His racer had hardly troubled the scorers in the day, but as a result it was a well-preserved example of a model well-known for hair-raising histories and mixed identities.
As ever, there’s one rule for Maranello and another for the rest.
Lightweight may not have a glittering competition pedigree, but its originality is its $7m selling point