E-type tops £500k at Villa Erba

But does ob­scure race history re­ally ex­plain this flat-floor Jaguar’s head­line price?

Classic Cars (UK) - - Chasing Cars -

Every now and again auc­tion re­sults con­found those who track the mar­ket. So we asked Hagerty In­sur­ance’s val­u­a­tions ex­pert John May­head why he thought this re­stored early Jaguar E-type dou­bled its pre-sale es­ti­mate. ‘Last year I stood with my jaw on the floor at RM Sotheby’s London sale as a Porsche 911 GT2 sold for nearly £1m over es­ti­mate; and at this year’s Villa Erba sale, RM did it again,’ he said. ‘The shock car of the auc­tion wasn’t quite on the same scale, but achiev­ing £506,435 for a 1961 flat-floor E-type 3.8 road­ster against a pre-sale es­ti­mate of £217,000-£260,000 was in some ways more as­ton­ish­ing, be­cause it went against the trend.

‘At least the Porsche made sense – 993s soared in value last year thanks to their book­end sta­tus as the last of the air-cooled 911s. On the face of it, the E-type was another mat­ter – the top Hagerty Price Guide value for the model has re­mained flat at £249,000 for the past 12 months, and most deal­ers will tell you the feed­ing frenzy around these early and some­what im­prac­ti­cal E-types has abated since its height a cou­ple of sum­mers ago.

‘So, what ac­counted for the dif­fer­ence in value? Surely a lim­ited rac­ing history by an ob­scure driver in Portugal and An­gola couldn’t dou­ble the value, could it? Well, yes and no. Usu­ally, prove­nance is ev­ery­thing, but a rac­ing E-type with a history at­tached to it is now worth a for­tune. Find­ing an early car with a rac­ing past (al­low­ing ac­cess to his­toric rac­ing events) but with­out the added pre­mium of a fa­mous name or com­pe­ti­tion pedi­gree makes for an at­trac­tive com­bi­na­tion. This is a car with most of its history still to be writ­ten, and once it has been pre­pared and raced at Don­ing­ton, Le Mans or Good­wood, the pur­chase price may look very fair in­deed.’

‘This is a car with most of its history still to be writ­ten. Once it’s been raced its pur­chase price may look very fair‘

The pre-sale es­ti­mate was £217k-£260k, but this 1961 Jaguar E-type made £506,435 at RM Sotheby’s Villa Erba sale

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