AUCTION – A rare event: on the sidelines of the Pebble Beach competition, Bonhams is selling one of the three “Lightweights” of the Cunningham team that entered Le Mans in 1963.
This is the second time in five years Bonhams is offering at auction, as part of its California sale of Quail Lodge, the Jaguar Type E light chassis number #S850664. In 2017, this car was sold for 8 million dollars, or about 6.8 million euros. The auction that this competition car can be repeated. Several features argue against this price point. The Lightweight was designed to race in iconic events by embodying the great endurance era and competing with sixties GTs that are the dream of collectors around the world. In fact, the British have no aura or list of awards Ferrari 250 GTO that he found on the way but is rarer than the Italian berlinetta. The E-Type Lightweight is a key part of Jaguar’s racing history and is eligible for the biggest sporting events on the calendar dedicated to vintage cars, including the Le Mans Classic.
The lightweight E-Type that Bonhams will auction on August 19 is the seventh in a series of only thirteen cars, if we include the coupe built for French collector Pierre Bardinon.
Listed under the registration “5114 WK”, the famous Lightweight is the second of three cars that American Briggs Cunningham ordered from Jaguar in 1963. Like the other two, the E-Type in the sale competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1963. the colors of the US team, recognizable by the white graphics decorated with two central stripes of navy blue. With race number 14, chassis “S850664” was assigned to the pair of Walt Hangsen-Angie Pabst, while Briggs Cunningham and Bob Grossman shared the number 15 and Roy Salvadori and Paul Richards number 16. Of the three cars, only n°15 would finish the Le Mans event, in 9th place, behind six Ferraris, an AC Cobra and an eight-cylinder Porsche 718 /RS spider.
After the Le Mans event, the 4-speed gearbox that had led to the retirement of the E n ° 14 was replaced by a 5-speed ZF transmission. In this configuration, the E took the direction of the United States. It allowed Hangsen and Richards to finish 11th in the Road America 500 in September 1963 and then Richards to finish 4th in the Bridgehampton race the following weekend. After a brief career in sports, the E was stored at the Cunningham Museum in Costa Mesa, California.