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Ex-Le Mans Jaguar C-type sells for £5.7m at auction

Published 18 May 2016

An unrestored, ex-Le Mans 24-Hour race Jaguar C-Type sports car sold for €7,245,000 (£5,715,580) at Bonhams Monaco Sale.

Following months of painstaking research, working with the best historians and notable marque specialists, Bonhams unraveled an intriguing mystery involving the unrestored Jaguar C-Type offered, correcting more than 60 years of accepted Jaguar history.

Bonhams’ James Knight said, ‘After 53 years in private ownership, it has sold for the superb price of €7,245,000 (£5,715,580). It is wonderful to see our team’s groundbreaking work help achieve such a result.’

Bonhams’ verification began with the accepted Jaguar belief that this was the Works team car which was substituted at the last moment as a Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps entry in the 1954 Le Mans 24-Hour race, combining that chassis with the bodywork from an earlier Belgian entry which finished at Le Mans the previous year. However, Bonhams’ specialist research revealed otherwise.

Ex Le Mans C Type Interior

‘The Jaguar was not at all a combination of the chassis from one car, the body from another,’ said Knight. ‘On further inspection, we established that this really is the 1953 Belgian-entered Le Mans car in toto, chassis number ‘XKC 047’ - still bearing its original, complete ‘K 1047’ body – but with its chassis number merely re-stamped ‘XKC 011’ by the factory before sale in January 1955.’

Chasing the Jaguar for top honours was the 1985 Ferrari 288 GTO Coupe - a model so desirable that before production had even begun, every single one had been sold. It achieved €1,817,000 (£1,433,431).

A further highlight of the day’s auction was the powerful straight-eight engined 1925 Bugatti Type 35 Grand Prix Two-Seater, first owned by ‘Bentley Boy’ Glen Kidston. Chassis number 4450 was the nineteenth such Grand Prix Bugatti to be manufactured by the Molsheim factory. It boasts a racing heritage that includes notable drivers George Duller, Vivian Selby and Lyndon Duckett. After intense bidding, the Bugatti sold for €1,058,000 (£834,656) to an auction room bidder.

Meanwhile the 1991-1992 Benetton-Ford B191/191B Formula 1 Racing Single Seater - raced by Formula 1 champions Michael Schumacher and Nelson Piquet - sold for four-times its estimate, achieving €1,058,000 (£834,656).

Further highlights include a 2006 Porsche Carrera GT Roadster, sold for €713,000 (£562,485), a 2008 Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren Roadster, sold for €304,750 (£240,417), and a 1963 Ferrari 330 America sold for €431,250 (£340,213).

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