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Le Mans winning Jaguar D-type breaks auction record

Published 21 August 2016

A Le Mans winning Jaguar D-type has smashed the record for a British car sold at auction. The 1955 car, chassis number XKD 501, fetched $21,780,000 (£16.6m) at RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale in California on Friday.
 
The car, arguably the most important Jaguar ever made, was the subject of a 15-minute bidding war between four collectors before the hammer went down – although it didn’t make its $25m high estimate.
 
The first D-Type supplied by Jaguar to a privateer team, XKD 501 was sold new to the famed Scottish Racing team, Ecurie Ecosse, who campaigned it to victory at the grueling 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours.
 
It was offered for sale after almost two decades in one of America’s leading collections. The record-setting Jaguar is only the fourth British car to have sold for more than $10 million at auction and eclipses the previous record by over $7 million. That was set by a $14.3m 1962 Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato sold by RM Sotheby’s in New York in December 2015.

Shelby Cobra
 
Closely following the sale of the legendary D-Type was an American legend - CSX 2000, the very first Shelby Cobra, which also made the record books, commanding a final price of $13,750,000 (£10,493,169) - a new auction benchmark for an American automobile.
 
One of the most highly anticipated lots of this year’s Monterey auction week, the original Shelby Cobra was constructed and kept from new by the legendary Carroll Shelby and never left his care.
 
Offered by the Carroll Hall Shelby Trust, CSX 2000 set a new record for an American car sold at auction, beating the previous record ($11m for a 1968 Ford GT40 Gulf / Mirage), which was set at the same sale in August 2012.
 
Ian Kelleher, managing director of RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division said the records show that collectors remained prepared to part with significant sums of money to sure the rarest, fresh-to-market cars. Kelleher said, ‘’These outstanding prices achieved at our flagship sale are a reassuring sign that the market remains healthy and vibrant.’

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