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Bonhams to auction famous Jaguar E-type lightweight racer

Published 12 May 2017

Bonhams is to auction the former Team Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Coupe at its famous Quail Lodge Auction sale. As the factory effort that year for Jaguar, the Briggs Cunningham team flew the works banner at Le Mans in 1963 where this car – chassis number S850664 – made its appearance as Number 14.

Later, Team Cunningham would race it at the Road America 500 and then again at the Bridgehampton 500 where it finished fourth overall. Once retired, it was displayed at the Cunningham Museum before Cunningham sold his private collection, was later owned by noted collectors Lord Bamford, Paul Vestey and Campbell McLaren.

Known as ‘GTO killers’, these lightweight competition Jaguar E-types were faster on most tracks than the fabled Ferrari 250 GTO. As some of the most successful racing cars ever made, they are among Britain’s most celebrated cars and rarely come up for sale.

‘There are rare, interesting cars, and there are cars that have belonged to rare, interesting people,’ says author Richard Holt. ‘The Briggs Cunningham Lightweight E-type scores so heavily on both counts that it is difficult to decide which is more of a star. You could make a good argument either way: the ultra-rare racing thoroughbred versus the all-American hero and entrepreneur. But the truth is that thinking about one without the other makes no sense because the Lightweight E-type would probably never have existed if it hadn’t been for Briggs Swift Cunningham II.’

1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Cunningham (2)

Featured in many books and even made into toy cars, the Team Cunningham #14 Jaguar E-Type is legendary. Genuine, highly original, well documented and eligible for most of the world’s great races, rallies and concours events, it is a car of distinction.

The Bonhams Quail Lodge Auction will take place, as always, on Friday, 18 August at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California.

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