Historic E-type racer goes at show, then to auction

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1961 Jaguar E-type among first readied for racing | H&H Classics photos
1961 Jaguar E-type among first readied for racing | H&H Classics photos

A 1961 Jaguar E-type 3.8 Competition Roadster, one of the first E-types prepped for racing, will be on display February 18-21 at the London Classic Car show before being offered for sale at the H&H Classics Duxford auction in April.

Rear view
Rear view

The car, 9VPD, wears Opalescent Dark Blue colors and returned to racing in 2005 for the Silverstone Classic Festival. A year later it was fourth in the Le Mans Classic behind a pair of Ford GT40s and a Shelby Cobra and won the 6-hour vintage event at Spa. H&H estimates that the car is worth $10 million to $13 million.

The comp roadsters originally were built by Jaguar engineering director Bill Heynes’ team and went to teams selected by company head “Lofty” England. Known as Project ZP 537/24, the build included seven roadsters with powertrains that featured increased compression ratios, gas-flowed cylinder heads, lightened flywheels, competition clutch springs and close-ratio gearboxes, H&H said in its news release.

The 9VDP car was one of two built for John Coombs, whose team used it primarily as its “paddock car” while racing it sister, 4WPD, which became the first “lightweight” E-type on the track and which won the Scott Brown Trophy event in July 1961, according to H&H.

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.