HomeThe MarketEx-Cunningham E-type headed to Bonhams' Quail sale

Ex-Cunningham E-type headed to Bonhams’ Quail sale


Briggs Cunningham's team raced the No. 14 Jaguar at Le Mans in 1963 | Bonhams/Litwinski photo
Briggs Cunningham’s team raced the No. 14 Jaguar at Le Mans in 1963 | Bonhams/Litwinski photo

The Jaguar E-type Lightweight that Briggs Cunningham’s team raced at Le Mans, Road America and Bridgehampton in 1963 will be offered up for bidding August 18 at Bonhams’ 20th anniversary Monterey Peninsula auction at the Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley, California.

“There are rare, interesting cars, and there are cars that have belonged to rare, interesting people,” author Richard Holt is quoted in the Bonhams’ news release.

“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.

Cunningham's 1963 trio at Le Mans | GP Library
Cunningham’s 1963 trio at Le Mans | GP Library

“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.”

In 1963, Cunningham’s team served as the Jaguar factory effort at Le Mans, where the car heading to auction — chassis S850664 — raced wearing the No. 14 as part of a three-car entry. The car was driven by Walt Hansgen and Augie Pabst but was retired after the first hour of competition. It later raced in the Road America 500 in Wisconsin and finished fourth in the Bridgehampton 500 on Long Island.

After it was retired from competition, the car became part of the Cunningham Museum. Cars from the museum later were sold, with the No. 14 Lightweight going in succession to such collectors as Lord Bamford, Paul Vestey and Campbell McLaren. The car has recently been on display at the REVS Institute/Collier Collection museum.

“Known as the ‘GTO killers,’ these lightweight competition Jaguar E-types were faster on most tracks than the fabled Ferrari 250 GTO,” Bonhams noted in its announcement. “As some of the most successful and iconic sports-racing cars ever produced, they are among Britain’s most celebrated cars and rarely, if ever, come up for sale.”

Bonhams notes that the car is “genuine, highly original, well-documented and eligible for most of the world’s great races, rallies and concours events; it is a car of immense distinction.”

No. 14 on display at the Collier museum | REVs Institute photo
No. 14 on display at the Collier museum | REVs Institute photo

Bonhams did not offer a pre-auction estimated value for the car, but in January, it sold another 1963 E-type Lightweight for a record $7.37 million.

Jaguar built a dozen E-type lightweights for racing. The one that sold in January had won the 1963 Australian GT Championship

Bonhams prepared a special video to showcase the car.


Larry Edsall
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.

Recent Posts