This 1963 Jaguar E-Type Is a Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

For the rest of us, it'll be the one that got away

May 12, 2017 9:00 am

Before you watch this video, just close your eyes and listen to it.

That’s what a world-class vehicle sounds like. A 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, to be precise.

The racer will come up for grabs this August, when Bonhams’ celebrates it 20th Anniversary at the Monterey Peninsula Car Week by hosting the esteemed Quail Lodge Auction. And among the many breathtaking lots, this one is sure t0 be the pick of the bunch.

A former Team Cunningham ride, the chassis number S850664 (which made its competition appearances as Number 14) flew its banner at the ‘63 Le Mans, Road America 500 and then again at the Bridgehampton 500, where it finished fourth overall. One of just three E-Type Lightweights Cunningham raced, this sale is the rarest of affairs.

Even after its retirement, the car lived an enchanted life: it was  first displayed at the Cunningham Museum and then later — after Mr. Cunningham sold his private collection — it passed through the hands of collectors like Lord Bamford, Paul Vestey and Campbell McLaren.

“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.”

It was known as a “GTO killer,” though its real nemesis was the Ferrari 250 GTO, which it ate for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner on the racing circuit. Think of it like a comic-book character: the good to Ferrari’s evil.

And like a rare comic book, it’s going to make one collector very, very happy.

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