Jaguars old and ‘new’ were among the stars of the show at a huge classic car auction in the US which saw sales worth $44.4m.
RM Sotheby’s presented the Elkhart Collection in a live auction held in Elkhart, Indiana.
Featuring more than 240 collectable cars and a wide selection of memorabilia, the two-day auction executed on behalf of trustees of US Bankruptcy Court saw bidding activity from 2,500 bidders from 53 countries.
The stand-out star of the auction was a rare 1952 Ferrari 225 S Berlinetta by Vignale, which sold for $2,810,000.
A rare competition Jaguar was one of the top five sale slots, a 1955 Cooper-Jaguar T38 Mk II, selling for $1,765,000.
The second of just three examples built of this unique Cooper design powered by Jaguar’s racing-specification XK engine, the Cooper-Jaguar saw six victories at Goodwood and Silverstone in the 1956 and 1957 seasons.
Also claiming spots within the top ten were three very rare Jaguar continuation cars, which were produced by Jaguar Classic Works in Coventry and Warwickshire.
Jaguar continuation models are perfect replicas of original models, built to the exact same specifications and have been created to complete unfinished stories.
Believed to be the first example offered publicly, a 1957 continuation XKSS, one of nine examples produced, sold for $1,985,000.
An as-new 1963 continuation E-Type Lightweight, known as “Car 0”, the first of seven built by Jaguar Classic Works and used as the North American press car, sold for $1,710,000.
A 1955 continuation D-Type, one of 25 D-Types produced by Jaguar Heritage and finished in the Scottish Racing Blue of Ecurie Ecosse, went for $1,325,000.
The Lightweight E-Type
The Lightweight E-Type story is a fascinating one.
As part of a racecar project in February 1963, Jaguar intended to make 18 Special GT E-types, however, only 12 of the planned 18 were ever built.
Chassis numbers 13 to 18 remained missing until 2014, when their discovery led to Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works starting modern-day production.
Fully compliant with FIA homologations for historic motorsport, each of the ‘Missing Six’ were crafted using original 1960s tooling and production methods, period-exact dimensions and specifications, ensuring they are authentic and built to the highest quality standard.
The ambitious project was the subject of a Channel 4 TV documentary.
All six Lightweight E-Types sold for an estimated $1.5m each.
In March 2016 Jaguar revealed it was to step back in time to complete a limited production run of a car once dubbed the world’s first supercar – the XKSS.
In all 25 XKSS models were due to be delivered to American owners in the late fifties but just 16 were completed after nine were destroyed in a major fire which caused devastation at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry.
The continuation XKSS came in the wake of the Coventry car maker’s Lightweight E-Type project, which saw a number of authentic E-Type Jaguars recreated from scratch.
Just as the Lightweight E-Type project saw the completion of a limited edition run decades on, the XKSS project saw just nine cars built to the exact specification of those made in 1957.
The new versions were built at Jaguar Classic’s Experimental Shop in Warwick and cost more than £1m.
The first deliveries of the continuation Jaguar XKSS started in early 2017.
The original Jaguar XKSS
Jaguar originally made the XKSS as a road-going version of the Le Mans winning D-type.
Its story began following Jaguar’s three successive Le Mans victories in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the all-conquering D-Type.
After the hat-trick of wins, in January 1957 Jaguar supremo Sir Williams Lyons decided to convert the remaining 25 D-Types into road-going versions with several external modifications – creating the world’s first supercar.
Modifications included the addition of a new higher windscreen, an extra door on the passenger side, taking away the divider between driver and passenger and the removal of the famous fin behind the driver’s seat.
The Jaguar D-Type
In 2018, Jaguar announced it would build 25 D-Type continuation cars at Jaguar Classic Works in Ryton.
This number was due to the company having planned originally to build 100 cars, but due to the fire at the Browns Lane factory built only 75 of them.
The continuation cars could be ordered in long- or short-nose form.
All cars were sold at an estimated $1.5 million.
The car offered in Indiana was a short-nose example.
The original Jaguar D-Type
Footage below of a famous Jaguar D-Type reunion
In 1957 the legendary Jaguar D-Type claimed first, second and third spots in motor racing’s toughest endurance race – the Le Mans 24-Hours.
It followed Le Mans wins for the D-Type in 1955 and 1956 too.
The D-type’s historic 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th-placed Le Mans 24-Hours race result in 1957 was a first for any manufacturer, and Jaguar’s fifth of seven wins at la Sarthe.
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The original D-Type can also claim the honour of being one of the most expensive cars ever.
In a list of the most expensive cars sold at auction published by MoneySuperMarket, a D-Type was placed third, after selling for an eye-watering £16,772,619 in August 2016.
D-Types were originally produced between 1954 and 1956.
The Elkhart Collection auction
Speaking about the auction Kenneth Ahn, president and CEO, RM Sotheby’s, said: “We are extremely pleased with the results, especially considering the complexities and challenges of executing such a high-profile auction with multiple constituents in the current market environment.
“I believe this auction highlighted RM Sotheby’s key strengths and capabilities as a global market leader for achieving successful results for private collections.
“The Elkhart Collection auction was also another case study for the power of ‘no reserve’ collection auctions, with many of the lots seeing incredible results.
“The success of The Elkhart Collection auction joins previous court-authorized bankruptcy auctions that RM Sotheby’s has successfully conducted such as the 2016 Duemila Route sale in Milan, Italy on behalf of the Italian Government and the 2017 Level 5 Motorsports liquidation in Auburn, Indiana on behalf of US Federal authorities, and further highlighting our company’s ability to execute complex sales successfully on a global scale.”
The auction saw eight cars achieving in excess of $1m.
Rare and sought-after Fiats within the collection also drew much pre-sale attention, as well as in the auction room, with a 1953 Fiat 8V Supersonic by Ghia, originally delivered to famed General Motors designer Henry S Lauve, leading the pack and taking the top second sale slot at $2,040,000.
Following close behind was a unique pair of 1954 Fiat 8V Coupes by Vignale, the first of which was based upon the famous Demon Rouge design and the second of which is believed to have been exhibited at the VII Concorso d’Eleganza di Roma in 1954.
The two Otto Vu examples achieved $907,000 and $775,000, respectively.
This content was originally published here.