Le Mans-winning Jaguar D-Type could set auction record at RM Sotheby's

Le Mans Lover

Le Mans Lover

2016-07-08 09:38:20

A rare and historic Le Mans-winning Jaguar is the latest addition to the blockbuster RM Sotheby's Monterey auction.

The 1955 Jaguar D-Type raced to victory in the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, and has been described as "unequivocally one of the most important and valuable Jaguars in the world".
Chassis no. XKD 501 became the first D-Type supplied by Jaguar to a privateer team when it was sold new to the Scottish Ecurie Ecosse racing team in May 1955.

The following year it was piloted to victory in the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hours by Ninian Sanderson and Ron Flockhart, averaging 104 mph for over 2,500 miles, and  later went on to race at Goodwood, Aintree and the Mille Miglia before being retired from competition in 1957.

The car has had just three private owners since then, and has remained in its current ownership – one of the most respected classic cars collections in America – since 1999.

In recent years the Jaguar has been exhibited at many of the world’s leading concours events, including the 2002 Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, where it won the Road & Track award and the Jaguar Competition class.

XKD 501 crossing the finish line in the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans race (Image: RM Sotheby

XKD 501 crossing the finish line in the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans race (Image: RM Sotheby's/Klementaski Collection)

"XKD 501 is without question one of the world’s most significant competition cars," said Shelby Myers, Car Specialist at RM Sotheby’s. "It has an incredible racing pedigree, having won the most grueling contest in sports car racing, the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans, and importantly, is without any stories.

"What’s more is its amazing originality; pure in terms of body, chassis and engine, there is no other Le Mans winner from this period that is as original as this car.  We are extremely honored to have been entrusted with XKD 501 by its important caretaker for our Monterey sale; it’s a decision that again reaffirms RM as the auction house of choice for the sale of the world’s most important automobiles."

The current auction record for any British car was set in December 2015, when a 1962 Aston Martin DB4GT Zagato described as "one of the greatest GT cars ever produced" sold at RM Sotheby's in New York for $14.3 million.

Although RM Sotheby's has not yet placed an estimate on the Jaguar, experts have stated they expect it to "comfortably eclipse" that current auction record when it hits the block next month.

The RM Sotheby's Monterey Sale takes place at the Portola Hotel & Spa on August 19-20.

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