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Briggs Cunninghams E-Type Lightweigt No 14 - (Copyright Bonhams)

Briggs Cunninghams E-Type Lightweigt No 14 - (Copyright Bonhams)

Tall stature, dark curly hair, who does not know the sailor, designer and racing driver Briggs Swift Cunningham. It's hard to imagine the history of racing in recent years without him and his white racing cars with the broad blue double stripes. At first he drove his own constructions, later it was well-known brands such as Chevrolet, Maserati, Porsche or Jaguar. The last named, a number 14 Jaguar Lightweight, is now up for auction at Bonhams on 19th September at Quail Auction. It was the 7th of a total of 12 produced E-Type Competition Lightweight with aluminum body and aluminum hardtop, which was built in Coventry. The target number of 18 Lightweight was never reached.
In the early 1960's the new Jaguar E-Type was one of the top sports cars on the world's roads, but what's the use if you haven't proven yourself on the race track with this car. One who could change it was the American Cunningham, who already raced the D-Type and later the prototype E2A. In 1962, Briggs Cunningham and Roy Salvadori finished 4th in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in an E-Type. This led Cunningham competing again in 1963 with three Jaguar E-Type Lightweights. The number 14 (serial no. 850664) retired early with gearbox damage. The number 16 (serial no. 850665) collided after 6 hours with the Renault Alpine of Christian "Bino" Heins, who was killed while Roy Salvadori was seriously injured. The number 15 (serial no. 850659) kissed the straw bales behind the "Mulsanne" on Sunday morning at 265 km/h after a brake damage, was immediately set again with parts of the number 14 and with Briggs Cunningham and Bob Grossman at the wheel, finished 9th out of a total of 12 remaining vehicles - WAU.
After Le Mans, the car came to America and in September 1963 drove for Cunningham the Road of America 500 and the Bridgehampton 500, where he finished 11th and 4th respectively. After the dissolution of the Cunningham racing team in 1963, he found a place in the Cunningham Museum in Costa Mesa. After being owned by Jaguar enthusiast Robert Lane, it found its way back to England in 1973 when Sir Anthony Bamford bought it for his collection. In England it took part in numerous classic races under different owners, including an accident at Silverstone. In the 1980s it underwent several renovations and conversions among others by Lynx Engineering. It must have been worth it in the end as in 1994 it trailed all other Jaguars in the Coys Festival GT race. After appearing again and again at various major events, such as the Goodwood Revival of Speed, in 2003 he left the continent and went back to California. Found a place there for a short time in Don Williams' Blackhawk Collection, from which he was sold to a collector from Hong Kong soon.
60 years E-Type - (Copyright Jaguar Land Rover Ltd)

When in March 1961 Bob Berry drove one of the first Jaguar E-Types across the streets of Germany in the direction of Geneva in a "cloak-and-dagger" operation, no one suspected that this would be the beginning of one of the greatest automotive success stories that still persists, 60 years later.
Born out of a cool mathematical calculation based on the aerodynamics of its predecessor, he was soon described as one of the most beautiful vehicles ever built by one of the biggest racing car manufacturers, Enzo Ferrari. 21 years after the end of production, a steel-blue E-Type Roadster even become as a style icon in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Somebody should say math doesn't make sexy. When in June 1973, after 12 years of construction, the last E-Type rolled off the production line in the third generation to make way for its successor, the Jaguar XJS, more than 70.000 units had been produced. That made it the most popular sports car of its time. Over the years, the E-Type developed from a crisp 6 cylinder speedster into a cruising 12 cylinder gentleman racer. During this time, due to new safety regulations, especially in the US, the export country number 1, he had to accept visual changes that mostly didn’t look good on him, but his british character didn’t affect.
Even today, after 60 years, he is still present, either with an electric drive on a royal wedding or as a limited new edition in 2021 directly from Jaguar Ltd. There is only one thing left to say - Happy Birthday E-Type, for the next 60 years.
Peter Blonds red D-Type "short-nose" - (Copyright RM Sotheby's)

Peter Blonds red D-Type "short-nose" - (Copyright RM Sotheby's)

Every year again, RM Sotheby's puts one on it again this year, but this time it will be a "goal", as the Englishman used to say. What am I talking about? At the beginning of last year in Paris a Jaguar D-Type went under the hammer, I reported about it in "Legends under the hammer" and now a bright red Jaguar D-Type "short-nose". Normally you can find such a color combination in Italian sports cars but no, so this Jaguar with the chassis number XKD518 actually went off the production line in 1956.
Originally delivered to Henlys, Manchester, UK, Bernard Charles "Bernie" Ecclestone first bought it, which soon passed it on to the racing driver Peter Blond. Blond took part in several races with him, including first place on the Snetterton circuit and a ninth in the Goodwood Trophy. In his long life so far, he has passed through many other famous hands, such as that of racing driver Jean Bloxham or Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant. In the meantime, it had also been repainted with a classic Racing Green and equipped with a passenger seat. In 1982, like many of his contemporaries, he finally left the European continent and became one of many in the car collection of George Stauffer in beautiful Wisconsin, USA.
Yesterday he found another owner. With the bidder number 3791, he paid 5.45 million dollars (about 4 million British pounds) for the red flash from Coventry. There's only one thing you can say: "Bernie, Bernie, would you have just kept him."