An auction is definitely the place to be if you want to learn something. For one thing, the auctioneer is going to enlighten you with the knowledge he possesses of the item that is up for sale at the time. Secondly, good auctions will typically provide a list of the lots and what is in them to be auctioned, and this usually includes some good information. Finally, you’re going to be talking to a lot of people about the auction and the items to be bid on, and it’s never fails to amaze when it comes to the amount of knowledge those around you have.
On the exact date of this writing an extremely will be sold at auction in Paris by Sotheby’s. A 1955 Jaguar D-Type will go up for purchase, and in the days and weeks prior to this news-making event, it has been predicted that the auto could bring in as much as $7 million, according to The Robb Report. What could possibly make a car that valuable? Well, there are lots of factors, actually. Here is an opportunity to learn something about an amazing vehicle, and you don’t even have to fly to Paris to enrich your knowledge. Read on and discover what all the uproar is about.
One Rare Car
The 1955 Jaguar D-Type that is going up for sale at auction is more than just another Jag. In fact, it happens to be the seventh D-Type made for customer sale ever. It is original, with the exception being the engine, which was replaced once since it began its ‘life’, and the history behind it will capture your attention and hold it for awhile, but we’ll get to that in a minute. Anyway, between its originality factor and the provenance it has, there is no doubt it will fetch a pretty penny indeed. Sure, $7 million sounds way steep…to us. But to another its value could be much greater, and if whatever price is paid is what the car is worth, right?
Enough of that; let’s take a look at its history.
Fulfilling Its Purpose
This 1955 Jaguar D-Type wasn’t just built to be stared at in awe. It actually had a very intentional purpose when it came off the assembly line: To be driven, and to be driven fast. Well, its entire existence thus far, with little exception, has supported that purpose fully; the car has only gotten to really rest a bit in the last several years. So, what has it been up to since it was completed? Take a look at the timeline below to find out.
Jack Bryson purchases the car for Bib Stillwell, who happened to be a four-time Australian Drivers’ Champion. Stillwell drove it in several local races, including the Rob Roy Hill Climb, the Bathurst 500, and South Australia Trophy. It managed to win the 1956 Bathurst Road Racing Championship.
The car is purchased by Australian Motorists’ Petrol Company (AMPOL) with Jack Davey actually making the buy. They intended to get the car ready for the speed trials coming up, which were sponsored by AMPOL, but during the process of transporting the Jaguar, an accident took place, resulting in the auto not being able race. It was damaged, so AMPOL sold it.
Now owned by a collector named Frank Garner, who restored it, the D-Type has a much better year, taking second place in Bathurst that year, and it managed to win the Mount Druitt Hill Climb also. It continued in racing for the next 56 years, believe it or not, but ownership of the car was not so consistent. It was sold and sold again, several times, during that period.
2014 saw the car get purchased by the current owner, and it has been used competitively many more times since then. Now, having done its fair share of track racing, the car prepares to find its new owner while being auctioned by Sotheby’s. All over the world people sit, waiting anxiously to hear the dollar amount that this iconic race car will fetch.
More Fascinating Facts
Here is a bit more information to store in your data bases:
• In 1958 this particular Jaguar went from a 3.4 liter inline-six engine to a 3.8 liter inline-six (which added 50 horses, we might add. Owner David Finch saw to this, and he was the one to get the new engine directly from Jaguar. He also replaced the original hood type with a long-nosed version during his period of ownership.
• The ‘D-Type’ that this Jaguar is also happens to be one of the earliest of its kind to still be in existence. It is a ‘customer-specified’ D-Type, and it is likely one of the oldest on the face of the Earth.
• The car is still fully drivable, so the new owner will be able to enjoy it just as much as the current owner has. Besides the engine replacement, the car also underwent restoration; this was initially done when Frank Garner owned it. So the vehicle is not only drivable, but it’s in excellent, nearly-original, condition. It was also given a bit of a ‘refresher’ in 1962 by another owner, Ash Marshall. It was at that time that many of its parts were chromed.
• One of the previous owners was Richard Attwood, winner of the 1970 LeMans.
• For the last several decades, care of the Jaguar has been entrusted to expert marquee Chris Keith-Lucas
Well, not really. As of this writing the auction is still active and open to bidders, but we can hardly wait to see what it sells for. That’s information for another article entirely, I’m afraid, so we’ll have to get back to on that. But if you simply can’t wait don’t be afraid to get online and find out what the 1955 Jaguar D-Type closes at for yourself. No matter what he amount is, you can bet the number will be large. Best of luck to the bidders, and until next time, enjoy those cars.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith