Big Cats in Arizona | RM Sotheby's Auction Review
As RM Sotheby’s themselves proudly say, the Scottsdale auctions have become ‘A staple on the collector car calendar’. The season opener in the auction world, this auction is arguably one of the most viewed, analysed and examined of the year, setting the tone for what may come in the rest of the year.
With the market in a reassuringly stable, albeit less headline-grabbing, condition, the world shall watch on to see just where the land lies. 166 lots will cross the block including collectables and automobiles, and a cursory glance at the lot listings shows some of the usual suspects - a large stable Prancing Horses, a selection of limited-edition modern supercars and a subtle blend of American muscle for the home crowd. While these lots prove interesting, our true interests of course align with one brand more than any other: Jaguar.
A trio of E-types are offered from rather different ends of the spectrum, the first of which is Lot 129.
1966 Jaguar E-type Series 1 4.2-Litre Roadster.
Described as ‘impeccably restored by Jaguar specialists’, this example was delivered new to California wearing chassis number 1E 13219. Having covered only 50 miles since total restoration, which is detailed as being a 12-month process with numerous improvements including a revised gear ratio, one would expect this to be a fine driving car if properly set-up. Reading the description there is little mention of history, no mention of matching numbers status and no confirmation if the colour combination is the original – something to keep in mind given an estimate of $225,000-$275,000.
1969 Series 2 4.2-Litre Roadster.
The next E-type offering in the extensive catalogue is a less desirable variant, but has potential to be the dark horse of the E-types on the block. A 1969 Series 2 4.2-Litre Roadster, despite not being the most desirable model Lot 174 boasts three strong attributes: unrestored, low-mileage and a strong colour combination. Having covered only 53,000 miles from new, and having recently been treated to a $14,000-dollar mechanical overhaul, the description states ‘highly original, and mildly patinated, yet properly sorted and ready to enjoy’. If indeed as described, this could be a great choice for someone looking for an authentic, useable E-type at a lower price point. Finished in its original factory colour combination of triple black, this S2 looks an appealing option for the broader minded Jaguar fan, estimated at $110,000-$130,000.
1961 Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster.
Last, but by no means least, in the E-type selection is Lot 263, a 1961 Series 1 3.8-Litre Roadster. A desirable flat floor variant and fully restored in 2004, this car has clearly been built with driving pleasure in mind. As such, the original four-speed gearbox has been swapped for an upgraded Tremec five-speed, though the original unit is included with the car should the new owner wish to revert the car to stock. Following the extensive restoration, the car was entered into the JCNA Concours in Colorado where the judges bestowed a score of 99.26 and awarded the car ‘Best in Class’. Originally delivered in Carmen Red, the car now sports a silver shade over a re-trimmed black interior. An ideal touring car, which was indeed what the previous custodian used the car for, this sympathetically upgraded example is estimated at $175,000-$225,000.
Only two other Jaguars feature in the catalogue, distant relatives in age but relatively close in price point. The first, a concours winning alloy-bodied 1950 XK120 Roadster estimated at $300,000-$400,000 is sure to catch eyes in its crimson hue, though a replacement cylinder head rendering the engine non-matching numbers may put off die-hard collectors. For those seeking less grace and more pace, the 1993 XJ220 with only 9,000 kilometres on the clock is ready to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and driven hard. Fully serviced by model experts Don Law in 2017 at a cost of approximately $50,000 dollars, this British brute is ready for a brave new owner with an estimate of $400,000-$500,000.
E-Type UK will be watching closing and analysing the auction, but if you are toying with the idea of selling your pride and joy, why not enquire about our stress-free Brokerage service, click below to visit our brokerage page to find out more.