‘Legendary’ Jaguar sold for £8.4m

The 1953 C-Type on its way to fourth place overall at Le Mans. Picture: Patrick Ernzen/RM Sothebys/SWNS.com
The 1953 C-Type on its way to fourth place overall at Le Mans. Picture: Patrick Ernzen/RM Sothebys/SWNS.com
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A “LEGENDARY” Jaguar raced at Le Mans and then later by a famous Edinburgh team has become the manufacturer’s most expensive car after selling for £8.4 million.

Three people battled it out to get their hands on the stunning 1953 C-Type.

It was the second of three factory lightweight works cars built by Jaguar for the 1953 motorsport season.

And Peter Whitehead and Ian Stewart drove the car – known as XKC 052 – to fourth place at Le Mans, averaging an incredible 103mph in the gruelling race.

Jaguar took first, second and fourth spot at Le Mans that year, cementing the C-Type’s position as one of the greatest race cars.

It was then driven to victory eight times by drivers for the Capital’s Ecurie Ecosse team.

This meant there were huge levels of interest when it was auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s at the weekend in Monterey, California.

It had an estimate upwards of £5m and after a bidding war it ended up selling for a staggering £8.4m.

This makes it the most expensive Jaguar ever sold publicly, with only a small number of Ferraris, Mercedes and McLarens ever fetching more.

RM Sotheby’s said it was an “exceptional result” for a car “known as one of the most legendary in existence”. It wouldn’t reveal the buyer.

The Jaguar is fitted with a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine which gives it 220bhp and a top speed of more than 140mph.

Motorsport legends Jimmy Stewart and Roy Salvadori both won eight races in the car as well as picking up numerous podium places.

Ecurie Ecosse sold the C-Type to Peter Blond in 1954 and he painted the car British Racing Green and raced it around Europe. Blond later called the C-Type the most stimulating, spritely and exciting car he owned. The car continued to be raced by 
its later owners and, in 2000, was bought by a Californian collector.

newsen@edinburghnews.com