2022 Bonhams Quail Lodge Sale (Cunningham Jaguar E-Type Announced)

A 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition, owned and raced by the giant of US motorsport, Briggs Cunningham, is the lead car for the Bonhams Quail Auction during Monterey Motor Week 2022.

Briggs Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition on sale at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022
© Bonhams

A Briggs Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition (estimate: “Refer to Department”) is the most expensive car on offer at the 25th Bonhams Quail Lodge classic car auction in Carmel, California, during the annual Monterey Motor Week in mid-August 2022. As an official Cunningham team car, driven by champion drivers Augie Pabst and Walt Hansgen at Le Mans, this highly original E-Type Lightweight is among the most important examples of the rare competition model. Bonhams sold the car to the current vendor for $8 million at Quail Lodge 2017.

Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022 Sale

Bonhams: 25th Quail Lodge Sale in Carmel during the annual Pebble Beach / Monterey Motor Week on 19 August 2022 in California, USA. Recent Bonhams Quail Lodge earnings:

YearEarnings $Lots / Sell-Through %
2022$27.8 million137 cars, 88%
2021$36,877,800139 cars, 89%
2020$13 million63% (online only)
2019$32 million217 cars, 76%
2018$37.7 million135 cars, 82%
2017$56,430,000105 cars, 80%

The 25th edition of Bonhams’ Monterey Week sale achieved over $30 million and a sell-through rate of 90% (once post-hammer deals were included). The Quail Lodge auction record was set in 2014 when Bonhams sold a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO for $38,115,000 — still the third most expensive car ever sold in a public auction.

1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022

Top Briggs Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition on sale at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022
© Bonhams

The top car on offer at the Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022 sale is a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition, Chassis no. S850664, Engine no. RA 1349-9S (Refer to department for estimate). This car is one of only 12 Lightweight Competition versions of the E-Type built by Jaguar and was the second of three owned and raced by Brigg Cunningham. Although no estimate was released, $8 to $10 million is probably expected.

Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition

Briggs Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition
© Bonhams

With the resounding success of the Jaguar D-Type in sportscar racing, not least in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, its successor was also destined for a career on the racetrack. Work started on the original E-Type (E1A) in 1957, evolving into the E2A racing development prototype which was campaigned in the French endurance race by Cunningham in 1960.

The already successful racing driver and team owner was involved at all stages of the car’s racing development, fielding an E-Type coupé at Le Mans in 1962, in which Roy Salvadori achieved fourth place.

In 1963, Cunningham was offered early examples of the evolutionary E-type Lightweight Competition designed to meet the challenge posed by the Ferrari 250 GTO. A mere 12 cars were built with aluminum alloy bodies and an aluminum hardtop for added strength, with their 3.8-liter competition engines upgraded with Lucas fuel injection, and featuring modified chassis.

Briggs Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition on sale at Bonhams Quail Lodge 2022
© Bonhams

Known as GTO Killers, the Lightweight Competition cars were sold exclusively to preferred customers of Jaguar’s managing director, Lofty England, including Cunningham who acquired three, the second of which was the motorcar offered. Officially despatched on June 7, 1963, this E-Type, chassis S850664, was equipped with a four-speed gearbox for its debut in that year’s 24 Hours of Le Mans, with Cunningham’s champion drivers, Walt Hansgen and Augie Pabst, at the wheel.

Qualifying 14th, the E-type was nevertheless forced into early retirement by gearbox failure. However, with the desirable five-speed ZF gearbox later fitted at the Jaguar factory, the Lightweight was driven to an 11th overall finish for Cunningham by Hansgen and Paul Richards at the Road America 500 in September 1963. A 4th-place finish by Richards at the Bridgehampton 500 followed a week later.

Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Post-Racing History

1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Coupe in Museum
© Bonhams

After this brief competition career, the Jaguar was retired to Cunningham’s well-known museum in Costa Mesa, California, before being owned by a string of respected collectors including Sir Anthony Bamford, Paul Vestey and Adrian Hamilton in the UK.

Having been significantly restored in the late 1980s, the Lightweight campaigned in historic races in the 1990s and was presented at other prestigious events, including the 1999 Goodwood Festival of Speed and 2001 Le Mans Legends, over the next decade.

The rare E-Type, which retains its factory-issued aluminum coachwork and matching-numbers alloy engine, now returns to Bonhams Quail Auction where it was acquired by the vendor – a prominent collector of important sports and racing cars – five years ago and is offered with a comprehensive history file.

Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Prices at Auction

1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition
© Bonhams

Only twelve Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition cars were ever built and these are rarely offered at auction. The last two offered were both sold by Bonhams in 2017.

The same Cunningham 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition was sold by Bonhams at Quail Lodge 2017 to the current vendor for $8 million in a post-hammer transaction — a seemingly good deal for the buyer as the highest unaccepted offer during the auction was $8.2 million.

The only other Lightweight Competition sold at auction in recent years was a 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition that sold for $7,370,000 at the Bonhams Scottsdale 2017 auction. This E-Type was campaigned successfully by Bob Jane in Australia but covered only 4,000 miles since new.

Monterey Week 2022 Classic Car Auctions

Top classic car auctioneers with sales during Monterey Week 2022 include Gooding (Pebble Beach), Bonhams (Quail Lodge), RM Sotheby’s, Broad Arrow, and Mecum.

Monterey Week 2022 Auction Results:

Monterey Week 2022 Auction Previews:

Monterey Week 2022 Pre-Auction Announcements

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