BONHAMS UPDATE: THE WORLD’S FINEST LONG-TERM PRESERVED JAGUAR C-TYPE

MattHowell_C-Type_006A closer look at the ‘time machine’ Jaguar headed for Monaco
Bonhams forthcoming Monaco Sale on May 13 will feature the world’s finest as-original, running, long-term preserved ‘time-machine’ Jaguar C-Type, UK road-registered ‘POV 114’.
On January 14, 1955, this outstanding example of Jaguar’s double-Le Mans-winning XK120C design was registered under chassis number ‘XKC 011’, and was sold ex-works to the Dunlop Rubber Company. It survives today in essentially identical specification.
The preceding history of Jaguar’s works team car ‘XKC 011’ embraces the 1952 Le Mans 24-Hours, the 1953 Mille Miglia and Targa Florio, plus a race win at Goodwood, when driven by such Jaguar stalwarts as Sir Stirling Moss, Major Tony Rolt and Peter Walker.

The Jaguar world at large has long accepted a contemporary works team anecdote that a subsequent body swap saw chassis ‘XKC 011’ fitted with the body from sister car ‘XKC 047’, which had itself been campaigned by the Belgian Ecurie Francorchamps team during the 1953 Sports Car World Championship season.

As works prepared, and tended by Jaguar factory team mechanics, ‘XKC 047’ competed in two 1953 24-Hour races – at Le Mans and at Spa-Francorchamps – plus the ADAC 1,000 Kilometres classic at the Nürburgring in Germany. ‘XKC 047’ finished 9th overall in the great French race, co-driven by its formal owner Roger Laurent / Baron Charles de Tornaco. At Spa Laurent shared it with future Ferrari personality Jacques Swaters and at the Nürburgring with Ferrari’s great future three-time Le Mans-winner Olivier Gendebien.
Bonhams’ comprehensive investigation of ‘XKC 011’ (aka ‘POV 114’) to be offered at Monaco, initially revealed evidence identifying its chassis as having been the works team car which substituted at the last moment as the Ecurie Francorchamps entry in the 1954 Le Mans 24-Hour race. After our attention was drawn to other features of the car, further inspection now indicates that such participation is in fact debatable.dv4sg
It is therefore probable that ‘XKC 011’ as now offered by Bonhams is not really a split-identity car at all. Present opinion is that it is likely the 1953 car, chassis ‘XKC 047’ – still bearing its original, complete ‘K 1047’ body – subsequently re-stamped ‘XKC 011’ at the factory before delivery to Dunlop in 1955.
‘POV 114’ continued to be maintained by the factory when it served as a test car for Dunlop, and during its club-racing days in the hands of owner-drivers Mike Salmon, Gordon Lee and Robin Sturgess into the 1960s.
It was acquired by the Griffiths family in 1963 and it is to be offered at Monaco direct from this self-same ownership, 53 long years later.
Most significantly, it has been preserved virtually untouched in wonderfully well-patinated ‘time machine’ condition to this day.Jq6eJ
James Knight, Group Motoring Director of Bonhams, commented, “Bonhams has been assisted in its investigation regarding this famous Jaguar C-Type by a wealth of experts, and tremendous thanks are due to British Jaguar authority Den Carlow, motoring writer Marc Noordeloos, Jaguar enthusiast Jeremy McChesney, Chris Keith-Lucas of CKL Engineering Ltd, Gary Pearson of Pearsons Engineering, Australian Jaguar authorities Les Hughes and Terry McGrath, and Andrew Tart of Andrew Tart Motor Engineering.
“While officially sold by the Jaguar factory as ‘XKC 011′, the histories of ‘011′ and ‘047’ – which became intertwined during the preceding 1954 Le Mans race period – have baffled any number of Jaguar enthusiasts and historians over the years. These recent collective efforts – most notably with the total support of the long-term owner – are getting closer to unlocking this exciting mystery in this gloriously-preserved old war-horse’s very early life.”
Bonhams inaugural Monaco Sale will present an exclusive auction of just 40 hand-picked, exceptional motor cars. Timed to coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix Historique, the Sale will take place on 13 May 2016. The venue for this grandest of motoring auctions is the prestigious Fairmont Monte Carlo hoteloverlooking the Grand Prix circuit’s famous ‘Station’ hairpin, scene of so much motor sporting drama.
For further information on Bonhams motor car department visit: www.bonhams.com/cars

#1 Mercedes CLK GTR Roadster ever built offered at Bonhams Festival of Speed sale

9174285-1-13Quando Mercedes-Benz presentò la sua prima CLK GTR Roadster nel 1998 costava all’epoca 1,5 milioni dollari, il che la rendeva l’auto di produzione più costosa mai realizzata, una cifra superata solo nel 2005 dalla Ferrari FXX.

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La Bonhams Festival of Speed ​​Sale vedrà in offerta il primo esemplare mai costruito di Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster, stimato in £ 1,400,000-1,800,000.

James Knight, Motoring Director di Bonhams: “La vettura è stata proprietà di Mercedes-Benz fino al 2014, quando fu acquistata dall’attuale proprietario. Si, è effettivamente una  auto nuova con soli otto chilometri, ed è l’unica dei sei roadster essere rifinita in nero. Raramente si vede una vettura con queste credenziali sul mercato”.

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale takes place on 26 June in Goodwood, Chichester. For more information visit https://www.bonhams.com/departments/MOT-CAR/.


When Mercedes-Benz first unveiled its CLK GTR Roadster in 1998 it sold for an astonishing $1.5 million dollars, making it the most expensive production car ever, a figure only recently exceeded by the Ferrari FXX.

Bonhams Festival of Speed sale will offer the very first example of the Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Roadster ever built, estimated at £1,400,000-1,800,000.

James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director, said: “The car was retained by the Mercedes-Benz company until 2014 when it was acquired by the current owner. It is effectively a new car with just eight kilometres on the odometer, and it is the only one of the six roadsters to be finished in black. We rarely see a car with these credentials come to market.”

An open topped variant of the already super-exclusive CLK GTR Coupe – only 25 road going cars were ever produced – the Roadster was made in a very limited edition indeed. The company had the simple but effective idea of removing the roof and installing two roll-over bars and additional strengthening, plus the Roadster engine boasted an engine increased to 640bhp (40 horsepower more than the Coupé) and a Formula 1-style, sequential six-speed transmission controlled by paddles on the steering wheel.

At the end of the 1996 racing season, Mercedes-Benz switched from racing touring cars to sports cars, a decision that left precious little time to develop a challenger for the FIA’s (International Automobile Federation) new GT Championship. The latter’s regulations stipulated that ‘GT1’ category cars had to be production based, so development was entrusted to Mercedes-Benz’s official performance division, AMG. Amazingly, just 128 days after design work had commenced in December 1996, the first Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR took to the track at Jarama in April 1997 for its initial test.

The CLK GTR first won at the challenging Nürburgring in June 1997, going on to win five more of the 11 rounds to take the GT Championship in its debut year. With a new CLK LM (Le Mans) waiting in the wings, the CLK GTR raced just twice in 1998, before being retired from active duty after little more than a season’s racing, but with an impeccable record.

During 1998 and 1999, Mercedes-Benz duly completed 25 road going CLK GTRs. These closely resembled the racing version but had ‘only’ 550bhp and dispensed with the racer’s separate rear wing in favour of a body-integral design. They were also better equipped and kitted out with more creature comforts than the racer. With a headline-grabbing price tag of over $1,000,000, the CLK GTR’s exclusivity was surpassed only by its incredible performance.

Bonhams Festival of Speed Sale takes place on 26 June in Goodwood, Chichester. For more information visit https://www.bonhams.com/departments/MOT-CAR/.