Bonhams to Sell Another Star
Auction fever has hit the market, with outstanding cars hitting new heights. Another star is due to soar on 15th August, when the annual Bonhams & Butterfields Quail Lodge sale in California puts the prototype Jaguar ‘E2A’ under the hammer. Bids in excess of $7 million are expected for this unique sports-racer – a car that helped shape Jaguar’s evolution.
Driven by no fewer than four of the world’s greatest racing drivers (Sir Jack Brabham, Bruce McLaren, Dan Gurney and Walt Hansgen), ‘E2A’ is, says Bonhams, ‘presented in wonderfully original and unspoiled ex-works condition, preserved in just one family ownership for over 40 years’. So it is, in effect, a one-owner car ex-works.
By 1960, Jaguar had won Le Mans five times, twice with the C-type and three times with the D-type, and Sir William Lyons decided it was time for an all-new semi-monocoque chassis – which would emerge in 1961 as the Jaguar E-type. One of the prototypes, what could be seen as a ‘missing link’ between D-type and E-type, was this powerful, fuel-injected, 3-litre sports-racing two-seater, the ‘E2A’. It was raced by Briggs Cunningham’s experienced team at Le Mans in 1960, with Dan Gurney and Walt Hansgen at the wheel, but retired after 89 laps.
The car then competed in the US, driven by Hansgen, Jack Brabham, and Bruce McLaren. In the late 1960s, ‘E2A’ was purchased by the prominent collector and racing photographer, Guy Griffiths, and it has remained in his family ever since. While Bonhams & Butterfields is offering the car fitted with its current 3.8-litre XK competition engine, an original competition 3-litre power unit is also available to the buyer.
Text: Classic Driver
Photos: Bonhams & Butterfields
Period racing photo: Bob Tronolone
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