Arizona car week is upon us again, and with blockbuster auction houses such as Gooding & Co and RM Sotheby’s coming into town. The week is sure to be marked on every car collectors calendar.
However, it is RM Sotheby’s Arizona auction that Borro Blog turn their attention to this month; the top lot is a car that simply couldn’t be ignored.
The 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works is immersed in racing history. After becoming the principal team car driven by Moss and Walker at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Jag went on to achieve three consecutive victories at the prestigious Le Mans race between the years of 1955 and 1957. This was perhaps just one of the many reasons why RM Sotheby’s chose to describe the car as a ‘veritable cornerstone of Jaguar’s competitive history’.
The original model was fitted with a 2.5 litre engine, and achieved a top speed of 172.97mph. This was coincidentally the fastest time set by Stirling Moss at Le Mans in 1954 on the Mulsanne straight. It was also one of the first racing cars to feature monocoque construction and all-wheel disc brakes.
With a traditional racing green finish, the D-Type personifies British automotive excellence. The owner will be hoping that it goes on to achieve similar feats to the record breaking 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 that fetched $22.5 million (£17.5m) at Pebble Beach last summer.
This 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works is an example of one of the most actively raced D-Types of them all. It has at least 55 races under its belt during the 1950s alone (including 24 podium finishes, of which five were overall victories).
The car comes complete with extensive documentation, including Le Mans entry forms, factory time sheets, test reports and FIA papers. This will only heighten the anticipation surrounding the extremely rare classic.
The 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works is set to raise between $12-15 million (£8.87-11.08m) at RM Sotheby’s Arizona sale on 18-19 January. However, judging from last year’s sale results, this uniquely historical Jaguar could fetch a considerably higher price on the day.