The Ex-Sir James Scott-Douglas/Ecurie Ecosse 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Registration no. LXO 126 Chassis no. 660578 Engine no. W28687
This superbly presented, well-maintained Jaguar XK120 is one of the most important examples of this legendary model that we at Bonhams have ever been privileged to offer. It is the sole survivor of the three such cars originally deployed by David Murray's emergent Scottish racing team from April 1952.
Upon its racing debut it was driven by its owner Sir James Scott Douglas to finish third in the Formule Libre event at Turnberry Aerodrome, and subsequently won the over 3-litre class in the important BRDC British Empire Trophy road race at Douglas on the Isle of Man. The combination finished third in the Wakefield Trophy and Frank O'Boyle Trophy races at The Curragh, outside Dublin, Eire, and sixth at St Helier in the Jersey International Road Race.
But Sir James Scott Douglas's best result by far in 'LXO 126' as now offered here was his historic third place overall achieved on June 29, 1952, in the 223-mile sports car race supporting that weekend's Formula 2 Grand Prix de France single-seater event (in which Jean Behra's 2-litre Gordini would defeat the entire team of factory Ferrari 500s). That sun-soaked day on the Champagne circuit in northern France saw the burly Scots bon vivant drive a fine race to take the place behind experienced French driver Guy Mairesse's Talbot-Lago T26 Grand Sport and overall winner Stirling Moss in Tommy Wisdom's works-supported C-Type Jaguar, 'MDU 212'. The race is well remembered today as being the first International event to be won by a car using disc brakes. It was also celebrated by 'Autosport' magazine as "...a triumph for Stirling Moss (C-Type Jaguar) and Sir James Scott Douglas (XK120 Jaguar) who finished third behind Mairesse's near-GP Talbot. The Jaguar victory will do much to atone for the Le Mans failure...". In fact Scott Douglas in 'LXO 126' starred throughout the race. He was reported as having "nipped into fourth spot with the blue Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar" immediately upon the drop of veteran French official Charles Faroux's tricolor flag, chasing the leading Gordini of Robert Manzon, Moss and 'Pagnibon's Ferrari V12.
Scott Douglas's XK120 was eventually displaced by the Grand Prix-based Talbot-Lagos of Eugene Chaboud and Guy Mairsse, and by Roger Loyer's Gordini, but he was described as "...driving an excellent race in the 'Wilkie' (Wilkinson) prepared car...". As the race progressed Robert Manzon lost the lead after 16 laps when a stub axle broke and his Gordini struck a trackside telegraph pole. Moss inherited a handsome lead "...over Chaboud and Mairesse, whilst Douglas began to close up on Loyer. On lap 22 Chaboud's Talbot packed up and the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar gradually overhauled Loyer's fleet little Gordini".
The 'Autosport' report continued: "Moss and Douglas were driving a magnificent race , the former obviously enjoying his trouble-free run , and the Scotsman creating a fine impression in his very first Continental race.
"There were broad grins in the Jaguar pit. Bill Lyons, Bill Heynes and Lofty England saw Le Mans being vindicated by Tommy Wisdom's light green C-Type, whilst 'Wilkie' could hardly contain himself in the Ecurie Ecosse pit.
"Douglas swept past Loyer and set off in pursuit of Mairesse's Talbot which was beginning to show signs of the strain. Moss came in to a tremendous reception, bathed in sweat from head to foot. The Talbot clattered home in second place with evidence of a run big-end, whilst Sir James Scott Douglas referred to as Bart in the programme glided in with the Jaguar as immaculate as ever, but plastered with dead flies. He drank three bottles of Coca-Cola right off the reel, and looked round for more. Ferrari drivers Ascari and Farina, in congratulating the two Britishers, mentioned casually that they too had acquired an XK120 Jaguar!".
Sir James had completed 47 of the scheduled 50 laps distance, his drive in 'LXO 126' that day having taken 2 hours 17minutes 50.3 seconds.
Into 1953 this larger-than-life character retained this XK120 as a road car, and after the Ecurie Ecosse team C-Type Jaguar 'MVC 630' had been rolled in practice for the ADAC 1,000 Kilometres sports car classic at the Nurburgring in Germany, it was pressed into service for the race, to be co-driven by Scott Douglas and Ninian Sanderson. The Ecosse team mechanics stripped off much of 'LXO 126's road equipment overnight, mounted racing tyres on spare wheels taken from the team's Jaguar Mark VII 'tender' car and Scott Douglas/Sanderson promptly finished tenth overall, fourth in class, and contributed towards Ecurie Ecosse earning the lucrative Team Prize.
Sir James Louis Fitzroy Scott Douglas Bt. was a nephew of the Duke of Beaufort and his father, Captain G.F. Scott Douglas, lost his life in a polo accident. The future Ecurie Ecosse co-founding driver was born four months later to Lady Blanche Scott Douglas at Manor Farm, Sherston, Wiltshire on Friday, October 24, 1930. He was five years old when he inherited the Baronetcy from his uncle and godfather Sir George Douglas. Having been born into considerable wealth he subsequently enjoyed it to the full, racing his Jaguar with the Ecosse team and even, allegedly, buying a naval destroyer which he had converted into a private yacht. His fortunes rapidly evaporated not least after the collapse of a commercial venture in which he had invested in collaboration with equally-extrovert, fun-loving, Grand Prix racing driver Harry Schell - and at one stage during the 1960s 'Jamie' Scott Douglas became a valued source of news tid-bits for the William Hickey gossip column in the 'Daily Express' newspaper. He passed away prematurely aged only 39 on July 16, 1969, his funeral being conducted in the church at Badminton, family seat of the House of Beaufort.
He had retained ownership of 'LXO 126' into 1960 when he sold the car to a Mr P.J. Headley. He in turn sold it to Martin Maudling, son of the Rt Hon Reginald Maudling, contemporary Chancellor of the Exchequer in the United Kingdom Government. Martin Maudling prepared the car for racing and campaigned it in an extensive programme at British club level. The well-used car subsequently passed through a series of more obscure ownerships before being discovered "in a sorry condition" apparently abandoned in a London back street. It had a council notice attached to it, threatening its removal for scrapping within seven days unless moved. Prominent Jaguar enthusiast Tom May was able to purchase the car and he then conducted a meticulous restoration that included finding and restoring the original engine with the D-Type cylinder head fitted today. At some stage the car had been converted to disc brakes by Duncan Hamilton Ltd, and Tom May campaigned the car widely in a renewed club racing programme before he sold it to Mr Tony Hildebrand of the Straight-Six company in 1978. The car was acquired by Mr Dick Skipworth in 1993, subsequently becoming an integral and vitally important vehicle within his Ecurie Ecosse Collection.
It has since been campaigned very widely by the Skipworth family over many years, participating in numerous editions of the modern-era Ecurie Ecosse Scottish Tour, being raced by Dick Skipworth himself in the XK series, by son Steve in the Goodwood Revival meeting and appearing frequently in the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
So here we offer one of the most important Jaguar XK120s ever to have be offered for sale by public auction. The car has significant International motor racing history, headed by Sir James Scott Douglas's fine performance in that 50-lap Grand Prix-supporting sports car race at Reims-Gueux in 1952, and it is we would emphasise the sole known survivor of the original trio of Ecurie Ecosse founding Jaguars from that 1952 season. It is an impeccably-presented, highly-useable, extremely versatile and historically important XK120 of long-established International renown extremely attractive to the organisers and promoters of the world's leading classic car events. Its first owner-driver was one of motor racing's most raffishly extrovert and colourful Anglo-Scots aristocrats, and there is no other surviving XK120 better qualified to wear the charismatic Flag Metallic Blue livery of Ecurie Ecosse .
1952 April 6th Charterhall 2nd,4th Sir James Scott Douglas April 12th Castle Combe 3rd " April 19th Ibsley 3rd " May 31st Charterhall Unpl " May 29th Isle of Mann 6th " June 21st Boreham 7th " June 29th Rheims 3rd " July 10th Jersey 6th " July 27 Charterhall 3rd " Aug 2nd Boreham DNF " Aug 23rd Turnberry Unpl " Sep 6th Curragh 2nd/3rd "
1953 Aug 30th Nurburgring 1000k 10th Scott Douglas/Sanderson