All eight cars in British connoisseur Dick Skipworth's collection from the legendary Scottish team that won two consecutive Le Mans 24-Hour races in 1956 and 1957, sold at Bonhams today (1 December) for record prices.
Just as they did in the 1950s, four of the Ecurie Ecosse Jaguars raced ahead of their rivals.
The team's 1952 Jaguar C-Type sold for no less than £2,900,000, amid auction-room applause, while their 1956 Jaguar 'Shortnose' D-Type sold for £2,600,000. Both went to a buyer in the United States.
Meanwhile, the packed saleroom resounded to further applause as the Collection's Jaguar XK120 Roadster made a record £707,000.
Million-pound mark-up for two-stroke truck
However, it was the Ecurie Ecosse three-car Transporter, their unique 1960 Commer TS3 immortalized for many by the Corgi toy, which exceeded all expectations as it was sold to the same US buyer for £1,800,000 after a telephone bidding war that lasted almost 20 minutes.
The 800-strong crowd in Bonhams' £30-million New Bond Street headquarters – opened by London Mayor Boris Johnson on October 24 - erupted as auctioneer Robert Brooks' hammer sealed this sale of the most valuable historic commercial vehicle ever sold at auction.
Following the Ecurie Ecosse Collection's sale excitement, the spotlight turned to Ringo Starr's Facel Vega, which sold for £337,500 while seven-time Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher's Benetton-Cosworth Ford B194 went to a German museum in Boeblingen for £617,500, bringing the auction total to £16,861,630.
James Knight, Bonhams' Group Motoring Director, said: "We always knew that today's Sale had the potential to be a roaring success, but nobody quite anticipated the incredible atmosphere in the saleroom that saw so many truly historic cars go for such astounding prices.
"The Jaguars especially were exceptionally popular, and I am delighted that the Transporter will still be carrying two of its original Ecurie Ecosse racing cars."
NOTES FOR EDITORS
Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com