The ex-John Bekaert 'Autosport' Championship,1961 Jaguar E-Type Two-Seater Competition Roadster  Chassis no. 850020 Engine no. 1650-9

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Lot 134A
The ex-John Bekaert 'Autosport' Championship, 1961 Jaguar E-Type Two-Seater Competition Roadster
Registration no. YRP 999 Chassis no. 850020 Engine no. 1650-9

£ 170,000 - 230,000
US$ 230,000 - 320,000
The ex-John Bekaert 'Autosport' Championship
1961 Jaguar E-Type Two-Seater Competition Roadster
Registration no. YRP 999
Chassis no. 850020
Engine no. 1650-9
The most attractive competition E-Type Jaguar is one of the first twenty flat-floor ‘E’ Types manufactured before the Coventry company’s assembly line was in full production. Such was the huge demand for the ‘E’ Type at the time of its launch that the first cars were only made available for purchase to suppliers or close friends of Jaguar Cars. William Lyons and ‘Lofty’ England of Jaguar very much encouraged initial owners to compete with their cars, and ‘YRP [email protected] offered here was campaigned in an extensive series of club races through 1961-62, driven for owner Derek Wilkinson by John Bekaert, an extremely popular and capable driver of the time, already well-known for his exploits in HWM and Lister-Jaguar sports cars.
First owner Derek Wilkinson acquired ‘YRP 999’ new on July 25, 1961. After its energetic racing career in the hands of John Bekaert, the car passed to fellow enthusiast John Woolfe for 1963-64, Woolfe becoming well-known in later years for his Woolferace wheels project and 7-litre competition Cobra. It is believed that Woolfe was responsible for the Le Mans style tank, extensive use of aluminium panelling and other modifications including adoption of the ‘D’ Type chronometric tachometer.
After use by “a successful businessman who owned launderettes in South Kensington”, the car was acquired in March 1969 by Terry McGrath who ran D-Type, Connaught, Crossley and Lola T70 cars under the Concross Racing Team Banner. ‘YRP’ was green when purchased and it was repainted dark blue. Mr. McGrath has confirmed that at the time the rear discs were cooled by a vertical slot in front of the rear wheel arches and the car had already been fitted with the long-distance alloy factory Le Mans fuel tank, with filler cap mounted in the boot lid as it still is today.
Bob Vincent bought the car that November, and his mechanical modifications (confirmed by Martin Ryan, who frequently raced the car during Mr. Vincent’s ownership) included lowered and stiffened suspension, modified brakes ducted both to the boot lid vents and to the rear wheel arches via an alloy tower over the rear axle (now missing), and the modified tail treatment with increased underside rake to reduce lift. The rear number plate recess was also faired over, since the car was seldom used on the road.
In 1971, Bob Vincent had ‘YRP’ resprayed signal red and Martin Ryan then bought it purely for competition use, campaigning it widely, and successfully. During 1972, he returned it to HSCC specification by reducing amongst other things the flared wheel arches. At this time it was still fitted with 6,800-rpm 3.8-litre engine.
In 1973, Martin Johnson bought the car, which Mr. Ryan continued to race. A modified 4.2-litre head was fitted to the 3.8 block. On August 14, 1974, ‘YRP’ passed to collector Alexander Boswell in whose hands it lay unraced for five years until 1980 when it was acquired by Mr. T. White and his brother-in-law, Mr. A. Crossingham, who began lengthy restoration. The bodywork was resprayed as original in opalescent green and the rear number plate recess fairing was removed. In 1991, the current vendor acquired the car, restoration still incomplete. ‘YRP’ received new carpets, re-leathered original seats, renewed suede green leather interior trim, except for the windscreen pillars where the original leather cloth inserts were retained and a horn was added for road use.
Since 1993, Lynx Motors have taken over the remaining work, instructed not to change any original parts or period modifications unless required. This year has seen a complete mechanical rebuild by Lynx, an additional rear axle ratio of 3.77 being added to the existing 3.51 diff. A completely new 3.8-litre engine was manufactured to produce 350bhp in order to make the car both more competitive and to preserve the 1969 engine in its historic specification. The alloy wheels originally supplied by Jaguar for Lightweight ‘2 GXO’ were purchased to replace the competition wires which had been the hallmark of the car for most of its racing life. The cost of this recent rebuild has been in excess of £80,000.
In the last ten years ‘YRP’ has been campaigned carefully and regularly at a number of senior events, including the Silverstone Historic Festival twice and both the Donington 35th and 40th anniversary E-Type races – David Piper, driver of ‘YRP’ at Donington, was most enthusiastic about the car’s handling and originality. It was also invied to attend the 30th anniversary for E-Types in 1991 at Donington and the Goodwood Revival last year. Now, a highly competitive E-Type ‘YRP’ will be driven in the August Gold Cup Meeting at Oulton Park by Jackie Oliver who commented at a recent test at Silverstone, “this is the quickest road legal car I have ever driven”.
Supplied with FIA papers, a comprehensive file with the car details, its racing history, mechanical rebuild work undertaken and offers an extensive inventory of spare parts including the 1969 race engine in good condition and close ratio Moss box.

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