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Rare Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition Coupe Raced at Le Mans Is Heading for Auction

Every collector wants the car they’re about to buy to come with a story to make it possible to trace its lineage and prove its authenticity. This ultra-rare Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition that is gearing up to go under the hammer through Bonhams does have an interesting story to tell.
Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition 10 photos
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The car presented by Bonhams was raced at the 1963 24 Hours of Le Mans by the likes of Bob Grossman and Briggs Cunningham for the latter’s eponymous team and is one of just 12 examples ever built by the British luxury car manufacturer, though the original production target stood at 18 cars.

Jaguar’s limited run of Lightweight E-types took aerodynamic cues from an earlier works car made by the company known as the Low-Drag Coupe (LDC) and was built using aluminum panels in the body and a lighter version of the 3.8-liter XK engine, with an aluminum block replacing the usual cast-iron block.

The Lightweight model comes with a coupé hardtop fitted as standard, adding rigidity to the aluminum structure. The chassis was also modified with revised suspension geometry and plenty of other competition-specific parts. The inline-six XK competition engine is able to deliver 293 bhp (297.2 ps/ 222 kW) at 5,750 rpm. The motor was also upgraded with Lucas fuel injection, dry-sump lubrication, and a five-speed manual ZF transmission.

Briggs Cunningham ended up purchasing three Lightweight E-Types, one of which was chassis No. S850664, the car in question here. Cunningham entered all three of them in the 1963 Le Mans competition, and the car driven by Bob Grossman and himself managed to finish ninth overall and second in class.

Even though the Lightweight E-type never matched the success of the C-type and D-type at Sebring and Le Mans races, the car was successful at smaller events, like Road America 500 or Bridgehampton Race Circuit. After its short competition career, the rare coupe was stored at Cunningham's museum in Costa Mesa, California.

The Jaguar E-Type Lightweight Competition is set to be auctioned off during this year’s edition of Monterey Car Week, and it will surely stand out at Bonhams’ auction at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club in Carmel, California, set to be held on August 19.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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