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Little Classics News: 1 December 2013
Images Courtesy of Bonhams

Ecurie Ecosse Collection Scoops Over £8.8million at Auction

Ecurie Ecosse Collection Scoops Over £8.8million at AuctionToday’s Bonhams December Auction has arguably been one of the most anticipated of the year, with journalists, experts and enthusiasts getting hot under the collar about one of the most comprehensive collections of historic competition cars to ever go under the hammer. Although sold as separate lots, the total collection of seven classic cars and the transporter had a total hammer price of £8,870,080.

The distinctive colours, name and transporter of the famous Ecurie Ecosse team has been a big part of British motorsport history since the 1950’s. Having started in Edinburgh in 1951 this private team secured international fame in 1956 and 1957 taking two consecutive wins at the prestigious Le Mans 24-Hour race in Jaguar D-Types.

Although it is the D-Types which steal the limelight, the Ecurie Ecosse team competed in a number of cars over their most famous period, including other cars from Jaguar, Austin Healey, Cooper and Tojeiro.

As one of the most important collections of classic cars, huge interest and bids were expected. However, amongst the excitement, many were also sad to see Dick Skipworth putting this outstanding collection up for sale, fearing that whether split or retained as one collection, the new owner(s) would not be so willing to display these much-loved classic cars at shows for the public to enjoy.

Now all sold, we can only hope the new owners are just as willing to keep them in view of the public. Information so far is that the iconic Jaguar C-Type and Jaguar D-Type were sold to the same U.S. bidder as the transporter, so at least a portion of the collection is kept together.

1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Grand Touring Coupe

1961 Austin-Healey Sprite Grand Touring CoupeAs one of the more affordable classics of this amazing car collection, this little Austin Healey was a change from the big cats Ecurie Ecosse were well known for – and in a time when the success of the team had already peaked. Although raced at Le Mans in 1961, its fortunes were not great, ending up rolling and subsequently being left to rot in the Donald Healey Motor Company yard. Two years later this lost racer was rediscovered, bought, rebuilt and raced at various events throughout the 60’s. Its luck ran out again, when at some point in the 70s it was forgotten (once again) with just its chassis plate and registration identity surviving. In the 1990’s Dick Skipworth managed to acquire the remains, bringing this little racer back to life.

Sold for: £61,980 1952

Jaguar C-Type Sports Racing Roadster

Jaguar C-Type Sports Racing RoadsterAs one of the more famous of the collection this classic C-Type was expected to bring in a significant hammer price. As a very competitive car, the C-Type achieved a number of respectable results in UK and international races throughout 1953. Without any history, these cars are both rare and collectable. With Ecurie Ecosse racing history attached to them, they are extra special.

Sold for: 2,913,500

1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

1951 Jaguar XK120 RoadsterThis superb Jaguar XK120 is one of the most important examples of this legendary model Bonhams have ever offered. It is the sole survivor of the three such cars originally deployed by David Murray's Scottish racing team from April 1952. Having been well-placed in many early races this eminent classic car has since been campaigned widely by the Skipworth family over many years.

Sold for: £707,100

1956 Jaguar D-Type 'Shortnose' Sports-Racing Two-Seater

1956 Jaguar D-Type 'Shortnose' Sports-Racing Two-SeaterThe Jaguar D-Type design is one of the most desirable and most coveted of all truly historic and classic cars. As a legendary car that took the track by storm, the D-Type created the highest point for the Ecurie Ecosse team. This particular D-Type was one of six run by Ecurie Ecosse and the least campaigned, with the car remaining in outstanding condition.

Sold for: 2,577,500

1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar Sports Racing Prototype

1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar Sports Racing PrototypeThis distinctive classic racing car is one of the most consistently competitive historic sports cars eligible for current large-capacity Historic racing. Despite having two near-sister front-engined Tojeiro-Jaguars built in 1957-58, this particular 1959 variant was, and remains, unique. Built bespoke on commission by Ecurie Ecosee the car ran extremely strongly at La Mans in 1959… well, until it melted its own engine! Now in fabulous condition, this rare, improved and solid car would make a perfect historic racer.

Sold for: £382,300

1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax 'Mark II' Type 57 Rear-Engined Sports Racing Prototype

1960 Cooper Monaco-Climax 'Mark II' Type 57 Rear-Engined Sports Racing PrototypeThis rear-engined Cooper Monaco sports-racing prototype was successfully run by Ecurie Ecosse in a number of international races in 1960 before entering Le Mans in 1961 where it was forced to retire after crashing. However, after being repaired it continued to compete successfully and would still make a fun and competitive classic racer.

Sold for: £219,900

1962-63 Tojeiro EE-Buick Endurance Racing Coupe

1962-63 Tojeiro EE-Buick Endurance Racing CoupeCommissioned and built to bring Le Mans success back to the Ecuri Ecosse stable, this Tojeiro was originally build with a racing Climax engine, but, for the 1963 season swapped over to the Buick V8 (now more famous as the Rover V8) – hence the name “EE (Ecuries Ecosse) Buick”. In Climate guise it retired in 1962 at Le Mans with gearbox failure. The upgraded 3.5 V8 layout never made it to Le Mans for 1963, but remains a pioneering and much-loved historic racer.

Sold for: £214,300

1960 Commer TS3 Three-Car Transporter

1960 Commer TS3 Three-Car TransporterAs one of the most distinctive and best known team transporters, the Ecurie Ecosse team's celebrated Commer is restored, running and fully road-prepared. This icon vehicle is a bespoke creation hosting numerous pioneering and ingenious engineering solutions. One such unique characteristic is its engine: a two-stroke three-cylinder, opposed-piston compressor-scavenged diesel engine. Always drawing crowds at shows, this piece of automotive and racing history sits on a podium as high as any of the famous racing cars it carried.

Sold for: £1,793,500

 



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