1952 Jaguar C-Type

RM Sotheby's London 2021
Saturday, 6 November 2021
£3,700,000 ($4,991,670)
Not sold at a high bid of
£4,000,000 - £4,500,000
Est. Range
Lot Number
Competition restoration
RM Sotheby's
Auction House
RHD. 3442/205hp, 4-speed gearbox, dry sump lubrication, wire wheels, Blockley tires, aero screens.

Evaluation: One of 53 genuine Jaguar C-Types manufactured between 1951 and 1953. Sold new in Florida, where its first owner Jack Rutherford was timed at 134.07 mph on the Daytona Beach in 1953. Later raced by David S. Burtner in the Midwest, at one point carrying a Chrysler Slant Six. Restored in the U.K. in the late 1980s with its original engine (now with an XK 120 cylinder head) and gearbox. Later owned by Skip Barber, Joel Loeb, and Bill Jacobs. It’s quite the survivor having retained its original coachwork, but despite quality paint and panel fitment, it presents as aged with stone chips to the nose and cracked paint around the door hinges. Rides on a set of good, clean wire wheels, but the knock-on ears are dented. The seat leather is of great quality with only slight wear, and the steering wheel looks original with only light refurbishment. The interior sheetmetal has been sprayed with silver paint, and the gearbox tunnel has a silver heat wrap carpet-like material. A decently presented historic racer.

Bottom Line: The main appeal in this C-Type lies in its level of preservation and relatively benign history. It’s never known to have been wrecked, and retains an impressive amount of original componentry. That said, race cars with a benign history rarely make history, and in the grand Jaguar hierarchy, this C-Type is far from a Le Mans winner in terms of outright value. Back in 2006, RM sold it at its Arizona auction for $1,512,500; Bonhams gave it another go at its 2020 Amelia Island sale, where it went unsold at a high bid of $5.4M. That was a realistic number that could have been accepted, especially given how it struggled to get similar bids in London. With two high-profile misses in as many years, it will be difficult to find a higher offer elsewhere.

by Andrew Newton
12 November 2021
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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.