The Classic Sale At Silverstone Festival 25th - 27th August 2023

+ buyers premium of 12.5% plus VAT (15% incl VAT) on the first £300,000 of the hammer and 10% plus VAT (12% incl VAT) thereafter 165 Most of us imagine that the trend amongst the World’s top manufacturers of exotic automobiles to release an air-brushed artist’s impression of their new ultra-desirable, hugely powerful, impossibly good-looking, ‘we’re only making a few, don’t ask how much and anyway they are all sold’ model is a fairly recent phenomenon, however, it’s not. Way back in 1961, Jaguar Cars did just that with their forthcoming E-Type, and the only difference was that the forecast list price for the new model was about half of what you thought it might be. Sir William Lyons’ savvy move of restricting the sale of the first 50-or-so cars to established racing drivers or celebrities only fuelled demand still further, and magazine articles have been written about just how far potential customers would go to be moved up the rapidly expanding waiting list. Of those first 50 cars, seven were selected to be allocated to racing drivers/teams that Sir William and his advisors felt would be most beneficial in terms of public impact. Jaguar had ceased to take part in motor racing but remained ever mindful of the value of this form of publicity. On 19th March 1961, Claude Bailey issued instructions to the Production Department to build seven competition E-Types and the project’s issue number was ZP537/24. Sir William Lyons, ‘Lofty’ England and Bill Heynes, amongst others, were copied in, and seven cars were prepared and discreetly tuned prior to despatch to the selected 1960s racing dynasties. The modifications were relatively mild and included an increased compression ratio, polished con-rods, gas-flowed cylinder head, lightened flywheel and a close-ratio gearbox. Two cars each were destined for John Coombs, Tommy Sopwith’s Equipe Endeavour, Peter Berry and a single car to Sir Gawaine Ballie. We are delighted to have been asked to handle the sale of #850018, one of the most sought after Jaguar E-Types in the World. It was initially used by ‘Lofty’ England as his personal car, however there was a waiting list of about ten names for every car that came off the production line, so he didn’t get to keep it long before it was one of the two cars sent to Tommy Sopwith’s Equipe Endeavour racing team. Originally founded by Tommy Sopwith to race in sports cars, Equipe Endeavour entered cars in the very first year of the BSCC in 1958. Running two Jaguar 3.4-litre saloons for Sopwith and Gawaine Baillie, the team created history by taking victory in the first ever BSCC race, with Sopwith and Baillie taking victory in every race (in their class) throughout the year. Sopwith only lost the title after a head-to-head duel with Jack Sears. Lionel Abbott, who sourced the car for Silverstone Auctions, comments: ‘I’ve known the car for 20-years. This fabled car, #850018, is one of four from the original seven that has remained in its original configuration. As the Equipe Endeavour paddock car, it was twice raced by Jack Sears in 1961. Its sister car, #850005, famously won its first race at Oulton Park in May 1961, driven by Graham Hill.’ Both E-Types carried the famous Endeavour registrations of ECD 400 and UPM 400. As noted in the original logbook, UPM 400 only stayed on the E-Type until 13th July 1961 before Tommy Sopwith fitted his personal plate, EE 400, which is still retained by the family. Period photos in the history file show this registration on the E-Type in the paddock at Brands Hatch and Snetterton in 1961. At Crystal Palace on 22nd May, Jack Sears came second driving UPM 400 in the Norbury Cup. Engine damage at Spa the previous weekend with ECD 400, which had been driven hard by Mike Parkes, necessitated using the spare car. Jack Sears drove it again to fourth place at Snetterton on 30th September. A story is recalled by Jack’s son, David, who remembers Mike Parkes and Tommy Sopwith arriving at the family farm in Norfolk and taking both E-types to Norwich and back at undiminished speed with him and his sister aboard each car, to be greeted by a very irate Mrs. Sears on their homecoming. Mike Parkes used UPM 400 as a daily driver in 1961 between races. A total restoration was undertaken by Kent-based E-Type UK in 2012 who are acknowledged masters when it comes to historically important E-Types. Working to what they call ‘The Geneva Principle’, extreme care was taken to retain the unique features of those seven ‘Project ZP’ cars. UPM is now resplendent in Indigo Blue with a red leather interior, and nothing prepares you for the visual appearance of these early cars. The timeline of this very significant E-type is fully documented in a perfect history file that covers every owner, a buff logbook noting registration changes, copies of Jaguar records, letters from Tommy Sopwith and Jack Sears and photos in the hands of subsequent owners. #850018, or Chassis 18 for simplicity, has a very high profile in the world of Historic Motorsport and consequently will attract considerable interest. Naturally, we are keen to accommodate potential buyers needs, so please feel free to get in touch and make arrangements to view this rather special old Jaguar. Footnote: When speaking about the future of Jaguar recently, creative boss Gerry McGovern said ‘When you look back to those cars, don’t try to emulate them, don’t try and do a retrospective pastiche, because that’s not credible’. However, despite this, Jaguar Classic recently announced their intention to build seven sets of recreated ZP cars, a Roadster and a Coupé, to be sold as a pair for around £1,000,000 (the pair). We have no doubt that they will be superbly made, very desirable and have no trouble in finding seven, well-funded new owners but, at the end of the day, they will always reman an homage to those irreplaceable original cars, one of which we have on offer here for a similar amount. We are fairly certain that an original Stradivarius will always have a higher intrinsic value than a pair of replicas, no matter how well made. Chassis #18; one of the seven ZP537/24 original factory competition Jaguar E-Types that kept Jaguar Racing alive in 1961. Lot 660 1961 Jaguar E-Type Roadster ‘Project ZP’ Ex-Tommy Sopwith Equipe Endeavour Registration: UPM 400 Chassis No.: 850018 Estimate: £1,000,000 - £1,250,000 Specialist: Lionel Abbott Telephone No: 07831 574381 More Details Lot 660 Bid On Lot 660