H&H Classics, a UK-based specialist auction house, has announced it is to auction the very first competition Jaguar E-Type produced by the factory. The 1961 Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Competition Roadster carries an estimate of GB£700,000 – GB£900,000 and will form part of H&H’s ‘Classics Duxford sale’, in three months time. (April 19-20.)
Overseen by Jaguar’s engineering director Bill Heynes and supplied to favoured teams on Frank Raymond Wilton “Lofty” England’s say so, the seven right-hand drive Roadsters built to Project ZP 537/24 specification were the very first E-Type competition cars. Upgraded by the Competition Department at Browns Lane, the septet had particular attention paid to their running gear: increased compression ratio, gas flowed cylinder head, lightened flywheel, competition clutch springs and close-ratio gearbox.
One of two cars earmarked for John Coombs – the other five being distributed among Tommy Sopwith, Peter Berry and Sir Gawaine Baillie – chassis 850007 was completed on 29th March 1961 but not officially road registered as ‘9 VPD’ for another four months (21st July 1961). Typically used as the Coombs team’s paddock car whilst its sister machine ‘4 WPD’ (chassis 850006 which became the first ‘Lightweight’) performed most of the racing duties, ‘9 VPD’ took to the track for the Scott Brown Trophy on 23rd July 1961.
Following a careful comprehensive work the re-born ‘9VPD’ returned to the track for the July 2005 Silverstone Classic Festival. In July 2006 it finished 4th at the Le Mans Classic (behind two Ford GT40s and a Cobra), the E-Type won its class during the Spa 6-hours that same year.