Joining the California Spider in Manhattan is another car whose reputation was built at Le Mans, a 1952 Jaguar C-Type, chassis no. XKC 007. Combining robust engineering with beautiful aerodynamic coachwork, three factory C-Types debuted at Le Mans in 1951, with one of the cars going on to become the first British car to win the race in nearly two decades. Jaguar reprised the win with a second Le Mans victory two years later, and in the meantime approximately 43 customer cars were built, with XKC 007 being the seventh. Believed to be the very first C-Type to reach the U.S., XKC 007 was delivered new to Charles Hornburg’s West Coast distributorship, and was retained for competition and promotional purposes, most notably at the hands of legendary driver Phil Hill.
The C-Type debuted at Elkhart Lake in September 1952, with Phil Hill actually driving the car from California to Wisconsin and back for the race. Hill finished 4th in the main event and won the Sheldon Cup outright – securing the first win by a C-Type on American soil. The Jaguar passed through a string of fascinating owners, who also raced the car, before landing with Jeffrey Pattinson of the U.K., who commissioned a full concours-quality restoration by Jaguar specialist Terry Larson. XKC 007 was eventually sold to collector Gary Bartlett of Indiana, who retained the respected Chris Keith-Lucas to preprare the car for vintage events, including the 2010 Mille Miglia Storico and the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Under current ownership, the Jaguar has continued to enjoy a life of pampered care and maintenance and is notably documented with a copy of an original factory test report for this chasiss, C-Type registry histories, and restoration invoices. Claiming rarity, racing pedigree, historically signficant design, and one of the most arresting body styles ever conceived, the C-Type is a true legend and without a doubt a motorsport icon (Est. $5,500,000 – $7,000,000).
“Both the Competition California Spider and the C-Type represent two of the most important vintage race cars found in the United States today and are offered from an exceptional collection,” comments Donnie Gould, Car Specialist, RM Sotheby’s. “Apart from the original three Jaguar Works cars, the C-Type on offer is easily the best and most desirable of the customer cars, while the 250 GT LWB is one of the most successful and significant competition California Spiders. The pair are perfectly at home in our New York sale as true icons from the golden era of sports car racing.”