A Jaguar E-Type that lay hidden in a garage for more than 30 years created a stir at the Bonhams auction at the RAF Museum in Hendon on Monday April 29, selling for £109,020 – more than three times its highest pre-sale estimate.Bidders fought over the 1961 Roadster, one of the most desirable of all E-Types. A very early 'flat floor' 3.8 litre model dating from the first few weeks of production, the car was also one of the earliest surviving right-hand drive E-Type roadsters and had never been restored. It was in remarkably original condition, and had covered only 65,000 miles from new.
Purchased by the vendor in February 1965, the car was used regularly until the early 1980s, when it was taken off the road.
Tim Schofield, Head of the Bonhams Motor Car Department, said: "We were delighted with the performance of the E-Type, which eclipsed its £25,000 to £30,000 estimate. We had suspected it would do well, given the desirability of the model and the market's ongoing enthusiasm for original, un-restored 'project' cars.
"We had eight telephone bidders on this car but it ended up going to the man in the room who offered the first bid of £40,000.
"The car is already with its new owner, who has sent it to one of the foremost E-Type restorers in the UK who will bring it back to the condition in which it left the factory in 1961. He had been searching for an early E-Type for some time and we wish him many happy hours bringing this car back to its best."
The £1.7 million achieved at the Bonhams Hendon Sale brought to a close a busy weekend for the Bonhams Motoring department. An auction at the Staffordshire County Showground on Sunday April 28 achieved £1.4 million, with the highlight a world speed record-breaking 1952 Vincent Black Shadow, which sold for £113,500.