There are very few cars as iconic or more sought after than a Jaguar E-type. Not even popular celebrity and ex-soccer player David Beckham has the luxury of owning an E-Type regardless of the fact he’s a Jaguar ambassador. These cars are held in the highest regard among petrol heads, and the fact that Beckham—a self-confessed car junkie—doesn’t own one say a lot about their rarity.
This January, Classic and Performance Car reported that a Jaguar E-Type Lightweight was sold at auction for $7.3 million at a Bonham’s auction in Scottsdale, Arizona. The car up for auction was the 1963 Australian GT Championship winner. It was still in top condition and is now the most valuable E-Type to be sold at auction, as well as the most expensive post-1960s Jaguar.
According to Sports Car Digest, Jakob Greisen, Bonhams’ Head of Motoring, said “not only is this an incredible car by any measure, but it’s also the first time a Lightweight E-Type has been offered in the US for more than seventeen years.” The auction attracted car enthusiasts from around the globe who saw this as a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of British racing history.
The E-Type cemented itself in motoring history from the first time it was unveiled. In their article on the history of the E-Type, Auto Car wrote that on seeing the car, Enzo Ferrari called the E-Type the most beautiful car in the world. Jaguar built six further continuations of the Lightweight E-Type in 2014 yet they pale significantly compared to the original model up for auction in January. The allure of the E-Type is not just its design but also its history and the culture that surrounds the car.
The E-Type’s iconic status as a part of British culture and history has been promoted recently in two adverts starring Jaguar brand ambassadors David Gandy and David Beckham. The advert Gandy stars in is called “Escapism” and features the self-confessed petrol head driving various Jaguar models including the iconic E-type.
Jaguar made Beckham brand ambassador for China in 2014 and he features in an advert directed by Hollywood director Matthew Vaughn. In the advert, Beckham is seen racing the E-Type before driving different classic Jaguar cars up to the latest model.
Beckham and Gandy recently competed against each other in the GQ Best Dressed Man. Gandy knocked Beckham out in the semi-finals before going on to lose to Tom Hiddleston, although we doubt Beckham will lose any sleep over it. Premier League football site Betfair listed the ex-England captain’s top five standout moments in his career including winning the treble as a Manchester United player – all of which are significantly better than being crowned Britain’s best dressed man. We do wonder though what either brand ambassador would give to be the owner of the Lightweight E-Type. Beckham could well be losing sleep over that, right now!
Although a certain Aston Martin outshone the Jaguar E-Type on the silver screen, it achieved iconic status due to its association with the stars. The Globe and Mail inform that famous owners of the E-Type include Steve McQueen, Roy Orbison, George Best, and Frank Sinatra. The car is as recognisable in pop culture history as Andy Warhol and the Beatles. Whoever ends up with the E-Type in January will purchase not only a car, but also a piece of history.