This vintage Jaguar sports car that was bought by a racing-mad family 53 years ago for £635 is now tipped to sell for a whopping £4million. The late racing photographer Guy Griffiths picked up the Jaguar XK120c C-Type after seeing it tear through racetracks across Europe for some of the era’s top teams. Mr Griffiths preserved ex-race cars, especially Jaguars, and even had a small museum dedicated to classic cars in his home in the Cotswolds. He died in 2003 and his daughter Penny Griffiths-Woodley, who is also a keen racing driver, is now selling his collection.
The C-Type Jaguar was one of just 45 built by the British car manufacturers. Only eight exist today and of those, five competed in the gruelling 24 Le Mans race, including this one. The two-seater is thought to be one of the only few that remain with all original parts and it still runs today. The only changes to the car have been for safety with seat belts, safer brakes, indicators and a fire extinguisher added.
The C-Type is fitted with a 3.4-litre six-cylinder engine which gives it 220bhp and a top speed of more than 140mph. It was driven by the Belgian race team Ecurie Francochamps and Le Mans legend Olivier Gendebien. Dunlop then bought it to use to test tyres and before it was acquired by British racing drivers Mike Salmon, Gordon Lee and Robin Sturgess. After Mr Griffiths bought it in 1963 he used it for hill climbs and track days.
The Jaguar is being sold by auctioneers Bonhams in Monte Carlo. James Knight, group director of the Bonhams, said: “This is a vintage Jaguar-C Type which is renowned as one of the most important and valuable motorcars going, it even ran at Les Mans. “They manufacturer 45 of these cars and only eight raced at Les Mans, of that eight only five remain.
“It has been in family ownership since 1963 and it has been used sparingly in recent years, although all it needs set of tyres to get it going.
“This is quite possibly the most original Jaguar-C Type in existence.
“It has been loved and looked after for 53 years and it is now time for someone else to enjoy it.”