With little over 50 examples made and a decorated racing history, the Jaguar C-Type is one of the most sought-after models ever made by the famous British marque. Bonhams has a very special one coming up for auction – one that Sir Stiling Moss drove at Le Mans in 1952.

Jaguar built chassis number XKC 011 for its works racing team in 1952. It made its debut at Silverstone at the hands of pre-war racing legend Peter Walker. Then the factory outfitted with specially elongated bodywork for Le Mans, where Moss teamed up with Walker to split driving duties. Sadly it didn't make it to the finish line thanks to an engine failure, marking the second of eight DNFs that Moss would suffer in ten campaigns at the French endurance race.

Moss drove this C-Type in several more races after it was converted back to its standard bodywork. It was then raced by Ecurie Francorchamps before being sold to run in British club racing. The current owner acquired it in 1963, and has held onto it until now. XKC 011 is scheduled to highlight the upcoming Bonhams event at the Fairmont Monte Carlo during the Monaco Grand Prix Historique next May.

Bonhams has not published a pre-sale estimate for how much it expects this example to sell for. However in correspondence with Autoblog, the company's auction specialist James Knight revealed: "We certainly feel the car will exceed £5m and has the potential to achieve much more." That base estimate works out to over $7.5 million at current exchange rates. We'll be watching to see whether the final sale price comes closer to the $3.7 million for which - according to the Sports Car Market database - Gooding sold one C-Type in 2012, or to the $13.2 million which RM Sotheby's raised for another this past August.

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BONHAMS RETURNS TO MONACO WITH EX-STIRLING MOSS JAGUAR C-TYPE

THE MONACO SALE 'LES GRANDES MARQUES À MONACO'
13 May 2016
Monte Carlo

In 2016, Bonhams will return to Monaco to present an exclusive sale of just 40 hand-picked, exceptional motor cars. Timed to coincide with the Monaco Grand Prix Historique, the sale will take place on 13 May 2016.

"Already renowned in motorsport circles for its annual Monaco Grand Prix and Monte Carlo Rally, the glittering Mediterranean Principality is now to host the Bonhams Monaco Sale," said James Knight, Bonhams Group Motoring Director. "The auction will be carefully curated, tailored to offer only the most desirable models to the market.

"We are delighted to confirm that we already have several incredible consignments for the sale, led by the fantastic 1952 Jaguar C-Type 'XKC 011'. This very special sports-racing car is not only an ex-Stirling Moss ex-Works team entry, it is also in wonderfully original condition, and is offered direct from the family that has owned it for 52 years. Research indicates the car is fully original, remaining un-restored since the day it left the Works team in 1955."

Jaguar C-Type 'XKC 011' was built new for the Jaguar Works racing team early in 1952. After making its racing debut at Silverstone in May of that year, driven by one-time pre-war Brooklands star Peter Walker, it was fitted with special longnose/longtail aerodynamic bodywork for the Le Mans 24-Hour race. There it was co-driven by Stirling Moss and Peter Walker, but failed to finish.

Reverting to handsome standard body form, it was again co-driven by Moss and Walker in the 1952 Goodwood 9-Hours race, finishing 5th, before Walker set best times in both the Shelsley Walsh and Prescott hill-climbs. World War Two hero Major Tony Rolt drove it to victory in the September Goodwood Meeting.

In 1953 'XKC 011' was then campaigned by Stirling Moss and 'Mort' Morris-Goodall in the 1,000-mile round-Italy Mille Miglia, and by veteran driver/journalist Tommy Wisdom in the Sicilian Targa Florio. This great car's Works Team career concluded with Moss finishing 2nd in heat, and 4th in the final of the 1953 British Empire Trophy race which took place at Douglas, Isle of Man.

The following year the car achieved further success, when it was loaned from Jaguar Cars Ltd to Belgian team, Ecurie Francorchamps.

After it was sold from the Works, the car became one of the most raced and best-known of all C-Types on the British club-racing scene, owned and driven by Michael Salmon, Gordon Lee and Robin Sturgess. It finally passed into the current vendor's family ownership in March 1963, and it has been maintained in active yet incredibly un-spoiled order ever since.

Bonhams' sale of Jaguar C-Type 'XKC 011' in Monaco, 2016, will provide a truly incredible opportunity to acquire the cream of the historic car collecting world.

The venue for this grandest of motoring auctions is the prestigious Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel, overlooking the Grand Prix circuit's famous 'Station' hairpin, scene of so much motor sporting drama.

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