Classic Classified – 1963 Jaguar E-Type Lightweight

From: Hemmings Motor News, July 1977

Price then: $29,950 ($121,100, adjusted for inflation)

Price now: $4,400,000–$11,500,000

Approximate dollar difference: $7,878,900 (From recent sale price)

Annual rate of return: 11%

Lightweight ‘E’ type factory competition car. $29,950. One of the factory cars supplied to Briggs Cunningham that finished 8th at ‘Le Mans’. All aluminum construction, ZF 5 speed gearbox, dry sump aluminum engine. Concours condition after 12,000, rebuild at PAO Preparations (all bills available)

Simply put, this car is a pretty big deal. Not only is it a genuine Lightweight E-Type, but it’s one of the cars campaigned by Cunningham, with factory support, at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Cunningham was a successful racer and team owner, and he even built race cars for a short time. He also successfully raced with Jaguars, including D-Types, Listers, and three of these E-Type Lightweights. This car is the only Team Cunningham Lightweight E-Type to finish Le Mans (although the official results put this car as 9th rather than the seller’s claim of 8th), which makes it arguably the most desirable of the three.

After Le Mans, it saw a long line of documented caretakers before eventually being offered at the Bonhams 2017 Quail Lodge auction, where it sold for a stunning $8,000,000. While the $29,950 asking price in 1977 was a lot of money for an obsolete race car, in hindsight it was a steal. Over the course of 40 years, this car’s value has averaged an astonishing 11% annual gain. Rarely does anyone in the hobby see those returns.

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