Unrestored Cobra, Jaguar D-Type head for auction
The warm-weather auction season has barely begun, with big sales in Indianapolis and Monaco set for May and Monterey looming just beyond the horizon. But we’re already penciling in our calendars for Upstate New York in October, when an unrestored Shelby Cobra, a Jaguar D-Type, and a Cunningham C3 will be sold out of the garage of a single owner, along with more than 100 other cars.
The sale, “Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor”, will take place on October 14–15 in Taylor’s hometown of Gloversville in Upstate New York, near Albany.
Aside from the cars themselves, this auction is significant in that it will be hosted by a new player, Broad Arrow Auctions.* It’s also our latest reminder that our pre-2020 notions of what constitutes “auction season” are well and truly dead. Whereas a consignor might have once been leery of offering seven-figure collectibles away from the big crowds of Monterey or Amelia Island, they can now be confident they’ll attract a large digital audience anytime, anywhere.
The clear star of the sale is Taylor’s 1955 Jaguar D-Type (indeed, it is the only car that will carry a reserve). The D-Type is the 15th built, and was delivered new to Colonel Ronnie Hoare, who later founded British Ferrari importer Maranello Concessionaires. Only raced sparingly in period, XKD515 mostly served as a road car. This means that unlike most D-Types, it was spared the hard living of a competitive racer and still retains its original chassis, engine, and bodywork. It is represented as one of the most original D-Types around. Over 20 other Jags are up for grabs as well, ranging from an SS 100 and an alloy-bodied XK 120 to multiple E-Types and XJs.
Less valuable than the D-Type but in some respects more distinctive is a totally original, unrestored 1964 289 Cobra. A three-owner time-warp car, it is well-known in Shelby American circles thanks to its condition—original and clearly used but far too well-preserved to even think about restoring. Also included in the sale is Taylor’s 1967 427 Cobra, a restored example with less than 8000 miles from new that has been set up for long distance touring.
The Shelby offerings don’t stop at Cobras. There are Mustangs, too, including a group of four Hertz “Rent-A-Racers.” The 1966 GT350-H is one of just 85 original 4-speed manual examples, while the 2006 GT-H Fastback, 2007 GT-H Convertible, and 2016 GT-H are all super-rare stick-shift “Executive Cars.”
Highlights from the 1950s and early ’60s include an Amelia Island class-winning Cunningham C3, one of only roughly 20 of the Vignale-bodied American coupes ever made, a 1961 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Roadster with factory hardtop and fitted luggage, and a 1952 Allard J2X. There are also prewar greats like a barn-find 1937 Horch cabriolet as well as modern exotics like two Heritage Edition Ford GTs, one from 2005 and the other from 2020. In other words, although it’s a single-owner auction, this sale really has something for everyone.
*Hagerty has entered into a joint venture with Broad Arrow Group.