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Ecurie Ecosse vehicles up for auction

Jaguar vehicles pictured at Ecurie Ecosse garages in Merchiston Mews, some time in 1956. Picture: TSPL

Jaguar vehicles pictured at Ecurie Ecosse garages in Merchiston Mews, some time in 1956. Picture: TSPL

  • by Helen William
 

A set of vehicles from Ecurie Ecosse, the Scottish motor racing outfit which won back-to-back Le Mans 24-hour races in 1956 and 1957, are to be sold at auction.

The eight vintage vehicles, including the team’s famous restored double-decker car transporter which became a much-loved Corgi toy for generations of youngsters, will be a highlight of the Bonhams sale on December 1.

Bonhams were keeping tight-lipped about individual prices for the vehicles which date back to the 1950s and 1960s, but they are confident the central London sale could be a money-spinner.

James Knight, Bonhams’ car department director, said: “The collection as a whole is expected to comfortably exceed £5 million.”

There are also two sports racing Jaguars up for grabs - a 1953 C-Type and a 1956 D-Type.

The 1959 transporter can carry three cars - one inside and two on top - together with support crew, and even features an onboard workshop.

It was designed by aeronautical engineer Selby Howgate and in full running order complete with bodywork by Alexander’s of Falkirk and a Commer TS3 flat-six diesel engine. Some people may best remember its shrunken version as Corgi’s classic 1:48-scale toy.

A 1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, a 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar, 1960 Cooper T49 Monaco, 1961 Austin-Healey ‘Sebring’ Sprite and a 1962 Tojeiro-Buick Coupe are also up for sale.

Mr Knight claimed Dick Skipworth, the private collector and long-time Ecurie Ecosse fan who is selling the vehicles, had pulled together “a definitive representation of perhaps Britain’s best-loved motor racing team.”

Ecurie Ecosse was founded by Scottish businessman and amateur racing driver David Murray in November 1951 from a humble garage in a cobbled Edinburgh mews which was run on a shoestring budget.

In just 10 seasons, the blue-liveried Ecurie Ecosse scored 68 victories, including its Le Mans success with its D-Type Jaguar cars co-driven by Ron Flockhart, Ninian Sanderson and Ivor Bueb.

Sir Jackie Stewart, the three-time Formula 1 World champion, and his brother Jimmy were among its drivers, who competed in both sports car classics and single-seater Grand Prix racing.

Ecurie Ecosse was set up as a co-operative syndicate, running mainly Jaguar sports cars expertly prepared under legendary mechanic Walter ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson.

The team was disbanded in 1972 but reformed in 1982.

 

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