Two Historic Jaguar Le Mans Racers Head to Auction, Expected to Fetch Millions
One was a Group C influencer and the other was a class champion at la Sarthe, so you can take your pick.
Two historic Jaguar endurance racing cars—the XJR-6 and XJ220-C—will be sold at auction in London on Dec. 1.
Auction consignor Bonhams will sell the two vehicles at its "The Bond Street Sale" event alongside a series of other vehicles, some of which are also former racing cars.
Senior of the two is the 1985 XJR-6, whose lineage can be traced forward to the XJR-12, which locked down a one-two finish at the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans. The XJR-6's carbon fiber monocoque and colossal venturi tunnels (which generated ground effect downforce) influenced the designs of the Group C prototypes which would follow. Despite the use of the composite material that now underpins most exotic sports cars, the XJR-6 was heavy, meaning its fuel-injected 6.2-liter V12 couldn't be run at its full 650 horsepower in races, lest it use too much fuel.
Though the XJR-6 managed a win at a 1,000-kilometer Silverstone race, it never triumphed at Le Mans, all three of its 1986 entries retiring mid-race. Nevertheless, the XJR-6 was a learning experience for Jaguar, which eventually churned out winning cars.
Another of Jaguar's endurance race cars that history never quite acknowledged was the XJ220-C, derived from Jaguar's XJ220 halo car. It won the IMSA GT class at the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans but was disqualified for not running catalytic converters, despite being approved in tech inspection. Jaguar won its appeal against the ruling, but due to a technicality, the XJ220-C remained disqualified, its crown stolen.
The XJ220-Cs returned in 1995, but with the debut of the world-beating McLaren F1, they stood no chance of winning outright, even had they finished—both cars retired.
Jaguar also manufactured a set of road-legal XJ220-Cs called the XJ220-S, but this being a "-C" model means it'll be confined to racetracks. Given that's where the XJ220-C is in its element, that's no disappointment.
Both cars are predicted by Bonhams to see a hammer price between $2.9 and $3.7 million individually. If you're a multimillionaire with a penchant for classic Jags, get that plane ticket to London ready by Dec. 1 when these roll across the auction block.