RM Sotheby’s Brings Historic Jaguar C-Type and ‘Blower’ Bentley to Forthcoming London Auction

1952 Jaguar C-Type s_n XKC 014

1952 Jaguar C-Type s_n XKC 014


LONDON, England, 18 August, 2021

RM Sotheby’s is privileged to announce that it brings two of the most important examples of British motorcars ever produced to its London auction, in association with the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run, on 5th November at an all-new central London venue. It’s hard to imagine two cars that exemplify peak British automotive heritage more than the 1952 Jaguar C-Type and the 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer, which will take centre stage at the RM Sotheby’s 15th annual London sale. 

The 1952 Jaguar C-Type left the company’s famed Browns Lane works in Coventry, England, on 7th October 1952 and was immediately dispatched to its first, Florida-based owner, Commander John “Jack” Rutherford, finished in cream with a green suede interior. As its ‘014’ chassis number suggests, it was the fourteenth example of the 53 cars produced, fitted with the corresponding engine number E-1014-8, and body no. K-1014, and it is significant that this important car retains its numbers-matching engine and is notable for its high levels of originality. Rutherford was to compete in the car extensively between 1952 and 1960, and the car’s performance in his hands at the NASCAR speed week at Daytona Beach, is notable for a timed run at 134.07mph. With its second owner, the car raced in several SCCA races between 1961 and 1962 and achieved notable results including several 1st in class performance as well participating in the 1962 Road America 500 Miles. The third US-based owner retained the car for 24 years and eventually sold the car to a German collector who undertook a complete and detailed restoration in 1988, when the car was repainted in classic British Racing Green. With a thoroughly known and documented history, this important competition Jaguar is eligible for almost all historic motoring events (Estimate: £4,000,000 - £4,500,000). 

The 1930 Bentley 4½-Litre Supercharged Tourer, is one of the few cars that can genuinely claim to match the Jaguar C-Type in terms of its historical place in British motoring history. The fabled ‘Blower’ Bentleys were developed in the quest for more power and performance from the marque’s definitive four-cylinder engine, and the Supercharged cars will forever be associated with Bentley’s pre-war racing efforts and great drivers such as Sir Henry (Tim) Birkin. The cars featured a new supercharger designed by Amherst Villiers, which when added to the 4½-litre engine, hiked the power from 100bhp to 175bhp. 50 such cars were commissioned, and the car offered for sale in London is no less than the very first ‘Blower’ completed at the factory in 1930, chassis SM3903. Furthermore, this car was displayed at the 1929 London Motor Show and it was retained by Bentley Motors for some time afterwards, serving as company demonstrator until late in 1931 before being sold via London’s Jack Barclay dealership. The car’s history is extremely well documented and is supported by a comprehensive report by the leading Bentley, expert Clare Hay. Chassis SM3903’s undisputed status as the very first of the famed Blower Bentleys completed seals the car’s place in automotive history and certainly makes it one of the most significant Bentleys in existence. Like the Jaguar, the Bentley will be welcomed at all leading events the world over. (Estimate: £3,800,000 - £4,200,000).

Continuing with the British theme, other early consignments for the London sale include a highly desirable 1959 Aston Martin DB4 Series I (Estimate: £325,000 - £375,000) and a one-off 1931 Rolls-Royce 20/25 ‘Dreadnought Special’, a high-performance and expertly engineered pre-war special, featuring a highly tuned supercharged Bentley 4½-litre engine in a Rolls Royce 20/25 chassis, and boasting unique sports bodywork. (Estimate: £150,000 - £200,000).

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