Arguably the world’s finest SS100 – restored to award-winning concours standard by JD Classics – was back at Pebble Beach in 2010. However, this time it was at the great event’s official auction house, where it was responsible for the second of six world records tumbling on the day.
Having had considerable concours success with the 1937 Jaguar SS100 3.5 litre sports tourer JD Classics restored for him, owner Robin Green decided to sell it on at auction.
Goodings Auction is the official auction house of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance, which in turn is one of the world’s biggest, most prestigious celebrations of classic showcars. We were there with Robin and his SS100 in 2009, collecting the esteemed and highly prized Best in Class award – surely one of the most heady, never-to-be-forgotten days in our history.
Considering this was the oldest surviving SS100 3.5 litre of just 116 ever built and the second off the production line, CKV 666 was possibly the world’s most important SS100 historically. An icon of automotive magnificence, it had also been shown at the equally prestigious Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in 2010 and used by Jaguar’s UK factory for corporate promotions. So given the well-proven quality and popularity of JD Classics’ restoration, the pre-bidding estimate was high.
By the time Lot #24 was called, the atmosphere in the auction room was already electric. Notwithstanding the sheer quality of consignments available, Lot #19 – a 1951 Ferrari 340 America Spider – had already fetched a world record $2,530,000 sale at auction, so hopes were building that more records could tumble before the day was out.
The previous record sale for a SS100 at auction was just $300,000. With the pre-bidding estimate well in excess of that, you could tell by the buzz among the knowledgeable crowd assembled that they were fully anticipating history to be made again.
And once again, Robin’s SS100 didn’t disappoint. The hammer finally fell on the record-breaking sum of $1,045,000 – the highest figure a JD Classics restored Jaguar had ever fetched at auction and smashing the pre-bidding estimate.
This truly amazing lot was won by the John W. Rich Automobile Museum in Pennsylvania, which is a private collection of approximately 50 historically important vehicles (including a Model T Ford).
The collection is said to exhibit their vehicles at over a dozen charitable events throughout the year. So there’s every chance that this, the oldest, most authentic incarnation of the sports tourer that thrust Sir William Lyons’ fledgling company onto a global stage, will be celebrated in public for years to come.
This legendary two-seater sports car has given all of us involved in bringing it back to life tremendous pleasure over the last few years. And if the fortunate few to see it from now on catch even a fraction of that, then they’re in for a rare treat.