Scottish Le Mans stars for sale

A collection of classic racers from Ecurie Ecosse - the Scottish race team that won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 - is up for auction.
A collection of classic racers from Ecurie Ecosse - the Scottish race team that won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 - is up for auction.

A set of vehicles from Ecurie Ecosse, the Scottish motor racing outfit which won back-to-back Le Mans 24 Hours races in 1956 and 1957, is 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, will be a highlight of the Bonhams sale on December 1.

Bonhams was 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, says the collection as a whole is expected to exceed £5 million ($9.8 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 - plus support crew, and even features an on-board workshop.

It was designed by aeronautical engineer Selby Howgate and is 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 Corgi's classic 1:48-scale toy version.

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 for sale.

Knight said said 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.

A collection of classic racers from Ecurie Ecosse - the Scottish race team that won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 is up for auction. Photo / Supplied
A collection of classic racers from Ecurie Ecosse - the Scottish race team that won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 is up for auction. Photo / Supplied


-AAP

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