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Auto blogThu, 11 Sep 2014 18:58:00 EST
An automaker with as rich a heritage as Jaguar is bound to create a few experts along the way... and some divergent opinions, too. So on the eve of the debut of the new XE, Jaguar brought together three experts to whittle down the long list of classic Leaping Cats to just ten.
For this gargantuan task, it brought in Ian Callum (who, as the company's chief designer, knows a thing or two about Jaguars), Lord Charles Henry Gordon-Lennox (the Earl of March and founder of the Goodwood Revival) and Brian Johnson - who may be better known as the frontman of AC/DC, but also a classic car enthusiast, collector and racer in his own right.
So what did the designer, the nobleman and the celebrity choose? The SS100, XK120 (namely number NUB 120), the C-Type that competed at the 1953 Mille Miglia, the D-Type that won at Reims, the Mk II sedan, the E-Type that served as the Geneva show car, the one and only XJ13, company founder Sir William Lyons' personal XJ6 S1, the TWR XJS touring car and the 1988 Le Mans-winning XJR-9.
Generally speaking, I don't get too upset about the growing need to replace displacement in modern cars. Sure, there are exceptions (don't you touch my 6.2-liter AMG V8), but honestly, the industry's new forced induction powertrains are all lovely, and their gains in fuel economy - when they actually make good on them - can make up for the ever-so-slight losses in performance or driving character.
But I'm having a hard time keeping my chin up with this Jaguar XF. For the 2013 model year, Jaguar has killed off the naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V8 and fitted a supercharged 3.0-liter V6 with an eight-speed automatic in its place (and even offers a turbocharged four-cylinder engine below that). That all sounds perfectly well and good, but a week behind the wheel of this British Racing Green sedan just left me missing that V8. And then some.
RM Auctions is one of several houses holding auctions during the Monterey weekend, and Friday night's festivities got quite pricey. Seven-figure vehicles were not at all uncommon during the first day of the two-day event, with the 1953 Ferrari 375 MM Spider, seen above, crossing the block for $9,075,000.
Other big earners included a pair of rare Ferraris, a 1950 166 MM Barchetta and a 1955 750 Monza Spider, which took $3,080,000 and $4,070,000, respectively. Outside of the red Italians, a 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540K Special captured $7,480,000 while a stunning, color-appropriate 1955 Jaguar D-Type took $3,850,000. We've got images of these vehicles, and a few other stunning examples of last night's auction, in the gallery above.
Thought it seems impossible, tonight's auction is expected to see even more high-dollar action. The winner of the 2012 Pebble Beach Concours, a 1928 Mercedes-Benz 680S Torpedo Roadster is expected to command over $10 million. Also crossing the block will be a car we reported on a few weeks back - a supremely rare 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 NART Spyder. One of only 10 in the world, it's expected to take anywhere from $14 to $17 million when it hits the stage tonight.