Bernie's first car - set to fetch £9 million at auction

This classic jaguar - sold for £3,500 by business magnate Bernie Ecclestone more than 60 years ago - is expected to make a staggering £9million at auction

This classic jaguar - sold for £3,500 by business magnate Bernie Ecclestone more than 60 years ago - is expected to make a staggering £9million at auction

And the classic motor has since had a string of owners including the manager of legendary rock band Led Zeppelin.

Bernie's first car! Classic Jaguar that F1 supremo Ecclestone sold for £3,500 as a young car dealer is set to fetch £9 MILLION at auction

  • The Formula One magnate, 87, bought the car from Henlys of Manchester
  • But he quickly sold the D-Type on to amateur racer Peter Blond
  • It has had a number of owners including Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant
  • Its looks, rarity and capability put it among the most sought-after classic cars

The future Formula One billionaire - who was then a car dealer in his mid-20s - bought the 170mph D-Type from Henlys of Manchester.

It was sent to the Jaguar-Rover dealer after leaving the production line in Coventry in December 1955, but wasn't attracting any interest from buyers.

Ecclestone, who worked out of an office on Warren Street in London, stepped in and took it off their hands at a trade price.

But the entrepreneur quickly sold the D-Type to amateur racer Peter Blond for what now seems like a meager sum of £3,500. 

Blond, who had owned a number of high-end Jaguars, described the D-Type as the best car he ever owned, racing it at events across Europe.

The D-Type, known as XKD 518 and believed to be one of just two in red, is now one of the world's most sought-after classic cars thanks to its looks, rarity and performance.   

The future Formula One billionaire (pictured above on right with twice Formula One world champion Graham Hill) bought the 170mph D-Type from Henlys of Manchester

The future Formula One billionaire (pictured above on right with twice Formula One world champion Graham Hill) bought the 170mph D-Type from Henlys of Manchester

Then a car dealer in his mid-20s, Ecclestone (above in Monaco, 1958) worked out of an office on Warren Street in London
 But the entrepreneur quickly sold the D-Type to amateur racer Peter Blond for £3,500

Gooding & Co - who will sell the coveted car in Arizona, US, over the weekend of 19 January - have given it a guide price of almost £9 million.

'Presented here is a rare opportunity to acquire a highly regarded D-Type,' the auction house said in a statement.

'XKD 518 possesses an impressive competition history, including many successful outings at British events, and an unbroken provenance that counts noted racing drivers and collectors among its former owners.

'It has been thoroughly documented by leading Jaguar historians and features prominently in the most important books on the marque and model.

 Blond - who raced the rare car 12 times - described the D-Type as the best car he ever owned

Blond - who raced the rare car 12 times - described the D-Type as the best car he ever owned

 It has a 3.4-litre engine developing more than 250 brake horsepower and has a high-strength alloy monocoque chassis

It has a 3.4-litre engine developing more than 250 brake horsepower and has a high-strength alloy monocoque chassis

'Its distinctive original livery and superb reputation will always distinguish this car from its brethren, whether on the road, track, or concours field.' 

Inspired by the latest advances in aircraft technology, the D-Type had a high-strength alloy monocoque chassis and 3.4-litre engine developing more than 250 brake horsepower.

And it was capable of reaching staggering speeds of more than 170mph. 

The Jaguar - capable of reaching speeds of more than 170mph - will be sold in Arizona by Gooding & Co over the weekend of 19 January

Peter Blond raced it 12 times, finishing fifth at the Aintree 100, picking up a top ten finish in the Goodwood Trophy and winning the Snetterton National Race. 

During the next 20 years the D-Type had a number of British owners including Peter Grant, the manager Led Zeppelin. 

More recently, it has been based across the Atlantic and its US owner, who bought it a decade ago, is now set to make a fortune when the car is sold.

D-Type values have rocketed in recent years and they are among the world's most valuable cars.

Car-lover: Ecclestone's cooper jaguar racing at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on 9 September 1951

Car-lover: Ecclestone's cooper jaguar racing at the Brands Hatch circuit in Kent on 9 September 1951

British racing driver Stuart Lewis-Evans drove the businessman's cooper jaguar at Crystal Palace racecourse in 1956

British racing driver Stuart Lewis-Evans drove the businessman's cooper jaguar at Crystal Palace racecourse in 1956

Gooding & Co added: 'Any collector determined to own a D-Type is strongly encouraged to give serious consideration to XKD 518.

'After all, a Jaguar sports racing car with only the right kind of stories is hard to come by.

'Very few examples possess the outstanding qualities of this car, which has been an object of desire since Peter Blond first spotted it in London in 1956.

'For the true collector - one who has a deep appreciation for extraordinary automobiles and the fascinating lives they have led - this D-Type is a unique prize.'


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5228921/Bernie-Ecclestones-... 
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