Auctions and Brokerage
Courtney Graham, Santa Cruz, California (acquired new)Douglas Pung, San Jose, California (acquired from the above in 1966–1967)Mark Miller, Los Altos, California (acquired from the above in 1984–1985)Lee Smith, Danville, California (acquired from the above July 1998)Current Owner (acquired from the above)
The Quail: A Motorsports Gathering, Carmel Valley, California, August 2014
Reporting from the Geneva Auto Show in March 1961, Autosport magazine’s correspondent declared, “The E-Type Jaguar has made its electrifying appearance, and at one stride Britain takes the lead in the Grand Touring market of Europe.” Descended from Jaguar’s three-time Le Mans-winning D-Type, E1A development car, the achingly beautiful E-Type combined impeccable lineage, technical sophistication, and shattering performance – all at a relatively affordable price point.
E-Type production began for Jaguar’s export markets in March 1961 with domestic production commencing that July. Running changes defined first-year production, with early cars utilizing external bonnet latches, louvered panels welded into the bonnet as a separate component, and flat footwells. Surviving examples possessing all three of these characteristic early features rank firmly as the most collectible, historic, and valuable E-Types. Numbered 875272, this XKE is the 272nd left-hand-drive roadster produced.
Accompanied by its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT) Certificate, 875272 was factory-finished in Carmen Red with black smooth-grain upholstery and a matching convertible top. Research shows that the E-Type was a Bay Area California vehicle for its entire existence. First owned by Courtney Graham, founder of the Plantronics technology company, the exotic red E-Type was an executive’s gift to himself. About five years later, 875272 was sold to another tech executive Douglas Pung. Nearly 20 years later, renowned early E-Type collector Mark Miller purchased the 1961 Jaguar from Mr. Pung, then showing about 50,000 miles, and placed it in storage until 1998. At that time, the mothballed E-Type was purchased by Lee Smith of Palo Alto.
In October 1998, the Jaguar specialists at Dave Ferguson’s Images Auto Body in Campbell, California, were entrusted with the body and paint restoration of Mr. Smith’s E-Type. This work was completed by mid-1999, thereafter, the XKE’s body was properly waxed, covered, and stored indoors for the next 15 years awaiting completion. In early 2014, Mr. Smith sold the car to the consignor when a concours-level, no-expense-spared restoration of the complete car was undertaken again by Images Auto Body. Virtually every nut, bolt, and fastener was fastidiously restored. The work included rebuilding its 3.8-litre engine and mechanical components, whose stampings correspond to the JDHT Certificate. As offered, this professionally restored, early-production E-Type is accompanied by a completely restored hard top, original tool roll, and correct bottle jack. Other fascinating items include the Jaguar’s history compiled by the prior owner, photographs, and California registration cards from the 1970s. Resplendent in its factory-specified colors and freshly restored, this outside-latch E-Type Jaguar is among the very finest examples of its legendary breed.