Scottsdale Auto Week

In 2021, the traditional Scottsdale, Arizona, collector car auctions in January were scaled down or postponed. However, ten cars sold for over a million dollars in the sales arranged by Bonhams, Gooding, and RM Sotheby’s. The top result was $6 million paid for a bright red 1955 Jaguar D-Type at the RM Sotheby’s sale. A 1937 Bugatti Type 57 SC Tourer by Corsica sold for $4,750,000 hinting that the good run classic Bugattis had in 2020, may continue. A 2020 McLaren Speedtail achieved $3,277,500 while the two Koenigsegg Regeras on offer both went unsold.


Bonhams scheduled its tenth annual Scottsdale, Arizona, sale on January 21, 2021 at the Westin Kierland Resort, as a live auction with bidding possible on-site by registered bidders, online, by phone, or commission bidding. Most cars could be inspected on-site by appointment on the days prior to the auction.  In 2021, Bonhams earned $5,896,400 with a sell-through rate of 78%.


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RM Sotheby’s started their 2021 auction calendar on January 22 with the 22nd Annual Arizona auction. This year, the event was held at the OTTO Car Club in Scottsdale with a limited, strictly by appointment only in-person attendance. The event was able to achieve $35,065,900 in total sales with a 90% sell-through rate. The one-day event saw bidders from 35 countries bidding in the room as well as online, and via phone. The standout vehicle of the sale was the 1955 Jaguar D-Type that had a rich period race history. It was acquired by a phone bidder for $6,000,000. 


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Sold For $6,000,000; CHASSIS NUMBER XKD 518

Dispatched 29 December 1955 and delivered new to Henlys of Manchester, England, XKD 518’s appearance immediately distinguished it from the already rarified D-Type set. Painted Red with an interior trimmed to match, it was one of a very small number of D-Types (perhaps as few as two or three examples) to be so finished when new. One historian suggests, somewhat humorously, that this unexpected livery was selected by Jaguar in hopes of breaking into the Italian privateer racing market.

Advanced in design and construction and highly successful in competition—while also distinguishing itself as one of the most aesthetically pleasing racing machines ever devised—any Jaguar D-Type is an important and notable vehicle. Beyond its distinctive color combination, XKD 518’s particular appeal lies in its well-documented provenance, including a healthy record of in-period racing. Further, despite ample time spent on circuits, it has survived to the present accompanied by its original engine, cylinder head, and bodywork. Needless to say, not all competition machinery from racing’s golden era has been so lucky.

A compelling centerpiece for any serious collection of significant sports and racing cars, XKD 518 is also a worthy candidate for vintage competition at the highest and most prestigious levels; it awaits a dedicated owner prepared to carry on the legacy established by racers and enthusiasts in the decades since this special D-Type first left Coventry.