1961 (Pre-65 Spec) Jaguar E-Type FIA Competition (ex- Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours)
Chassis 885096 is one of the best-preserved period Jaguar racers to emerge from the United States in recent times. Veteran of three Daytona 24 Hours and four Sebring 12 hours, then sealed in a garage for decades, this competition E-Type benefits from a recent restoration, building on its outstanding period competition history.
After use as a road car with first owner William Blood, this early flat-floor E-Type (the 96th LHD FHC) was acquired by privateer racer Richard Robson of Titusville Florida, and rebuilt to FIA GT specification.
A young bachelor engineer then in his 30s, and President of the Fort Myers Sports Car Club, Robson teamed up with Rajah Rodgers of Fort Myers and William Buchman of Sarasota, campaigning the E-Type in endurance racing from 1965-1969. Weekend heroes, they raced for GT class honours, mixing it with other privateers and factory-sponsored teams with deep budgets.
Robson was on personal terms with the likes of Dan Gurney, A.J. Foyt, and Carrol Shelby, and raced to enjoy the competition and become a better driver. Race prep meant working till midnight two weeks before every race, with prize money and personal funds ploughed back into the car. “I do all the work on the engine,” said Robson in a 1967 interview. “It’s a lot of work but a lot of fun. Compared with drivers who have millions of dollars in factory backing, I run on a shoestring. So, when I place or even run well with these people, I consider it an accomplishment.”
Period race history for chassis 885096 includes appearances multiple appearances in the classic Florida endurance racing events held at the legendary Daytona and Sebring tracks:
The history file is replete with the most atmospheric photos documenting this E-Type’s period racing campaign. Results included hard-earned class victories, honourable finishes against truly superior factory equipment, and of course the inevitable retirements expected in this gruelling class of racing.
After a final run in the 1969 Daytona 24, this E-Type miraculously remained untouched for 37 years in Robson’s garage, preserved as a time capsule still wearing its final race number. Spared from unsympathetic interventions, with all her period racing equipment, her long sleep made 885096 an outstanding survivor.
Released into new ownership, a painstaking restoration was undertaken by marque specialists Valley Motorsport in 2019-20, producing a front-running competition car worthy of living up to the example of its glorious early years.
After a public debut at the Amelia Island Concours in March 2020, this FIA Competition E-Type has recently seen track action again in Britain and Europe at the 2021 Goodwood Revival and at the 2022 Peter Auto Mugello Classic in Italy, she has also received an invitation to the 2022 Goodwood Revival.
Wearing her period green livery, this is an opportunity to acquire a race-ready FIA E-Type with outstanding history. Racing “for the fun of it” like Richard Robson, her fortunate new owner can write the next chapter at all the best historic racing events!
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