One of only three dual headlamp Jaguar E-types made by Abbey Panels, originally owned by the 6th Earl of Cawdor is heading to auction on October 7 with H&H Classics

A rare Jaguar E-type boasting aristocratic Scottish connections is coming up for auction with H&H Classics. Specially built for the Sixth Earl of Cawdor, the E-type has recently been subjected to a full restoration.

Besides housing a tuned engine under the svelte bonnet and riding on Koni shock absorbers and competition wire wheels, the bespoke E-type’s most striking feature has to be Abbey Panels’ modified ‘quad headlamps/shark gill’ bonnet.

To be offered at no reserve during H&H Classics next auction on October 17, held at the Imperial War Museum, Duxford in Cambridgeshire, the one-off E-type is estimated to sell for around £40,000 - £50,000. We suspect the final hammer price will be far more than that…

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Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale

The Jaguar was supplied new by PS Nicholson Ltd of Forrer to Hugh John Vaughan Campbell, the Sixth Earl of Cawdor. Perhaps a case of envy, Campbell’s E-type was inspired by a similarly bespoke fixed head coupé made for Andrew Douglas Alexander Thomas Bruce, the 11th Earl of Elgin. He happened to be president of the RAC and Ecurie Ecosse at the time.

Just three 'quad headlamp/shark gill' E-type bonnet examples are believed to have been fabricated by Abbey Panels. Sir William Lyons apparently gave his blessing to the project – a unique action in itself.

Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale

Bearing registration number KBP 559D and chassis number 1E21103, the E-type is lucky to have survived. Not that there was an issue with build quality, but rather the Sixth Earl of Cawdor wrote off six E-types in quick succession.

His daughter, Lady Liza Campbell, wrote of him in her book Title Deeds: Growing up in Macbeth's Castle: ‘Pa’s philosophy was that when in town obeying a red light after midnight was a sinful waste of precious time … Typically he would crash at night, after dinner… Instead of spotting any correlation between drinking and the crashes, my father came to an altogether different conclusion: E-types were rubbish and their suspensions dangerous … and thereafter he drove Ferraris.’

Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale

And, indeed, the car H&H are selling did suffer some accident damage in 1967. The mutilation was retained by the Cawdor family until 2003 when it entered the ownership of the current vendor.

Extensively restored by the new owner, the two-seater is the veteran of numerous rallies and is said to be a 'very good driving car with excellent roadholding'. It has matching chassis and engine numbers.

Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale

Roger Nowell of H&H Classics says of this car: ‘This is an extremely rare version of the classic E-type Jaguar with a fascinating Scottish provenance in good condition. A great car to drive and a superb investment in the very best of British automotive design and engineering. It is history on four wheels.’

Recognise the Cawdor name?

The name Cawdor was referenced in Macbeth by Shakespeare: 'All Hail to thee, Thane of Cawdor!' However, the Sixth Earl of Cawdor’s family were ennobled a few centuries later.

The family’s coat of arms bears the motto: ‘The pure heart shall sing when dying.' Yet the Sixth Earl was something of a swashbuckler who lived life to the full. He dressed like a Restoration buck, wearing scarlet velvet jackets with black frogging, floppy cuffs and outsize buckles on his belt and shoes, the heels of which were covered in red patent leather to match the jacket.

You can find out more about this Jaguar and the upcoming auction here.

Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale

Pictures courtesy of H&H Classics


Gallery: Earl of Cawdor's rare dual-headlamp E-type for sale