Spectacular Laidlaw Competition Car Collection Goes Up for Auction | Edmunds

Spectacular Laidlaw Competition Car Collection Goes Up for Auction

Just the Facts:
  • The Laidlaw Competition Car Collection will be put up for auction this September in London.
  • The collection includes cars that competed at Le Mans and Daytona, as well as a factory-prepared Jaguar D-Type and a Maserati 250S raced by Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall.
  • It is considered one of the finest single-owner collections of race cars ever to be sold at a public auction.

LONDON — RM Auctions is putting the Laidlaw Competition Car Collection on the block this September at the company's Battersea Park location in central London.

Peter Wallman, car specialist at RM Auctions, said in a statement, "This is unquestionably the finest single-owner collection of 1950s and 1960s competition cars to have ever been offered at public auction."

Lord Irvine Laidlaw, 70, is a Scottish-born businessman, philanthropist and one of the wealthiest people in the U.K. His hobbies include racing yachts and historic cars, but he is best known in automotive circles for the unbelievable collection of classic race cars he put together over the course of many years.

The collection includes three Le Mans competitors: a 1966 Ferrari 275 GTB/C Berlinetta Competizione, a 1965 Porsche 904/6 and a 1960 Maserati Tipo 61, known as the "Birdcage" because of its multi-tube chassis. All of these vehicles have well-documented racing histories, and since examples of their type come up for sale very rarely, bidding is expected to be spirited.

Another highlight of the collection is Laidlaw's long-nose 1955 Jaguar D-Type. It was originally a factory team car used as a backup for Le Mans that year, but it wasn't raced until 1956 at Silverstone. After competing in a number of races worldwide, it crashed at Snetterton in 1963, was rebuilt with a different subframe by the Jaguar factory, then restored with its original chassis in 1994.

Other cars heading to the auction block include a 1958 Maserati 250S, an ex-Carroll Shelby and Jim Hall racer and the only 250S originally built with a 2.5-liter engine; a 1970 Chevron B16 that competed in the 24 Hours of Daytona and a 1971 Chevron B19, which took part in the BARC (British Auto Racing Club) 1,000-km race that year. All have extensive documentation and are in impeccable condition.

Having made the decision to stop racing, Laidlaw in a statement explained his decision to sell the collection: "I don't regard myself as a collector. I am a car enthusiast and as an enthusiast I want to exercise my cars regularly, rather than gloat over them in the garage."

Edmunds says: Collections of race cars of this historical importance don't come up for sale very often, so it will be interesting to see the final results of the RM auction.

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