ECURIE ECOSSE – UNDER THE HAMMER

The Transporter was the surprise of the auction
Pictures by Bonhams

It was an iconic team in its day. The Ecurie Ecosse was founded in 1952 by Edinburgh businessman and racing driver David Murray and mechanic Wilkie Wilkinson. Its most notable achievement was winning both the 1956 and 1957 24 Hours at Le Mans but it also raced in three Formula One races.

All of the vehicles sold by auction
All of the vehicles sold by auction
Now, eight cars from the British connoisseur Dick Skipworth’s collection have been sold by Bonhams for record prices. In all, they fetched some £8.8 million. The 1952 C-Type Jaguar sold for £2,900,000 while the 1956 ‘Shortnose’ D-Type sold for £2,600,000, both going to a buyer in the United States.

However, the surprise of the auction was the team’s three-car Transporter. Its an unique 1960 Commer TS3 with surprisingly a two-stroke engine. Although the picture looks like the Corgi toy, it was the real thing and sold to the same buyer for £1,800,000. It has become the most valuable historic commercial vehicle ever sold at auction.

James Knight, Bonhams’ Group motoring director, said that no-one had quite anticipated “the incredible atmosphere in the saleroom that saw so many truly historic cars go for such astounding prices.
“The Jaguars especially were exceptionally popular, and I am delighted that the transporter will still be carrying two of its original Ecurie Ecosse racing cars.”

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David Calder has been a broadcast journalist for over 30 years. Before moving to the Caledonian Mercury, he worked for the BBC (national and regional) as well as parts of ITV and the World Service. He worked for prestigious programmes such as The Money Programme, You & Yours, Today and The World at One. He spent two years making mini-documentaries for Radio 5 Live and was a regular correspondent for CBC (Radio Canada). He was a regular reporter on various news and current affairs programmes on BBC Scotland as well as producing or presenting (sometimes both) science, legal affairs and arts programmes. As well as his contributions to the Caledonian Mercury, he is also a freelance producer in Scotland for the satellite channel, Al Jazeera.