9-10 October 2014

Offered from the collection of John Moir

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Lot 116

1928 Jowett 7/17 Sports Racer

  • Chassis no. 823147
  • Engine no. 823147

Sold for $38,500

7/17 bhp, 907 cc air-cooled opposed twin-cylinder engine, three-speed manual transmission, live axles in the front and rear, with semi-elliptic leaf-spring suspension, and rear-wheel mechanical drum brakes. Wheelbase: 84 in.

  • Offered from the collection of John Moir
  • Built by one of the great names in British sporting cars
  • Unusual and fascinating engineering
  • Believed to be the only pre-war Jowett in the United States

Yorkshire brothers, Ben and William Jowett, started building V-twin engines for cars and Scott motorcycles in 1904, and they turned to complete cars in 1910. Their most successful design, perfected after World War I, was the Jowett 7, a light, economical two-seater that was powered by a water-cooled, opposed, twin-cylinder engine. The brothers made thousands of these little cars, including, in 1928, 15 two-seater sports racer models with special doorless aluminum racing bodies, which were used primarily for publicity purposes. These were the forerunners of the great sporting Jowetts that would come in decades to follow, of which the most famous being the Javelin Sedan and Jupiter Roadster that were so successful in 1950s racing.

The car offered here began life in 1928 as a tourer, but it was rebodied as a correct replica of the 1928 Sports Racer model in the 1970s. A letter on file, which dates back to Mr. Moir’s acquisition of the Jowett, recounts that it was built by former owner John Stuart Box, a well-known and prominent Jowett Owners Club member. During this process, Box sought advice from Jowett experimental engineer Horace Grimsley, and he used almost all original Jowett parts to ensure authenticity. After its completion, the car was inspected by the British Veteran Sports Car Club and awarded eligibility for VSCC trials. It was used regularly from 1970 to 1992 and then restored, with the engine retaining its original standard pistons and bearings, which were still found to be in good condition.

John Moir, who is utterly fascinated by the Jowett opposed-twin engine’s design, considers this one of the crown jewels in his collection, and he is proud to own what he believes to be the only two-cylinder Jowett in this country. While the car is obviously wearing an older restoration, its paint and interior have actually held up well, and it was roadworthy and being driven at historic hill climbs only a few years ago, meaning that returning it to the road should be a simple proposition. It is accompanied by detailed starting instructions for the new owner, as well as some restoration documentation and British registrations.

This is a splendidly exciting little motor car, and it is one that a new American owner will almost certainly never see coming.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver


+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat


+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht


+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig


+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose


+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould


+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry


+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut


+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn


+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher


+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers


+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden


+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more