8 September 2014

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Lot 111

1991 Jaguar XJR-15

  • Chassis no. 021
  • Engine no. 026

Sold for £218,400

450 bhp, 5,993 cc mid-rear mounted all-alloy Group C-specification V-12 engine with Zytec electronically controlled sequential fuel injection, TWR five-speed manual gearbox transaxle, four-wheel double-wishbone independent racing suspension, and four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes. Wheelbase: 2,718 mm

  • One of only 27 road going examples produced
  • Thundering Group C-specification V-12 engine
  • Fully carbon fibre road car

Recalling its near-absolute domination of international endurance racing throughout the 1950s, Jaguar returned to its winning ways during the late 1980s. Under the capable leadership of Tom Walkinshaw, the veteran racer who had won the 1984 European Touring Car Championship behind the wheel of an XJ-S, Jaguar again chalked up Le Mans victories in 1988 and 1990 and took the World Sportscar Championship in 1987, 1988, and 1991. Most importantly, Walkinshaw helped Jaguar finally break Porsche’s long reign as the leading endurance-racing constructor.

In this heady environment, Walkinshaw sensed strong demand amongst many of the world’s wealthiest auto aficionados for an ultra-exotic and ultra-exclusive car based on a successful competition car. To exploit this small but profitable niche, Jaguar created the JaguarSport division to manufacture and market a new sports car, code-named R9R, for its select clients in partnership with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (TWR). In November 1990, a JaguarSport press release announced the introduction of the stunning XJR-15, which used the same technology and expertise of the XJR-9 and XJR-12 but in a more useable track-ready car. Just 50 were scheduled for production.

The XJR-15 was based on the same central monocoque “tub” as the Tony Southgate-designed XJR-9, and the body, designed by Peter Stevens, who was also responsible for the McLaren F1, was constructed with lightweight and advanced composite materials. The XJR-9 suspension was retained at all four wheels, with fabricated wishbones and horizontal pushrod-spring dampers at the front and coil springs at the rear. Four-piston AP Racing callipers, which were mated to disc brakes housed completely within the wheels, provided stopping power.

The Group C-specification engine was a 450-brake horsepower, six-litre alloy, dry-sump V-12 which had a Cosworth forged crankshaft, connecting rods, aluminium pistons, and fuel delivery via Zytec electronically controlled sequential fuel injection. The transmission was a TWR six-speed transaxle with straight-cut gears, which was matched to an AP triple-plate carbon clutch. Walkinshaw’s work resulted in a car that weighed just 2,315 pounds and was endowed with awesome handling, excellent power-to-weight and race-proven reliability, and a 215-mph top speed. All this came at a price of nearly one million U.S. dollars when new.

As new, the Jaguar XJR 15 was fitted with bonnet and engine covers which required significant effort to remove and gain access to the engine. In its current ownership, chassis 021 has received upgraded hinges and locks, allowing the bonnet and engine bay to be opened quickly and easily, as per a standard road car. This car, showing less than 1,400 miles from new and supplied with its original owner’s manual, offers an extremely rare opportunity to obtain one of the rarest road going Jaguars. Not only does this car have incredible performance, it has the racing heritage and performance to match.

Alexander Weaver

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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