George Best's Jaguar E-type to be auctioned
Football legend George Best's 1971 E-type to be auctioned
You might be ambivalent about the Beautiful Game, but there’s no doubt that any car associated with Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballing legend George Best has to be worth a look.
Best’s 1971 Jaguar E-type V12 Coupé is being auctioned by H&H Classics at its Duxford sale on October 14 and – in a relief after months of record-breaking, multi-million pound Ferraris – it carries a rather more palatable estimate of $95,500 to $143,000.
Finished in midnight blue with a lighter blue cloth upholstery, GGF 379J was supplied new to Best in 1971 and was owned by him until 1974. It was the car in which he drove out of Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium for the very last time following a bust-up with his manager Tommy Docherty in 1973.
Jaguar made just over 7,000 examples of the Series III 2+2 coupé between 1971 and 1975. The V12 engine developed 314bhp and a prodigious amount of torque and could whisk the rakish E-type from rest to 60mph in 6.8 seconds.
Best was born in Belfast in 1946 and left school in 1963 to turn professional with Manchester United. He was renowned for his dribbling skills that mesmerised defenders in an era when most football pitches resembled the Somme battlefield during the winter months. And he became an international celebrity, picking up the English and European Footballer of the Year awards in 1968.
He enjoyed drinking, women and fast cars, so the V12-engined E-type would have been right up his street. He has been variously pictured with Mk2 Jaguars,Minis, an MGB and a Lotus Europa.
Damian Jones, sales director of H&H, said: “Once in a while a car comes along that makes even I, surrounded as I am by the best classics in the world, think of reaching for my chequebook. This is one of those cars. I have no doubt that there will be thousands of people who will share that feeling. This car is a legend and was owned by a legend. It does not get much better than that.”