Jaguar C-Type

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Silver Porsche 550 Spyder Right Front View

Even as Porsche was ramping up production of its rear-engine 356 road car in the early 1950s, the budding carmaker’s engineers were starting a roadmap to the marque’s mid-engine racecar future with the tiny but mighty 1953-1956 550 Spyder.

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This year at Amelia Island, Bonhams will lift the gavel on nearly 120 collector cars spanning automotive history from the dawn of motoring to the mid-2010s, including vehicles from several noted collections. Industry experts selected their favorite cars of the group, including a Porsche, Aston Martin, Jaguar, and even a prewar Bugatti.

Model Masterpiece 1952 Jaguar C Type

The C-Type is an ideal example of an automotive icon, hence the inclusion of a 1952 version in RM Sotheby’s “Icons” auction scheduled for December 6 in New York. This particular example, chassis XKC 007, is the seventh of 53 cars in the chassis number sequence. The pre-sale estimate is $5.5-$7m.

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Many auto aficionados no doubt resonate with the idea of a thread running through a carmaker’s timeline and model history, one that then defines the marque’s heritage. Marketing departments sometimes overplay heritage, of course. The best messengers for heritage should be cars that deftly blend a sense of history with their modernity. Call it retro done right.