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Saturday Night's Just Alright For Buying: An Ex-Elton E's Upstaged At "Only" $130k

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On: Thu, Mar 8, 2012 at 5:26PM | By: Andrew W Davis


Saturday Night's Just Alright For Buying: An Ex-Elton E's Upstaged At "Only" $130k

What’s a butt-print worth?

Fame’s a funny thing. The mere fact—or supposition, really—that someone even somewhat famous had owned/driven/sat in/looked at a car means big dollars to the person who can convince someone downstream in the selling process that what might otherwise look no better or worse than any other car of its type is in actuality better for its having been associated with said “star.”

So which do you think would pull down more money at auction: A rockin’-red roadster owned by a Sir-ed musical superstar or a buttercup-colored bit of Corgi-inspiring car show stand-candy?

The yellow one.

[Oh, sorry. I don’t get paid by the word, you see, so…]

Yep, as it turns out, when it comes to a 1965/66 Jaguar E-Type 4.2-Litre Roadster shoot-out across the pond, someone paid significantly more for a car Sir Elton John has never seen than one he is almost sure to have allegedly seen at some point in the past.

Now I wasn’t in Oxford, England, at Bonhams’ March 3 sale, but if their website is to be believed it seems that when Lot 338—the red “Formerly the property of Sir Elton John” 1965-model—left the block it did so with a winning bid of something that in real money is a bit over $130k.

A restrained round of applause was surely shared by all.

But then Lot 342 nosed into the tent (they have those, don’t they?) in all its yellowy glory. Granted, it was one year newer than Sir Elton’s, but I can only imagine the stunned silence that greeted the news that some fool had bid sweet little buttercup a full $15,000 beyond the price realized by the car once owned by that piano player the actual Queen—not the Freddie-Mercury-led one, unfortunately—sword-slapped on the shoulders.

If Sir Elton (Sir John?) had known anything about this car—I mean sale—he surely would’ve been shocked, too, but for a different reason: Seems Christies sold this same car on his behalf in 2001 for $113,858, and—unlike just about every other car of his that has come back on the market since that sale—he actually got less for his fresh butt-prints than the Johnnie Nobody who flipped it here got for his.

[Sure, there are many actual reasons why this makes perfect sense all the way around—which you can read all about for yourself via the links below—but since when has a journalist ever let that get in the way of a semi-interesting point? This ain’t Watergate, people.]

Price guides will tell you that the 9,548 Jaguar XKE 4.2 Series I convertibles built between 1964 and ’67 should bring between $65k and $90k come sale time. But if these results show one thing it’s that such guides are dirty filthy liars that cannot be trusted.

So, what’s the moral of this story? If you have an E-Type—or any other car, really—you want to sell that was once owned by a significant Sir, you’re better off trading it for a similar but slightly-newer version of the same car—in a different and more “girly” color, natch—that comes with a toy version of itself.

Oh, and apparently you also have to be in England. And HIGH! He sang “Crocodile Rock” people! I HATE that song and I’d still toss another couple of drachmas or whatever they use for money over there into the kitty on that basis alone….


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