Renowned antique and collectible appraisers and stars of PBS’s long running Antiques Roadshow, the Keno Brothers staged their inaugural collector car auction, Rolling Sculpture, in New Your City’s vibrant SoHo district on November 19.
Leigh and Leslie Keno, also known for their judging of Pebble Beach’s annual Concours d’Elegance, have almost single-handedly raised preservation class automobiles to their current status. Passionate for provenance, originality and authenticity, the finely-curated auction featured cars with impeccable history and documentation.
While the consigned vehicles were largely German and Italian, there were several stunning British representatives. A brace of Aston Martins, DB series 4, 5 and 6 were prominent in the exhibit hall, as was a highly original 1940 Alvis, fresh off the Colorado Grand and still sporting road grime and assorted bus splats.
However, the star of the show, at least from a British perspective, was a stunning 1961 Jaguar E-type roadster. The Jag was a very early example, offering the uncomfortable flat floors as well as the finicky outside bonnet latches. Responding to customer feedback, both of these features were eliminated later in the 1961 production run, making this an exceeding rare vehicle. Consignor Tom Krefetz, owner of Classic Showcase in San Diego, conducted a painstakingly authentic restoration of the vehicle, completed just in time for the Keno Auction. While the car has yet to be judged in competition, Tom polled several Jaguar judges who found the car to be flawless, possibly even a 100 point car!
The color is a striking bronze against the usual palate of silver, red and BRG. The color was introduced at the 1961 New York Auto Show in the coupe version, and is rarely seen today. With a biscuit interior, the result is stunning.
Bidding was brisk and the car quickly reached $340,000, exceeding the reserve. With buyer’s commission, cost to the buyer was $380,800. While not record setting, it indicates the prices for early E-types remains firm, and the purchase might even be considered well-bought!!