Worldwide is lining up a star-studded grid for its three-day auction extravaganza at home in Auburn over Labor Day Weekend, to include a historic 1956 Jaguar XK140 MC DHC, given to pioneering motoring journalist and racing driver Denise McCluggage by celebrated sportsman, team owner and constructor, Briggs Cunningham, her team sponsor. Believed to have been lost to the sands of time, this XK was discovered a couple of years after her passing, miraculously unaltered after sitting in a garage for nearly thirty years. Credited with inspiring her racing career, the Jaguar was displayed at Daytona International Speedway amid a flurry of media coverage in March this year, when McCluggage was posthumously indicted into the Motorsports Hall Fame. The historic, numbers-matching car, authenticated by Cunningham Motorsports’ Historian, Lawrence Berman, will be offered for sale in unaltered condition at The Auburn Auction in Indiana on Saturday, September 3rd, alongside a heavyweight line up of exceptional pre-war automobiles, sports cars, classics, race cars and select American muscle cars.
“How often do you get a chance to acquire such an exceptionally iconic race car, owned and raced by two people who are in a combined six Halls of Fame, such was their impact on the motorsports world? The historical significance of this car cannot be overstated,” said Rod Egan, Principal and Auctioneer. Barnaby Brokaw, President and Founder of The Motorcar Society, considers the Jaguar to be one of the most significant ‘barn finds’ of the decade. “There is so much history behind this Jaguar. It deserves a very special owner who understands this and wants to be part of its legacy. It has many more stories to tell and people to meet. We’re looking forward to finding a passionate collector to be its next custodian and continue to tell its story and be part of its history.”
Affectionately known as Lady Leadfoot, Denise McCluggage was a true trailblazer, not only an accomplished racing driver, but one of the greatest motoring journalists, awarded the Ken W. Purdy Award for Excellence in Automotive Journalism and the first journalist to ever be inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame. Working for several publications, she was instrumental in growing the popularity of motor racing as a spectator sport. She brought racing and automotive coverage to the New York Herald and was the first female journalist to cover the famed Indy 500, where she had to conduct her interviews from outside the fence of Gasoline Alley as women were forbidden inside. She helped found and edit Competition Press, America’s first motorsports weekly, now published as Autoweek.
She began competing as a professional race driver in the Jaguar, racing it well and often, most famously at the SCCA race at New York’s Montgomery Airport where she secured a first-place class C victory on August 19, 1956. McCluggage went on to drive (and win) all over the world, competing at some of the best-known venues, including Daytona Beach, Florida; Nurburgring, Germany; and Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Further details on the 1956 Jaguar XK140 MC DHC are available here. The Auburn Auction is scheduled for September 1-3 at Kruse Plaza in Auburn, Worldwide’s Indiana headquarters. Auction catalogues can be viewed online at worldwideauctioneers.com. Late consignments of quality vehicles are still invited and can be discussed with a motorcar specialist at 1.260.925.6789.