Get ready for LeMans weekend!
A few months back Jaguar raised all of our spirits with the news that they would fulfill the original build order of 18 E-Type lightweights (only 12 were build in period) to the original specification, from aluminum bodywork to D-type heads. Recently the team has released these photos of the first complete example of the new run and it is absolutely beautiful.
More photos at Classic and Sports Car.
1st at Le Mans
The Finest Car of its Class in the World: Jaguar
With a record speed fo 93.5 M.P.H.—record distance of 2,244 miles and a record lap of 105 M.P.H. Jaguar has again justified its rapid rise to fame as “The Finest Car of its Class in the World.”
No less spectacular has been the post war rise in popularity of Jaguar in the U.S. where people who enjoy fine craftsmanship and superlative performance are buying more and more Jaguars.
487 Park Avenue • PL 90-7036
Broadway at 62nd St. • JU 6-0664
Esquire Building • FR 2-6976
I’m just going assume that this is fake and that photoshop, not neglect, is to blame for this Jaguar XK and Porsche 356 racer rusting away amongst the trees.
Update: Ugh. A few emails from readers and Frederik’s comment on Facebook have confirmed that these are indeed authentic. One of whom pointed me to this article about a German who purchases vintage cars and allows them to rust in his “garden” as a sort of art project. What an asshole.
Jaguar’s original plan was to build 18 E-Type lightweights, but ultimately only 12 were built. In the years since, 2 were converted to low-drag bodywork and one is (currently) considered too damaged to rebuild. That makes 9. For fifty years, those 9 cars had to be enough and today they are among the most coveted GT racers in the world. A handful of workshops have made a decent business of reproducing lightweight specification parts—and even turnkey replicas. Now Jaguar has decided to finally follow through on the original build order and make the remaining “missing” 6 lightweights.
When I say original build order, I mean it. Jaguar intends for these to be perfect continuations of the build—down to using the 6 reserved chassis numbers from the original run. That means that right now there are craftsmen at Jaguar assembling full aluminum monocoques, dropping an alloy version of the 3.8 liter straight six fitted with a D-Type wide angle cylinder head, and mating it to a 5-speed ZF gearbox. There are Jaguar employees fitting aluminum bonnets and hardtops and vented bootlids.
So now there will be 6 more. Do they have the same provenance? No. Will they be as hotly desired as their older sisters? Nope. But none of that matters. What matters to me is that sometimes the original manufacturers show the same enthusiasm for their motorsport heritage that the rest of us have.
Let’s keep this train rolling and just go all-in on the Monzanapolis races with the “Monza Challenge” film from the ’57 race.
If you thought sportscar design has diminished over the past few decades, this narrator will turn your attention as well to the state of voiceover work.
For the none of you that need a reminder of why the Ecurie Ecosse team and it’s iconic transporter are so important, Bonhams assembled this marvelous video with some little-seen racing footage of the team in various years of competition.
The gods of speed smiled on me this past weekend.
I was traveling to Washington DC and was invited to meet up with family for dinner at Clyde’s in Chevy Chase, MD.
As I approached the door I spotted a Bugatti 52 in the window acting as a simple table decoration, which is impressive enough on it’s own, and turned to my wife with a quick, “If that’s real they spent quite a bit on the interior of this place.”
That wasn’t half of it. I walked in the front door to be immediately greeted with a 2-story mural of a 1920’s era road race with a battling Bentley and Bugatti leading the way. Peering down the spiral stairway revealed a Jaguar XKSS on display. Again, I said, “now if THAT is real, they spent QUITE a bit on the interior of this place”.
The entire lower floor of the place is bedecked with vintage posters from both international grand prix and local dirt track races. In addition to the XKSS, there’s a Morgan 3-wheeler and a midget racer perched above the bar. Wrapping around the entire lower floor bar is an enormous second mural featuring pre-war racers and various sportscar marques. Upstairs sharing space with the Bugatti 52 are more period kiddie carts: an MG and a Rolls. Amazing.
In short, it’s the Mid-Atlantic’s answer to the Siebken’s bar. It’s always depressing to find a great new hangout only to realize that you live hundreds of miles away from it.
My web searches since I’ve returned home seem to indicate that the Jaguar is indeed authentic. Can anyone confirm?