TNG756 competing at Bo’ness Hill Climb in 2015 – picture courtesy of Roger Grundy
Written by current owner David Allan
One of the cars regularly competing at Bo’ness Revival Hill Climb in Scotland is a Jaguar D-type, registration TNG 756, an aluminium recreation by Bryan Wingfield of XKD517 (TKF9), the car that reputedly launched the careers of Jim Clark and Henry Taylor.
When Henry Taylor retired after a long career in motorsport involving speedway, Formula 3, sports racing cars, Formula 2 and Formula 1 and latterly touring cars and culminating in his being Competitions Manager for Ford during a very active period for them, he had attempted to find and purchase the white D type XKD 517 (Registration number TKF9) that he had so enjoyed racing in the 1950s. When that proved fruitless he commissioned his former colleague in Ford’s Competition Department, Bryan Wingfield who was by then producing exquisite reproduction D types, to build a unique one for him to a specification as close as possible to XKD 517 (TKF9).
Lynx and Wingfield had created something of a storm at the Racing Car Show in the early 1970s by both quite separately exhibiting stunning all aluminium recreations of the D type Jaguar and subsequently producing these in small numbers for a number of years. Bryan Wingfield later turned to producing equally detailed and evocative Lightweight and Low Drag E type recreations. The Lynx and Wingfield cars are much respected in Jaguar circles where they have their own following and with many of them now 40 years old, such examples tend to have a patina of their own making them practically indistinguishable from the original cars.
This car, TNG 756, is arguably the most unique of all the Wingfields. While most Lynx and Wingfield cars were based on the later long nose D with full tailfin and featured the 4.2 version of Jaguar’s straight six (or less usually the 3.8 litre), TNG 756, just like the car it was modelled on, is a short nose (possibly the only one Wingfield produced), has the 3.4 engine and with D type cams and triple Webers its power output is almost identical to the original short nose cars. The Wingfield D types (unlike the Lynx cars which substantially used an E type derived independent set up at the rear) all featured the same Salisbury 4HA live rear axle as used by Jaguar in period and TNG 756 is of course no exception, making the driving experience even more authentic D type. The monocoque tub and the bodywork is all in beautifully worked aluminium produced by renowned specialists Williams & Pritchard and is painted in the same white livery (Jaguar cream) as per TKF9, with Border Reivers decals on the flanks. The interior is period correct and the upholstery is the same suede green as featured in almost all original factory produced D types.
The attention to detail is quite stunning being evidenced by little things like the correct D type radiator and header tank. The road wheels on the car, fitted by the present owner, are also original Dunlop magnesium 16” running on Blockley period tyres not the replica 15” Dunlop alloy wheels normally found on other Wingfield and Lynx cars. The wheels have the added provenance of having been previously fitted to the 1959 Costin Lister Jaguar driven in period by Ivor Bueb and still raced today at events such as the Goodwood Revival. In the hands of the current owner, TNG 756 has also benefitted in the past year from a repaint in the correct Jaguar cream, some rear end and under-bonnet detailing, and a complete engine rebuild with the opportunity having been taken to fit a correct D-type dry sump system.
TNG 756 was used and enjoyed by Henry Taylor himself and his wife Peggy for almost three decades and was located in the south of France where Henry latterly had a speedboat and leisure industry business. It is known that during that time Henry regularly rallied the D type and competed with it in various events. A few years before his death in 2013 Henry sold the car to a Swiss collector who both showed and competed with it at events within Switzerland. It came back on to the market in the UK in 2015 and returned to its (arguably) spiritual home in Scotland. Since then it has undertaken some Classic Tours, competed successfully at the Bo’ness Revival Hillclimb and has made, along with Club Lotus members as part of their annual Jim Clark weekend, a nostalgic visit to the former race circuit at Crimond in Aberdeenshire where Jim Clark first raced the Border Reivers Car. Later in 2017 as a testament to both its condition and authenticity it was a double trophy winner at the Scottish Jaguar Day at Drum Castle on Royal Deeside.
Fast, reliable and as much a joy to drive as it is to look at, this fabulous car is equally at home as a fast road car as it is a competition car.
THE OWNER’S STORY
As a perhaps interesting little aside, the current owner, who has been a lifetime Jaguar and Lotus sports car enthusiast, had his very first experience of motor sport in 1957 when as an 11 year old he was taken by his father to a motor racing event held at the former aerodrome at Crimond in Aberdeenshire. There, competing against the Lotus Elevens of Dickson and Mackay and a clutch of other 1950s sports and sports racing cars, was a white D type Jaguar belonging to the Scottish Border Reivers Team and piloted by an extremely young and fresh faced Jim Clark. Despite spinning off at least once on the tight circuit, Clark needless to say won handsomely. The event and that particular D Type were never forgotten by that young boy who avidly followed the stellar career of Jim Clark and in later life built up a collection of classic sports cars of his own. Consequently when the opportunity dropped in his lap in 2015 to buy the “Doppelgänger” of Clark’s car namely the ex-Henry Taylor Wingfield D type and bring it back to Scotland, the decision, as they say, was a “no brainer”!