Paul Skilleter News – October 2014


JAGUAR C-type, D-type and Lightweight E-type Register

It has been a long time since the previous extensive listing of C-type, D-type and Lightweight E-type cars was published in book form. The first really authoritative listings appeared in the two volumes Andrew Whyte wrote on Jaguar works competition cars in the 1980s, and these were updated in Philip Porter’s 1995 publication on Jaguar Sports Racing Cars. Since then, the C-type Register published in 2001 has contributed a considerable amount of new information in print.

Now, some 13 years later, comes the Jaguar C-type, D-type & Lightweight E-type Register. The background to it all is that the earlier C-type Register was instigated by restorer and enthusiast Terry Larson (current owner of XKC 017 and former owner of XKC 403 and XK-SS 766). He then later conceived the idea of updating the C-type Register and combining it with similar material on the D-type and Lightweight E-type. So was born the Jaguar C-type, D-type & Lightweight E-type Register which has just been published (September 2014).

The book has been compiled with the help of many people worldwide, but along with Terry Larson, the key researchers have been Penny Woodley (owner of XKC 011 and former owner of the Griffiths collection) and Den Carlow (a Jaguar Heritage volunteer, although this publication is independent of either Heritage or Jaguar itself). Crucially, the book has been edited by the recently retired JDHT chief archivist Anders Clausager, who has applied his usual rigour to the material. I helped from the sidelines, but the person who really made the book possible is Ole Sommer, owner of XKD 514, one of the most original D-types in existence.

As he recounts in the foreword, his father obtained the Jaguar agency for Denmark in 1945, and at just 17 Ole was seconded to Browns Lane in 1948 to become essentially the first ever Jaguar apprentice. On the premature death of his father Ole then took over the family business which he later expanded to include Volvo. The importation business, which grew to employ over 600 people, ended so far as Jaguar was concerned in the British Leyland era, and in due course Ole founded the Sommer Automobile Museum in Copenhagen and came involved in the classic and vintage scene. He kindly undertook to print and publish the book in his native country of Denmark, and to make it available worldwide.

To summarise its contents, every C-type, D-type and Lightweight E-type is recorded in terms of its chassis, engine, gearbox and body number, its original colour, date of dispatch, distributor and first and all known subsequent owners up to the present day. The story of each individual car is told in detail, including competition appearances and their adventures over the years. The XK-SS derivative is of course included in the D-type section, while other well-known (but not lightweight) E-types are recorded too.

The book includes many tables of statistics and these are highly informative. All the cars that appeared at Le Mans are listed separately, along with those which ran in other important events such as the Mille Miglia, Targa Florio, Sebring etc. The Jaguar works cars are also identified, as are the cars run by Ecurie Ecosse.

The photographic content is strong, with many new photographs included, a good proportion researched by Terry Larson from a variety of sources in the US; these include a number of period colour shots probably never reproduced before.

The book’s size is 210 x 295mm, and it has a soft cover and 240 pages. The special offer price on publication is only £39.95 which includes P&P in the UK, so a real bargain in terms of the vast amount of material it contains. Shipping to Europe costs £9.95 and to the rest of world by air £16.00.

Bound to become the standard reference work on these cars, this book is highly recommended for all truly serious enthusiasts and historians of the sports-racing and competition Jaguars from the 1950s and 60s. Sample pages with illustrations can be seen our our web site.

The autobiography of 4 WPD by Philip Porter
Published by Porter Press International

Brand new and in stock, this book is an in-depth study of the car which became the first lightweight E-type. 4 WPD, as it was soon registered, served as Jaguar’s  development car and from 1961 was entered by John Coombs, with top drivers including Graham Hill, Roy Salvadori, Dan Gurney and (Sir) Jackie Stewart – to whose bourgening career it gave a significant lift.

Usefully coinciding with Jaguar’s release of the ‘continuation’ lightweight E-types, this quality hardback book extends to 320 pages and has over 320 illustrations. With Philip Porter’s resources and knowledge of E-types, I am sure that this book – written with the full co-operation of the car’s enthusiastic current owner – will present a highly detailed and informative profile of the most important lightweight E-type of them all.  Further details are on our website, and the book can be ordered now (as ever, debits will not be made until despatch).

Special offer
This new book is a useful companion to Philip Porter’s Ultimate E-type book which covers all 12 of these very special cars (including much additional background on early racing E-types). If you order both these books from ourselves at the same time, we will send them to most UK addresses post free, a saving of nearly £10. A similar discount will be applied to overseas destinations.

Incidentally, in conversation with Philip recently, he confirmed that under preparation by Porter Press International is a new book on Jaguar styling (or design as it’s called today). This will probably be published in 2015, and will be a long overdue examination of the processes by which Swallow, SS and Jaguar cars have been designed over the years. More news when further details are available.

Size 283 x 235mm, hardback, portrait format, 320+ illustrations
Price GBP48.00 + £5.00 P&P UK (+ GBP12.40 EU, GBP16.95 RoW)

Size 283 x 235mm, hardback, portrait format, 320+ illustrations

By Tony Bailey and Paul Skilleter

New 2014 softback updated edition!

First published as a hardback in 2008, Mike Hawthorn Golden Boy was described as one of the most significant motoring books of recent years. Both the original edition and a subsequent reprint sold out some while ago, but as regular visitors to our website may have noticed, in June 2014 a new softback edition was issued to return the book to print.

As with the original book, the new edition presents a unique record of the life and times of Britain’s first World Champion. It includes not only the vast amount of new material which came to light during research for the original book – much from people who knew Mike – but the softback’s 280+ pages also contain important updates and new photographs.

Of this additional material, vital new evidence is included which further vindicates Mike Hawthorn from responsibility for the terrible 1955 Le Mans accident. This comes in the form of a long-lost letter to Jaguar Cars Ltd from a highly qualified on-the-spot USAF expert eyewitness whose corroborated account tallies exactly with the reconstructed film footage of the accident – which appeared after the original edition of this book was published and which is also analysed.

Also new is testimony from the policeman who first attended the accident on the Guildford by-pass which resulted in Mike Hawthorn’s death in 1959. Interviewed by the authors Tony Bailey and Paul Skilleter, he still had his original police pocket book containing the notes he made at the time.

As in the previous edition, Mike’s personal life is covered in depth along with full details of his racing career, the latter introduced by Farnham resident and well-known journalist and historian Doug Nye. Many photographs cover both Mike’s family life and his motor racing, augmented by purpose-taken aerial photographs of key locations. The book particularly singles out for close examination his special relationship with Jaguar – both the cars and the company.

The many cars Mike owned personally (and also in some cases, raced) are covered extensively, with current owners interviewed worldwide. There are also specially-commissioned paintings of the more important of Mike’s cars.

The appendices include a never-before attempted listing of all Mike’s competition appearances, with results and even his race-car numbers.

Size 171 x 246mm soft cover, 282pp, 800+ illustrations (some in colour)

ISBN 978-1-908658-06-7

Price GBP39.95 inc. free P&P UK (+ GBP3.40 EU, GBP6.95 RoW)



This will complete the ‘Explored’ trilogy on the classic XK sports cars. This long-awaited new title is in an advanced stage, with publication definitely scheduled for 2015 – hopefully during the first half of the year. Author Bernard Viart has completed nearly all the drawings and is on the way to finishing the general chapters. The book will be even more comprehensive and detailed than his books on the XK 120 and XK 140, which continue to be highly popular both amongst owners and the trade.

If you would like to establish your interest in XK 150 Explored, please e-mail us, putting ‘XK 150 Explored’ in the subject line.

* A reminder that the Philip Porter title, Original Jaguar XK – A Restorer’s Guide, is currently the only book which includes information on restoring the XK 150. This very popular book, which covers all three classic XK variants, and is obtainable from us at £65 plus shipping.


This future title is developing into a really fascinating examination of the XK 120 in the context of racing and rallying in the UK and on the Continent. For the first time, all known cars which have appeared in such events will be listed and identified where possible, and of course the works cars and high-profile privately-entered XK 120s will be covered in detail. The text will be supported by many hundreds of photographs, of which many have not been published before, especially those held in private collections by car owners.

Author (and owner of an XK 120 that was raced in period) James Fraser is progressing well but the subject has turned out to be rather more extensive than anticipated, so while we had hoped to publish the book this year, it will now be 2015 – definitely!

Again, if you would like to log your interest in this book, and be kept informed of the publication date, you can e-mail us, putting ‘XK 120 in Competition’ in the subject line.


As mentioned at the beginning of this Newsletter, we have now compiled an illustrated A4 single page catalogue (double sided) complete with order form which can be downloaded in PDF format and, if required, printed out.


Andrew Whyte Lecture

For those of you within travelling distance, details of this year’s Andrew Whyte Lecture have now been confirmed. It’s on Sunday, 23rd November and in the theatre at the Visitor Centre, at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich site. Doors open at 1pm for a 2pm start.

Quentin Willson, E-type owner and one of our best-known motoring journalists and television presenters (his new big-budget television series The Classic Car Show, co-hosted by Jodie Kidd, starts in January 2015), is the main speaker, backed up by some distinguished present and former Jaguar people. Martyn Hollingsworth and David Fairbairn, project managers of Jaguar’s new Lightweight E-type project, will give an insider’s view of how the famous car was recreated, Jonathan Heynes, son of Jaguar’s first chief engineer Bill Heynes and one-time Jaguar engineer, will look back at Jaguar past, and representatives from the XE design team will describe how Jaguar’s new small saloon (which receives its UK debut on 8th September in London) has been shaped for the future.

As usual, all profits go to charities such as the NSPCC and Macmillan Cancer Support, for which many thousands have pounds have been raised by the event over the years. Tickets (which include refreshments) remain at £15. Cheques made payable to JDC Area 7 Charity Fund and should be sent to Bob Beecham, 1 Waterfall Cottage, Main Road, Meriden, Coventry CV7 7NL. Please include a stamped addressed envelope (except if you are outside the UK), and if you need to know more, please phone Bob on 01676 522037 or 07976 152550.


PJ Publishing

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All information correct at time of publishing.