Paul Skilleter News – September 2014

STOP PRESS BEAULIEU 6/7 September 2014!

Meet us at the Beaulieu International Autojumble 6/7 SEPTEMBER – STANDS R358/R357 – Paul Skilleter will be amongst the crew to greet you in Red Field (R357/358) – whatever the weather! We will have our full range of the books we publish, some at special show prices, plus other books such as the XK 120/140 Explored series/Cult Object so this is the chance to save the postage. We will also have other literature and even some Jaguar related autojumble. Plus various special show offers on new, secondhand and shop-soiled books and magazines.


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

Brand new and in stock from 28th August 2014, 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 most of 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.


Expected October 2014!

In an advanced state of preparation is a major new publication which lists every C-, D-type and Lightweight E-type by chassis number, together with the essential facts on each car and what happened to it. Also included are the early 1961 ‘Project’ competition E-types, the E2A prototype, the Sayer low-drag coupe and some other significant period racing E-types. Researched over a number of years, the Register will contain a great deal of new information and will surely become the bible for anyone wishing to find out more about these cars and their often dramatic individual histories.

The price will be in the region of £49.00 plus shipping, and we expect to receive stocks in October. We will let you know when it is available but if you wish to be kept informed, please e-mail us putting ‘CDE Register’ in the subject line.


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.


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.


International Jaguar Spares Day

This year’s Autumn Jaguar Spares Day is Sunday, 12th October. Paul Skilleter Books will be there in force, just by the cafeteria, and I expect Norman Dewis to be dropping in too. Dr Ralph Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, was at the last Spares Day! Admission is from 10am – 4pm, and tickets (purchased on the day) cost £8 each. Stoneleigh Park is easily accessible from the A46 or A45 (and thus M40, M6 or M1), post code CV8 2LZ. Enquiries, including for booking stall space, from John Salway on 01838 200398, mobile 07733 260726, e-mail

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 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.


Sir Nicholas Scheele

3 January 1944 – 18 July 2014

It was a considerable shock to hear that former Jaguar chairman Sir Nick had passed away, as it was not generally known that he had been unwell previously – if indeed he had been. Jaguar owes a lot to Nick, as it was his expertise and dedication that pulled the company out of the post-independence mire, at a time (1991/2) when Ford were seriously contemplating closing the whole operation down because of massive losses and a lack of direction.

Nick arrived at Jaguar in January 1992 and quickly introduced modern engineering techniques while also causing a shop floor revolution, finally eliminating the ‘them-and-us’ antagonism which had dogged the company ever since the 1930s. The new XJ6 (X300) was the first new model introduced under the new systems, and its remarkably better quality did much to re-establish Jaguar’s reputation, especially in the United States. It was followed by the all-new V8 engine and the XK8, the S-TYPE and, more controversially, the X-TYPE, which was announced in 2001, the year Nick returned to Ford – where he eventually finished no. 2 to William Clay Ford Jnr, head of the giant company.

Nick retired from Ford in 2005 and, despite all his other achievements, Nick was quite clear about what he felt was his major success in his working life.

“Without a doubt, Jaguar and getting Jaguar to JD Power number one”, he told journalist David Leggett. “I’ve still got the trophy up there. When I arrived at Jaguar it was 35th out of 36 and was kept off the bottom by Yugo – what a car to be kept out of bottom place by. And when I left we were number one. And that gives me a lot of pleasure and a lot of pride in the workforce that achieved that.”

Amongst the many tributes from both within and without the industry came this from Bill Ford, chairman of the Ford Motor Company. “Nick Scheele was an outstanding leader whose global experience and passion for our products served Ford Motor Company at a critical time. His impressive career spanned more than 38 years, including three years as our president and chief operating officer working alongside me. Not only did Nick help us overcome many challenges at the time, he mended relationships with our dealers, our suppliers and our employees, and set the stage for many of today’s leaders who are moving us forward. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this difficult time.”

I interviewed Nick several times during his tenure at Jaguar, and like everyone else, I found him very accessible and straightforward. I will always remember phoning the chairman’s office at Browns Lane about 5.30pm one evening, expecting to speak to a secretary or leave a message, but the phone was answered “Nick Scheele here”. He always remained on the front line, an identifiable head of Jaguar who did not hide behind ranks of PR people.

There is much more that could be said about Nick Scheele (and I have written a tribute to the man which will appear in the Jaguar Enthusiast magazine next month), such as his charitable acitvities and his achievements for the Ford Motor Company, but there is not the space here. He is survived by his wife Ros whom he married in 1967, children Paul, Hannah and Jim and five grandchildren.

David Fielden

Not such a headline figure as Nick Scheele, nevertheless David Fielden, who died on 14th August, played an important role during his years with Jaguar. He had the distinction of being the only Jaguar apprentice to achieve a full board directorship of the company, and his one-time colleague Jonathan Heynes (son of Bill Heynes, Jaguar’s chief engineer/director from 1935 to 1969) writes: “David Fielden was a major influence in development throughout the sixties, seventies and eighties – a very sound, practical engineer. I worked in his office throughout XJ4 [first XJ6] and the V12 E which was really his project. He was THE cooling/steering engineer but much more a total full car engineer who helped make the XJ4 the best car in the world.

“An all round good chap and a huge presence – my father held David in very very high regard.

Jonathan also compiled the following outline of David Fielden’s career.

David Fielden 1938 – 2014

From Apprentice to Director

David Fielden was born in June 1938 and joined Jaguar in 1956 as a Student Apprentice (this was the highest grade and would today be seen as graduate management trainee). He would have been interviewed directly by directors, notably Sir William Lyons himself, by William Heynes (who was the director in charge of all apprenticeships from the scheme’s commencement 1952 until 1970) and also other members of the Jaguar board at the time.

The interview was held in the Jaguar boardroom and preceded by lunch. One can assume this was a scary moment for 17-to-18 year olds! It is recalled that the interview generally covered the subject of the student’s choice, with David choosing engineering as his subject. It was usual for the candidate to be questioned on how to assemble a Jaguar engine in quite some detail and asked for their thoughts on two stroke versus four stroke workings!

At the time the Jaguar Student Apprentice scheme was very competitive with less than five students offered positions per year. Depending on the interview outcome, students would be offered a full four year apprenticeship. An apprenticeship at Jaguar was highly regarded – to quote from The Autocar of August 1958, “Parents seem to want to get their boys into one of four places these days – Winchester, Eton, Rolls-Royce or Jaguar!”

David passed this interview and joined Jaguar in September 1956, an exhilarating time as the Le Mans-winning D-type was in its heyday. By this time he was already building a Fielden Special which he later raced at Goodwood. He was clearly destined for a career in Jaguar engineering, and sure enough he entered the Jaguar experimental department, reporting to R J (Bob) Knight.

David soon became highly visible to engineering management as a leading chassis development engineer, and was involved in the E-type and Mk X models which were introduced in 1961. He specialised not only in suspension, ride and handling, but also in cooling systems and steering. David was closely involved with the world’s first power steering rack, and the Adwest Varamatic steering.

In 1970 David was responsible for all car experimental work, as Chief Engineer Vehicle Development when R J Knight was appointed Technical Director and took over the reigns from William (Bill) Heynes. Jim Randle was appointed Chief Engineer Vehicle Research and Harry Mundy Chief Development Engineer – Power Units reporting to Walter Hassan.

David was crucially involved with development of XJ6 which after its 1968 launch was judged the “Best car in the World”. He was responsible for all development work on the XJ12 and E-type V12 Series 3 (XJ25) and Series 2 & 3 XJ6 and XJ12, and shared development responsibility with Jim Randle for XJ-S (XJ27). At Jaguar during the sixties the development engineers did much of their own testing both on the road and at MIRA. David was an accomplished driver.

In 1978 Bob Knight was appointed managing director of Jaguar (as the company commenced transfer from BL to an independent company). At this point David was appointed to the main board as quality director and continued most successfully under John Egan after 1979. This appointment carried a large emphasis on improving quality and reliability, particularly with suppliers. His colleague Jim Randle was appointed Technical Director.

In addition his responsibilities included the Daimler Limousine operation and he negotiated the cars’ commercial future and development. He was also very closely involved with colleagues in the USA during the launch of XJ40.

David retired from Jaguar in November 1991 after serving with the Ford-administered Jaguar main board for three years. He retired to his farm house in Leicestershire, which he restored with his wife Caroline, and his two daughters Kate and Emma. He enjoyed his passion for carriage driving and competing in trials – a different form of horse power!

David Fielden served Jaguar in senior engineering positions for 36 years. He was highly regarded throughout the factories both in the boardroom and the workplace. He had the practical ability to be able to make any part, from creation to design and production.

A notable mark of David Fielden’s achievement was that he became the only Jaguar Apprentice to be appointed a full director and board member of Jaguar Cars.

Jonathan Heynes

Roger Marriage

Those of you who read Jaguar World and/or Jaguar Enthusiast magazine may recall that I wrote about an XK 120 owned since the mid-1980s by a great Herefordshire enthusiast called Roger Marriage. Briefly, LUF 491 (660949) was first registered in Brighton in 1952, and in recent years Roger began to suspect that the car, which he bought in 1985 simply as a standard old XK 120, had an interesting hidden history.

He was alerted to this when he spotted part of an XK 120 open two-seater appearing in a photograph taken at the time of the Rheims Grand Prix in 1952, as it displayed a registration plate which began LUF. Enjoying a picnic on the grass in front of the car were no less than William Lyons, his son John Lyons, Bill Heynes, Tommy Wisdom and another unidentified figure who was probably Bill Cannell. This was on the occasion that the Wisdom/Cannell C-type was driven to victory in the sports car race by Moss – so could the XK 120 have been a car owned by Brighton Jaguar dealer Bill Cannell?

Well, subsequent research showed that the only XK 120 registered LUF in the relevant period in Brighton was LUF 491. Not only that, after a feature I wrote about the discovery was published earlier this year, someone wrote in to say that the same car was also raced in the early 1950s, by a subsequent owner called Roy Pell. More than that, his widow was still alive and had kept many photographs of the car from that time. Roger had suspected the XK had been raced because he had found filled-in holes for an aeroscreen on the top of the car’s scuttle.

I have rarely seen someone so overcome with joy as Roger was when all these pieces of the jigsaw fell into place, proving that his rather ratty old XK 120 had such an interesting and distinguished history. To follow the story up I arranged to visit Mrs Pell in Lincolnshire, but the very week this was to happen came the tragic news that Roger had died suddenly on August 1st from heart failure.

What can one say? I believe Roger was only 65, no great age these days, and I had known him for almost 40 years. He had fairly recently remarried and leaves not only Angie his wife but an eight-year-old daughter Amber. Very sad, but at least we are comforted a little by the fact that Roger was able to discover LUF 491’s true history before he left us, which gave him great satisfaction.


Paul Skilleter Books

To receive all future updates on Jaguar related news and events as they arrive, please subscribe to Xclusively Jaguar News using the Newsletter Sign Up facility in the top right hand corner of the page. Subscription is free of charge with an opt out facility.

All information correct at time of publishing.