E1A – 60th Anniversary

Jaguars gather to recreate momentous ‘test-run’

Jaguars on display at Edwin Atkinson House

Jaguars on display at Edwin Atkinson House



Six decades since one of the most historic test runs ever recorded, Jaguar owners joined forces to celebrate the record-breaking event that spawned the E-Type.

The spring of 1957 heralded the arrival of the E1A – an extraordinary prototype sports car that went on to become one of the world’s most famous sports cars – the Jaguar E-Type.

One year later, this ‘top secret’ E1A, evolved by Jaguar’s chief engineer Bill Heynes, was loaned  to Lt. Col. Christopher Jennings MBE who, apart from being High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire, was also the editor of the prominent motoring journal of the time, ‘The Motor’.  He put E1A through its paces on an undulating, high-speed ‘test run’ from Brecon to Carmarthen, averaging just over 70mph thereby smashing all previous records set by its contemporaries.

Almost sixty years later, on Saturday, 15th July, a fleet of 28 owners of Jaguars spanning everything from XK120s and XK 150s to C-Types, D-Types and E-Types, along with some famous motoring names gathered to celebrate 60 years since E1A was created, re-tracing the historic route from Brecon to Carmarthen and back.

Under light drizzle, cars were flagged-off from the Castle Hotel, Brecon by the mayor, Cllr IeuanWilliams, for the journey to Carmarthen.

On arrival, the gleaming line-up was showcased at St Catherine’s Walk Shopping Centre, where crowds gathered to admire the spectacle, while drivers enjoyed a civic reception, hosted by the High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire.

The schedule then took drivers to the Jennings’ former home in Kidwelly, where they were warmly greeted by the current owner Edwin Atkinson – a relative of the late Christopher Jennings.

Here, Greg Nock of event sponsor Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance, along with Edwin and Mary Atkinson, presented delighted fellow entrant John Burton, owner of a 1961 series I E-Type ‘chassis II’, with the prize for the vehicle which ‘most captures the spirit of the event’. John’s prize was a framed, one-off piece of colour artwork, by Rob Paston of Petrol Head Art, created from a black and white photo of E1A and signed by all the drivers who took part in the run.

Greg Nock presents John Burton with his prize

Greg Nock presents John Burton with his prize


Encompassing another historic motoring location, the route then snaked on to Pendine Museum of Speed and Pendine Sands, famous home to many record-breaking world land speed attempts, where, in the afternoon sunshine, the stunning fleet assembled before the journey’s return leg.

Celebrating the landmark occasion was VIP guest Jonathan Heynes, son of Jaguar chief engineer Bill Heynes, who travelled in a 1959 XK120 – the oldest car on the run, driven by his son William Heynes.

Norman Dewis OBE, who carried out all the test work on E1A, was also at the heart of the event, travelling as passenger in Michael Kilgannon’s E-Type open two-seater, the earliest surviving E-Type and most closely-related to E1A. Registered 77 RW, it is usually held within the Jaguar Heritage Trust collection and recently appeared at the wedding of Pippa Middleton.  Jaguar E-type 77RW


Phil Beck, of Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance, said that the Brecon to Carmarthen run was the perfect way to celebrate the 60th anniversary of such a ground-breaking Jaguar.

“There was a fantastic community atmosphere, with Jaguar enthusiasts, local dignitaries and members of the public joining in with the celebrations,” he explained.

“The camaraderie of the drivers and the hospitality shown by Edwin and Mary Atkinson at such an iconic venue made the event that extra bit special.”

Furthering its support for Jaguar, Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance is also supporting the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club 2017 Charity Prize Draw Car for the Prince Philip Trust, offering up to £350 of insurance to the lucky winner of the beautiful 2010 5.0 litre XK Convertible.  For tickets, click here.


Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance


Stewart Miller & Peter James Insurance is the enthusiasts’ Insurance broker, providing a range of insurance cover from classic & modern car and classic & modern motorcycle right through to household, commercial and travel.

For more information, call the team on 0121 506 6040.

To link directly to the full story of the E1A online click here #jaguar #epicadventure #findyourepic #walesadventure



Launched back in 1979, Stewart Miller Insurance has gone from strength to strength, becoming one of the Midlands’ leading insurance providers, offering a range of commercial, personal and household cover.

Thanks to almost 40 years of local experience, the Stewart Miller team knows exactly what customers need when it comes to protecting their homes or businesses.

Putting personal service before automated messaging systems and call centres, Stewart Miller Insurance will work with each client to tailor individual policies to suit, ensuring it delivers the best possible product at the right price, while using the latest technology to provide a cost-effective, efficient service.

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During his four decades in the insurance industry, Peter James himself has pioneered products including multi-vehicle, limited-mileage and agreed value cover.

So to ensure you have the right cover for all your insurance needs, get in touch with our team.

Stewart Miller Insurance – Commercial, Personal & Household – Tel: 0121 422 2282

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