|Jaguar Heritage News – June 2013|
Another action packed month for Jaguar Heritage, with cars from the collection in strong demand for photo shoots and events! A first this month, as we feature a ‘road test’ report on our latest acquisition, a 1966 Jaguar 420.
Jaguar 420 Road Test Report
As reported in the April edition of Jaguar Heritage news, a 1966 Jaguar 420 has recently been acquired to fill a gap in the vehicle collection. The 420 slotted into the Jaguar line-up of the time between the larger 420G (the successor to the Mark X) and the smaller Mark 2, making its position in the range similar to today’s XF. This gave rise to the idea of comparing and contrasting the two cars to see how things have changed in the last 47 years!
Jaguar 420 History
When the 420 was introduced in October 1966 the new XJ6 was still two years away, but Jaguar sales were faltering and there was a requirement for a saloon above the S-type, more expensive than the Mark 2 but below the Mark X in price and size. A face-lift of the S-type looked like the way ahead using the newly modified 4.2 litre engine.
Sir William Lyons restyled the S-type body ahead of the windscreen, incorporating the forward-sloping nose theme of the Mark X. The design included the four headlight arrangement from the Mark X (7” outers and 5½” inners) but with rectangular chromed grilles replacing the spot lamps. There was a matching Daimler Sovereign, which shared the innovation of a padded roll of black vinyl along the top of the fascia – an early example of a specific safety feature being incorporated into the design.
The car acquired by Jaguar Heritage, registration AVG 254D, was a Special Factory Order for Lady Stanley of Alderney in the Channel Islands and was supplied in 1966 through the St Helier Garage in Jersey. It was finished in the special colour of Ming Blue with White Leather upholstery. The car returned to mainland UK in 1975 and has only had three previous owners. Interestingly, it has spot lights in place of the chrome grilles shown on the car in the Autocar article from 1966.
Putting the 420 alongside the latest XF model provides an interesting contrast. Although the 420 would have been regarded as a large car in 1966, it looks quite compact and delicate alongside the XF. Part of this is down to the physical dimensions – the XF at 4961mm is nearly 200mm (7”) longer than the 420 and is also a massive 244mm (9”) wider – but it is also down to the lower waistline and larger area of glass on the 420. Both cars are striking in appearance and have an undeniable road presence, but the only real Jaguar characteristic they share is the sweeping waistline (the Lyon’s line) and sloping rear end.
The interior designs are also clearly from different eras, the incorporation of modern safety features and electronics driving the much simpler and cleaner style of the XF facia. Nevertheless, both exude a luxurious feel with plenty of leather and wood, and a high level of features and equipment.
Despite its narrower and shorter body, the 420 feels as spacious inside as the XF, with generous shoulder and rear legroom. Again, this is in no small part down to the many advanced safety features on the XF – the side impact protection with seat and cantrail mounted airbags and reinforced sills leading to smaller door apertures, bulkier seats and thicker pillars. The 420 benefits from a lower waistline and large glass area giving an airy feel with good all round visibility – much needed given the absence of any exterior mirrors!
Boot space is generous on both cars although the 420 suffers the familiar problem of all Jaguars from that era of being rather shallow – an inevitable result of the sloping boot lid and sleek rear end design.
On the road
The best adjective to describe the overall feeling of the 420 is ‘loose’! Of course some allowance has to be made for the car’s 47 years and its near 80,000 recorded miles (believed to be accurate), but it is clear that modern engineering and manufacturing techniques allied to much tighter design tolerances make today’s products feel much more solid and all of a piece. The 420 on the move gives that disconcerting impression of being composed of a lot of rather loosely connected parts moving in roughly the same direction!
That’s not to say that it doesn’t have some dynamic qualities. The ride is supple, the engine noise is well muted and the steering is light – making it an easy and relaxing car for gentle cruising. The bench style front seats and soft springing do not encourage fast cornering and the performance on this example is disappointing for a 4.2 litre engine – although in its defence, the car has not been subject to any mechanical fettling since it was acquired.
The 420 was well equipped for cars of the sixties with a heated rear window (using fine wires more like the XF’s heated front screen), comprehensive instrumentation, a two band radio and even an 8 track player in the glovebox – presumably an accessory fit after purchase. Ventilation on the other hand is almost non-existent, the only real option being to open the quarterlights or windows.
Jaguars have come a long way in 50 years, the modern XF with its high efficiency diesel engine and sophisticated chassis offering levels of performance, efficiency and driving dynamics that could only have been dreamed of in 1966. Despite that, the 420 has a timeless charm and, with some minor repairs and mechanical work, would make a good car for occasional use even on today’s roads. It is a worthwhile addition to the Heritage Collection and driving it provides an opportunity to step back into a less pressured and more genteel world, where grace and space take precedence over pace!
Jaguar Heritage Photographic Archive
This picture of the famous 1952 XK120 LWK 707 gives a sneak preview of the high quality images being taken by Karam Ram, of the Jaguar Heritage Collection vehicles.
Although Jaguar Heritage has a wonderful collection of archive images charting Jaguar’s history from its roots in Blackpool right up to the present day, one thing lacking is a set of consistent images of the vehicles in the current Collection. To remedy this Karam Ram, Heritage’s well-known photo archivist who is also a skilled photographer, is undertaking an exercise to photograph all the key vehicles from the Collection in the same environment and from the same angles. The goal is to put together a set of high quality reference images, all of them against a neutral background, that can be used in publications, digital channels and to satisfy media enquiries going forward.
Before shooting could begin, Karam had to put his DIY skills into practice by constructing a temporary film ‘studio’ in an empty warehouse unit near to where the Jaguar Heritage cars are stored. He is now well underway and has so far photographed almost 20 vehicles from the Collection.
This temporary facility has also been useful in supporting some external photo shoot requests. One such example was a request from Jaguar World magazine to photograph the 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9 for an article in a forthcoming issue. A film shoot also took place in a neighbouring warehouse to create a video piece about the new Jaguar F-TYPE for use on the influential US auto website Edmunds.com Several Heritage cars were used to support this shoot including one seldom seen – the 2001 F-type concept car that was originally unveiled at the Detroit Auto Show in 2000. Other vehicles chosen to show the sports car lineage included two E-types (the 1961 Series 1 car 77RW and the last of the line Series 3 from 1974), and an XJS 4.0 Convertible from 1996.
Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club International Day – 9 June 2013
The first big event of the month, held at Quarry Park, Shrewsbury. When the time came to select appropriate vehicles to take along for this gathering, an idea emerged to do something a bit special. This was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Collection’s 1913 Daimler TE30 Cranmore Landaulet by driving it to and from the event – a journey of more than 100 miles!
The day dawned fine, and the car was cranked into life by JH Technician Dave Withers who was accompanied by co-driver and navigator, Jonathan Partridge. The route to Shrewsbury was somewhat ‘round the houses’ as the Daimler was being teamed up with a 1929 Lanchester 23hp Corsica 2-door touring model (famous from the Jeeves and Wooster TV series) which is owned by Jaguar Heritage volunteer and DLOC member, Eric Baptiste. As Eric lives in Dorridge and neither car is really suitable for motorway driving, a route was worked out that went from Coventry to Dorridge and then round the south of Birmingham via Kidderminster and Bridgnorth to Shrewsbury.
The Daimler was parked up alongside the other vehicles from the Collection which included the 1955 Daimler Sportsman (donated to the Trust by DLOC vice-president and JH volunteer Tony Bagley), the 1961 Daimler SP250 ‘Dart’ and the last of the line X308 Daimler, a 2002 Super V8.
The day concluded with the usual awards ceremony which included the George Adcock trophy, awarded for the best JDHT vehicle on display – the 1913 Daimler being an obvious choice this year!
Jonathan Partridge (top left) accepts the George Adcock trophy from the Mayor of Shrewsbury, awarded to the 1913 Daimler TE30 Cranmore Landaulet, pictured alongside other JDHT Daimlers, for the best JDHT Daimler displayed that day
Cosford Air Show – 9 June 2013
Held at the RAF Cosford base which specialises in military technical training. One of Jaguar’s ETO Engineers, Dave Moore, has strong links with Cosford and was asked if he could bring along one of the new F-TYPEs to display at this year’s show. Dave in turn asked if Jaguar Heritage could bring along its XKR from the James Bond film Die Another Day to complement the display and entertain the youngsters at the show. The two cars were positioned alongside a Jaguar supersonic ground attack aircraft, creating a rather unique ‘Jaguar’ line-up!
Pistonheads ‘Sunday Service’ – 2 June 2013
Held at the JLR engineering centre at Gaydon. These events are held a few times each year at different venues and are designed to give Pistonheads subscribers an opportunity to meet with fellow petrol heads, show off their cars and admire the other vehicles on display. For this special Jaguar hosted event, there was a large display of the latest Jaguar ‘R’ performance models and several examples of the new F-TYPE. Alongside these, were the Jaguar Heritage 1954 D-type Prototype and 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9. Guest of honour was Andy Wallace, one of the winning drivers from 1988, who was on hand to sign autographs and fire up the engine of the XJR-9 – much to the enjoyment of the assembled crowds!
F-type handover at Swain & Jones – 19 June 2013
On 2nd June 1997, Malcolm Inglis took delivery of a new XK8, from Swain & Jones. Registered as P55 XKB and with only 5,000 miles from new, Malcolm generously donated it to Jaguar Heritage. Malcolm has now purchased an F-type V6 from the same dealership, and asked if his old XK8 could be brought down to Farnham for the handover ceremony on 19th June …….. Jaguar Heritage was happy to oblige!
Malcolm Inglis with his new F-TYPE and former XK8 together with JH volunteers Roger Atkinson, Graham Stevens and Gary Jones
Heritage Drive – 22 June 2013
A group of prize-draw winning Jaguar owners from China enjoyed a 5 day UK tour with a James Bond ‘Skyfall’ theme. The action packed itinerary saw them travelling from London to Gaydon (by helicopter), back down to Beaulieu and then on to Edinburgh!
On arrival at Gaydon the Chinese visitors had the opportunity to drive, or be driven in the latest Jaguar performance models on the test track and also appreciate the brand heritage by taking a ride in one of six classic models provided by Jaguar Heritage. In recognition of the event theme, one of these was the James Bond XKR from the film Die Another Day, while the others were all more conventional historic models including a 1958 XK150, 1969 E-type, 1969 S1 XJ6, 1973 S1 XJ12 and a 1992 Daimler Limousine.
Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club Northern Day – 23 June 2013
Five cars from the Collection were supplied to support this event at Newby Hall, Yorkshire, including the 1933 SS1 Tourer that has featured in previous newsletters. This car is now complete and has been handed over to Jaguar Heritage by Davenport Cars where it has undergone an extensive restoration programme.
The other cars on display were two XK120s – the famous rally-winning 1950 car NUB 120 and the 1953 example OOF 748 fresh from its exploits on the Mille Miglia – a 1963 S-type (celebrating its 50th anniversary) and the first off the line X350 XJR model. The team also took along the familiar merchandise trailer and combined forces with Jaguar Classic Parts who were also supporting the event with their display unit. A new F-TYPE had also been obtained at the last minute courtesy of Jaguar Engineering and took pride of place in front of the two units.
More pictures from Newby Hall
Forthcoming Events supported by Jaguar Heritage
- Terenure Classic Car Show – Dublin – 7 July 2013 (XJ220)
- Coronation Festival – Buckingham Palace – 11-14 July 2013 (1953 XK120, 1955 Mark Vll and 1961 E-type).
- Goodwood Festival of Speed – 11-14 July 2013 (four cars from the Collection will be doing demo runs up the famous hill – the 1952 XK120 LWK707, the 1954 D-type prototype, the one and only 1966 XJ13 and the 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9. This will be the first outing for the latter in some years and it is being entrusted to the safe hands of Andy Wallace for the demo drives!)
- Car Fest North – Oulton Park – 2-4 August 2013 (five V12 engined race cars – the unique XJ13, the 1974 Group 44 E-type, the 1983 TWR XJS and two cars making their maiden dynamic outings, the 1976 Broadspeed XJ12 C and the 1982 Group 44 XJR-5).
Summer Events at The Heritage Motor Centre, Gaydon
- 18 July – 28 July – Jaguar “the Brand”
- 29 July – 18 August – Jaguar Racing and Rallying
- 19 August – 9 September – Jaguar Design
Each three-week section will include various activities including drop-in family craft activities, art sessions, Tuesday ‘Lego Technic’ activities, Jaguar guided tours, a special lecture and a changing selection of ‘feature’ vehicles and display of archive material from Jaguar Heritage.
To complement these events, 3 lectures have been organized, as detailed below
More information on these events can be found at Heritage Motor Centre
….. and finally, a visit from down under!
Proving that the Jaguar Heritage newsletter has a global reach, one of the clubs that regularly re-issues it to its local members is the Jaguar Car Club of Tasmania (JCCT). Brian Spencer, editor of their club journal, Jaguar Torque, has been a regular correspondent with Jaguar Heritage over the last 12 months.
Brian and his wife Diane came to the UK in June and asked if we could help them make contact with Norman Dewis, as Norman had stayed with Diane (in her previous marriage) during his trip to Australia in 1998 and they had kept in touch – there is even a picture of them together on page 555 of Norman’s book!
Norman remembered the trip to Australia well and was very happy to meet with Diane again. The reunion took place on 11 June at the Jaguar Heritage office in Coventry. After a lot of reminiscing and signing of photographs, Norman, Diane and Brian were taken to the Jaguar Heritage workshop to see some of the cars and for the obligatory photo opportunity with the XJ13! The whole occasion was greatly enjoyed by all those present and demonstrated once again that the Jaguar ‘family’ links are spread all round the world!
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All information correct at time of publishing.