Jaguar Heritage News – March 2014

Pictures and information courtesy of Jaguar Heritage

The headline news this month is an exciting announcement about a new building project that will become the home for Jaguar Heritage and its vehicle collection in the first half of next year.  There are also reports on some of the early season activities – photo shoots, shows, vehicle displays – and plans for later in the year.


New Museum Collection Centre

We are pleased to announce plans for a new building on the Gaydon site in Warwickshire which will provide space to store and display more than 200 historic British cars from the reserve collections of both the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust.

The £4 million project has been under development for two years and has just been awarded a Round Two grant of £1.45 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF).  The HLF grant, together with match funding from Jaguar Land Rover, The Garfield Weston Foundation and both Trusts, will enable work on this exciting new project to begin in the very near future.

The new Museum Collection Centre will enable visitors to view many cars from the reserve collections of both Trusts for the first time in a purpose-built facility.  The building will also include a vehicle restoration and conservation workshop, space for enhanced education and lifelong learning programmes and office accommodation for all Jaguar Heritage staff – bringing the whole team back together again on the Gaydon site.

This exciting new facility will be immediately adjacent to the Heritage Motor Centre museum and it is hoped that it will be fully operational during the first half of 2015. There will be sufficient space to display all the reserve cars from the Jaguar Heritage collection which will complement the existing Jaguar galleries in the Coventry Transport Museum and the Heritage Motor Centre museum, both of which will continue as they are today.

In addition to the large range of Jaguar models in the reserve collection, the building will also allow visitors to see Jaguar Heritage’s extensive collection of over 30 Daimler and Lanchester models, dating from 1897 to 2002 – many of which have not been on public display before.


The Cars are the Stars

Once again, various vehicles from the Jaguar Heritage collection have been in demand to support photo and film shoots.

At the end of February, Jaguar Heritage’s 1977 Series 2 XJ12 coupé made a rare outing to take part in a photo shoot for Classic Car magazine.  The article, being written by well-known auto journalist John Simister, takes a look at some of the iconic large coupés from the 70s and 80s and will appear in the May issue.  Goodwood was chosen as the venue and the photography took place near the circuit and in the countryside around the famous racecourse, which sits on top of the South Downs above the Goodwood House estate.

The coupé version of the XJ, which was only produced in Series 2 form, is widely regarded as one of the most attractive body styles for this long running model range.  It was produced from 1974 to 1977 in four variants – Jaguar XJ6 and XJ12, Daimler Sovereign 4.2 and Daimler Double Six.  In total, 10,426 XJC models were produced – just under 10% of total Series 2 XJ production.

Hot on its heels, another car from the Heritage collection had to undertake a rather longer journey down to the Cataluña region in Spain to be photographed and driven for a forthcoming feature in Octane magazine.  The car concerned was the red 1963 Series 1 E-type coupé and the venue was chosen as this area is where the new Jaguar F-TYPE coupé press launch is currently taking place.  The media are being hosted in Lleida and enjoying the mountain roads in the surrounding area as well as the MotorLand race circuit at Aragon.

Jaguar Coupes old and new – design icons separated by 50 years!

The Octane article is being written by Associate Editor, Glen Waddington, who was accompanied by journalist and photographer Mark Dixon who is also Deputy Editor.  Having collected one of the new F-TYPE coupés from the press fleet, they teamed up with the Jaguar Heritage team of Dave Withers and Steve Haynes who had made the long journey down through France over the weekend of March 15/16, towing the precious E-type cargo in a covered trailer.  The weather was perfect and the scenery in this sparsely populated region of Spain made a spectacular backdrop for the photo shoot of the two coupés.  Look out for the full article in the June edition of Octane (out on April 23).

Also gracing the front cover of Jaguar World’s April issue was Jaguar Heritage’s well known 1971 Series 3 E-type V12 2+2.


This former Jaguar press car was loaned to JWM editor Paul Walton to feature in an article titled “Five Jaguar Sports Cars You Can Afford” where it was compared with a 1976 Series 2 XJ 4.2C, 1987 XJ-S V12 HE, 2003 XKR Convertible and finally a 2007 latest shape XK 4.2 coupé.


The conclusion at the end praised the E-type for its sporting, rewarding drive and, not surprisingly, it was recommended as having the best investment potential!


Jaguar World Monthly


More recently, a further trio of vehicles from the Heritage collection were called upon to feature in a video being made by the French TF1 AutoMotoTV channel about Jaguar and the ‘Alive’ marketing campaign.  The film crew from TF1 paid a three day visit to the UK from March 18-20, during which they visited some of the JLR facilities and had the chance to experience a range of the latest products at the Gaydon proving ground.  On their final day, they wanted to soak up a bit of Jaguar’s heritage and asked to film the three heritage cars outside Wappenbury Hall, former home of Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons.

The trio of cars comprised the 1954 short nose D-type prototype, the 1958 XK150 drophead (recently taken out of the Jaguar gallery at the Coventry Transport Museum as reported last month) and once again the 1971 S3 E-type V12 2+2.  With the rain just holding back, the cars were lined up alongside an XFR-S outside the Hall to round off the shoot.

The finished video will be aired on French TV on 30th March and will also be posted on the TF1 website.


The crew also paid a flying visit to Wappenbury churchyard to view Sir William’s grave (which is shared with his wife Greta) before they departed for their return to France.


Museum Displays

Visitors to the former Jaguar Heritage museum at Browns Lane, Coventry, may recall a fine display of large posters relating to Jaguar’s motorsport activities and successes in the 1940s and 1950s.  We are pleased to report that these posters have now been put back on permanent display in the Jaguar Heritage gallery at the Heritage Motor Centre Museum at Gaydon.  The posters provide a fitting backdrop to the vehicles on display which are a selection of some of the key models from Jaguar’s illustrious motorsport history.

A change has also been made to the vehicle line-up in the gallery as a consequence of the 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9 being required as part of the heritage vehicle display at the Techno Classica show in Essen.

Taking the place of the XJR-9 is now the 1983 Group 44 liveried XJR-5.  This car made its public debut at CarFest North last August (see July/August 2013 Newsletter) following a lengthy rebuild programme; this is the first time it has been put on display in a museum setting.

D-type at Rheims in 1955 by Roy Nockolds

Later in the year, as part of the celebration of the D-type 60th anniversary, it is planned to mount a special display of appropriate artefacts, information boards and pictures in the Jaguar gallery at Gaydon.  This will be timed to coincide with the Heritage Motor Centre’s 21st birthday celebrations at the beginning of May.  In addition to items from Jaguar Heritage’s own archive, the display will also feature a number of artefacts and models kindly being loaned by the Malcolm Sayer Foundation and also some items from Nigel Webb’s extensive collection.

As Jaguar historians know well, Malcolm Sayer is credited with the design of some of the most well-known Jaguars from the 50s and 60s including the C-type, D-type, E-type and the legendary XJ13.  Malcolm had worked in the aircraft industry before joining Jaguar and introduced many innovative aeronautical techniques to the designs that he worked on – including the first real application of aerodynamic modelling.

His grandson, Sam Sayer, works as a graphic designer and, appropriately, was invited to design the wall panels that will feature as part of the special display.  These will detail 60 interesting facts relating to the D-type which it is hoped visitors will find educational and entertaining!


An example of one of the panels, is pictured on the left.


Vehicle Collection Update and other news

As reported last month, Jaguar Heritage’s trusty 1955 Mark VllM, formerly used by HRH Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, has recently been put on display in the gallery at the Coventry Transport Museum to fill a gap left by the 3.4 litre ‘Mark 1’ that is being used at Nigel Webb’s Mark 1 Day on 13th April.  However, as the Mark VllM is itself quite frequently required for events, the newsletter included an appeal to try and find an alternative product from this era that could be put on more long term display.

To our pleasant surprise we were contacted shortly afterwards by Michael Quinn, grandson of Sir William Lyons and a patron of the JDHT.   Michael has had a long association with Trevor Groom, who has raced classic Jaguars over many years (including sharing an E-type with Michael in the E-type challenge for two seasons); Trevor also has a very fine car collection which happens to include a 1956 Mark Vll which is nearing the end of a comprehensive restoration.  Michael suggested that Trevor might consider loaning this car to Jaguar Heritage for display in the CTM gallery.

This prompted a visit to Trevor’s farmhouse to see the Mark Vll and some of the other cars that he has restored or is in the process of restoring – a veritable Aladdin’s cave for XK120/140/150 enthusiasts!  The Mark Vll was originally registered to a London based insurance company but has spent most of its life in the Warwick/Northamptonshire area and is very low mileage.  The body restoration work is complete and the car looked very impressive in its original black finish.  There is some finishing off work needed on the seats and door panels, but once this is completed it is hoped that it may be possible to put this car on display.

Trevor Groom’s Mark VII

Trevor Groom’s XK140

While looking at the Mark Vll, it was hard to miss a stunning XK140 in an unusual powder blue finish – registration TAC 743.  This car has a fascinating history and has been through something of a metamorphosis during its near 60 year life!  Its early history is associated with David Hobbs who was a Jaguar apprentice in the late 50s while also building up his reputation as a racing driver.   Although David went on to a successful racing career with no less than 20 Le Mans appearances and a venture into Formula 1, in Jaguar circles he is also remembered for his involvement with the XJ13 which he was invited by Lofty England to come and drive at MIRA in 1967 – in the course of which he broke the MIRA lap record with a speed of 161.655 mph.  This record survived until January 1999 when it was finally broken by a McLaren F1 road car driven by Peter Taylor – another ex-Jaguar apprentice and long-time member of the Jaguar Product Development team!

Back to the XK140 story; in the early 1950s David Hobbs had begun his racing career in his mother’s Morris Oxford which was fitted with a Hobbs Mechamatic clutch-less gearbox – effectively a sequential unit with no greater power loss than an ordinary manual box, which had been designed and produced by his engineer father. By 1960 he had progressed to the family’s 1955 Jaguar XK140 drop-head coupe TAC 743, also equipped with a Mechamatic gearbox which proved to be well-suited to the more powerful six cylinder engine characteristics.

However, the car struggled to be competitive, lacking sufficient grunt and stopping power.  An XK150S cylinder head and carburettors were duly fitted, together with XK150 front disc brakes, which transformed the performance and thereafter David was a regular front runner. His results included wins in Touring and GT races at Snetterton, Silverstone and Goodwood. Then came Oulton Park and a spectacular roll, after which the body was never quite the same! Hobbs ran the XK140 for the rest of the season before selling it with the original Moss gearbox back in place.

By early 1961 the car had ended up with Jack Tindell who commissioned coachbuilder Freddie Owen to fabricate an all-new, lightweight body in aluminium, and no doubt Owen‘s resultant styling was influenced to some extent by that of the recently launched E-type. Now christened the ‘O Series‘ Jaguar, TAC 743 otherwise remained exactly as when Hobbs sold it, and it soon had various club motor sport events under its belt.  These included circuit racing and the Brighton Speed Trials in the hands of both Tindell and Owen, who netted several victories. In 1970 the car passed to Rodney Bolwell who also raced it with some success, until the engine finally failed.

The Owen bodied XK140 following its restoration by Trevor Groom

A decade or so later, Norman Ewins bought the broken XK140 as a restoration project before Trevor Groom persuaded him to part with the semi-rebuilt car in 1999. Work left to be done comprised replacing corroded bulkhead panels and floor sections – using specially-made wider and longer versions of standard XK items, allowing cutting and adjustment to suit the Owen body. Happily for Trevor, who did all the work himself, the exterior panels were sound, and once fitted the whole was painted in Ecurie Ecosse Blue. As for the engine, Ewins had rebuilt the original 3.4 litre unit and the only major mechanical work left was to fit the limited slip Salisbury PowrLok differential with 3.77:1 ratio. Following completion of its restoration, Trevor successfully campaigned TAC 743 for several years in classic car races including the Fordwater Trophy at the 2006 Goodwood Revival meeting in which he impressively finished on the podium behind a brace of Morgan Plus 4 SLRs.

Trevor Groom driving the re-born TAC 743 at the Goodwood Revival in 2013

Having considered selling the car, Trevor then decided to embark on an even more ambitious programme – to return the XK140 to its original condition as raced by David Hobbs in 1960!   The detail of this work will have to be a story for another day, but the results speak for themselves and the meticulous restoration has even extended to re-fitting the car with a Mechamatic clutch-less gearbox.  Trevor was invited to bring the car to the Goodwood Revival last year where he took part in the Fordwater Trophy race.  Look out for it at other events this year!

Recent visitors to Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant will know that the Visitor Centre and factory entrance have undergone a significant makeover with the former now sporting a dedicated F-TYPE lounge where potential customers can see the car and understand the design and technology story behind it.  To complement the display of current Jaguar models in the main showroom area, Jaguar Heritage has been asked to provide a rolling selection of cars from its collection – the first of which was put in place on March 24.  Not surprisingly, with the F-TYPE coupé being Jaguar’s latest product, the car requested was the 1971 S3 E-type V12 2+2 coupé!


Recent Events

This month kicked off with the Jaguar Spares Day at Stoneleigh on March 16 where the Jaguar Heritage team turned out with the familiar merchandise unit.

Closely following this was the giant Techno Classica – Essen which ran from March 26–30.  Jaguar Heritage  provided five cars from the collection to dress the stand which was being run by the Jaguar Classic Parts team – now part of the JLR Aftersales organisation following the termination of the former contract with Unipart at the end of last year.  The stand is the largest yet for Jaguar at this important show and underscores the new emphasis being put on Heritage related business opportunities within JLR.


Jaguar Heritage Production Record Trace Certificates

Since 1931 when Jaguar began making the first SS1 cars and until the 1980s, every car produced was individually recorded with a hand-written entry in large ledgers. When this system was eventually abandoned in the computer age, these original ledgers were turned over to the Archive of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

Using these invaluable original records, Jaguar Heritage now offers owners of classic Jaguar and Daimler cars our Production Record Trace service. By completing this form you can apply for a Heritage Certificate for your car.

The Certificate gives all the relevant information on your car taken from the original records. It will confirm the original numbers and colour scheme, give the dates of build and despatch, as well as the original destination of the car. Where recorded, the name of the first owner and the original registration mark are also included on the Certificate. We offer this service for all cars which are more than ten years old.

The service is available for:

• Swallow bodied cars (Austin Seven, Wolseley Hornet and Standard) 1931 – 1933

• SS Cars 1931 – 1936

• SS Jaguar cars 1935 – 1940

• Jaguar cars from 1945 onwards

• Daimler cars from circa 1959 onwards

(there is also limited information available for some earlier Daimler cars, from circa 1953 onwards).


We carry out the research from a chassis number and/or other number(s), or other information which has been quoted to us by a client. We cannot accept liability in cases where incorrect numbers have been quoted by clients, even if this leads to the wrong car being researched.

We therefore ask you to supply all the original numbers from the car, including engine number, body number and gearbox number. You should also quote the UK registration mark (where applicable) and date of first registration. Please describe the car accurately – make, model and type of body.

While we take every care to ensure that we supply the correct information, neither Jaguar Heritage nor any associated company will be held liable for errors or omissions or the consequences thereof.

We reserve the right to ask for proof of the legal existence of a vehicle before issuing a certificate. You are therefore requested to send a photocopy of the second page only of the UK registration certificate V5C (or a photocopy of an equivalent non-UK document or certificate) with your application. If you do not send suitable documentation, we may not be able to issue a certificate with all the information about the car. Please note that we always reserve the right to refuse to issue a certificate.

A Heritage Certificate does not in itself constitute proof of the identity, provenance, originality or present condition of a particular car. A Heritage Certificate is not proof of ownership of a car.

Enquiries must be pre-paid; please complete the payments section. The cost of the Heritage Certificate is £45.00 (worldwide, including VAT and postage). A refund will be made if we cannot issue a certificate for a car. Information correct on 1st March 2014please check current price with Jaguar Heritage before making payment.

We reserve the right to amend our fees without notice at any time. The fee payable will be the fee which is current at the time of the application.

The certificates are A4 size (297mm x 210mm) and are posted by first class or air mail in hardback envelopes. Please allow 28 days for delivery.

Additional or replacement certificates are available at a cost of £21.00 each. To obtain an additional or replacement certificate, please forward the original certificate or a photocopy thereof.


Jaguar Heritage

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All information correct at time of publishing.