The events season has really got into full swing over the last few weeks with the Jaguar Heritage team involved in a diverse range of activities at home and abroad. The first turf has also been cut for the building that will be Jaguar Heritage’s future home!
Heritage Motor Centre 21st Anniversary and New Museum Collections Centre update
The month of May began with a special event to celebrate the 21st anniversary of the Heritage Motor Centre museum at Gaydon opening to the public. A large audience of invited guests were given a welcome presentation by HMC Managing Director, Julie Tew, which was followed by a cake cutting ceremony where she was joined by Jaguar Heritage Trustee, Peter Mitchell. Peter was responsible for securing the funding for the Heritage Motor Centre back in 1991 and is also a trustee of the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust which operates the museum and conference centre.
The guests then had the rare opportunity for a ride & drive activity in an eclectic range of 21 cars from HMC’s extensive collection – ranging from an 1899 Wolseley 3½hp Voiturette through to the 2004 ‘Lady Penelope’ car from the film Thunderbirds! Guided tours of the BMIHT archive and the museum were also available – the latter including a new display on the mezzanine level entitled “21 Years, 21 Icons”. This features 7 motoring icons, 7 motoring inventions and 7 motoring innovators, and the roll-call includes the Jaguar E-type (inevitably!) and the Dunlop disc brake – jointly developed with Jaguar and first used with great success on the C-type in 1952.
In the afternoon, the visitors reassembled for a presentation by Tim Bryan, HMC Head of Collections and Interpretation, on the new Museum Collections Centre building project. This was followed by a ceremony at which Peter Mitchell was invited to cut the first turf for the new building which is due to open in early 2015.
As reported in the March newsletter, the Centre 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 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.
At the tail end of April, the Jaguar Heritage team were asked to support a couple of interesting back-to-back film shoots. The first of these was at the famous Goodwood Circuit on April 29th, where part of an exciting new TV commercial for Jaguar China was being filmed. Given the importance of the Chinese market for the Jaguar Land Rover business, this was a lavish production involving a full crew (including extras) of nearly 300 people! A rare and very valuable line-up of cars was assembled, comprising no less than 7 original C-types and 7 original D-types, amongst which was Jaguar Heritage’s 1954 short nose D-type prototype.
Le Mans style line-up
The shoot was meticulously orchestrated and began with the filming of a Le Mans style start sequence. This involved carefully lining up the 14 precious cars along the Goodwood pit wall creating an impressive and very unique spectacle. To add to the atmosphere, the pit lane had been dressed in period (with the Jaguar ‘lozenge’ logo very prominent) and a crowd of extras clad in period costume waved Union Jack flags and cheered the drivers as they ran across the track.
After several takes, the filming sequence then moved on to some action shots of the cars in various race formations – for which the stand cameras were supplemented by a helicopter and something called a ‘Russian Arm’! This was a special gyro stabilised camera mounted on the end of a long arm attached to a powerful matt black SUV – to enable high speed tracking of the cars going round the circuit.The filming at Goodwood was the final piece of the jigsaw, with other shoots having already taken place in Majorca and London. Of course the advert will feature a star driver but the identity is currently a closely guarded secret! No doubt the final version will go viral when released, so watch out over the coming months…
D-types in formation
The team then moved on, complete with the short nose D-type, for another film shoot for XCAR at Castle Combe on April 30th. XCAR is part of the CNET web service run by CBS Interactive and is fronted by up and coming automotive journalist Alex Goy. XCAR specialises in producing feature length online videos on a wide range of automotive subjects and the focus for the shoot at Castle Combe was the new Jaguar F-TYPE Coupé and its bloodline of classic Jaguar sports cars.
To this end, the D-type was joined by the well-known 1961 Series 1 E-type OTS, registration 77RW, that is looked after by Jaguar Heritage as well as by the famous C-type chassis XKC-005 which is owned by Richard Frankel – which also made the journey up from Goodwood where it had featured in the line-up on the previous day. This C-type is the car that scored the first race win for a car fitted with disc brakes when Stirling Moss drove it to victory in the Reims grand prix in 1952.
The three classics were lined up alongside one of the latest F-TYPE coupé models and were photographed and filmed by the XCAR team in various configurations on and around the Castle Combe circuit. A remote control gyrocopter was also used with a small GoPro camera to record some overhead footage! Look out for the final edit on the XCAR website in the coming weeks ….. XCAR
The Jaguar alphabet – C, D, E and F-types!
2014 Mille Miglia, May 15-18
The biggest event this month was the legendary Mille Miglia classic car endurance rally which took place from May 15-18. Jaguar Heritage Racing had assembled a line-up of top-name drivers, who traversed the 1,000 gruelling miles from Brescia to Rome and back in ten of the most revered and sought-after historic Jaguar cars ever produced.
Household names from stage and screen, plus fashion, motor sport and music celebrities campaigned their assigned historic Jaguars through Northern and Central Italy for four tough but memorable days of hard driving. Spectators enthusiastically lining the Mille Miglia route got the chance to see examples of historically-significant Jaguar XKs, C-types and D-types shooting past them with famous faces in the cockpits.
The line-up included four Jaguar Heritage cars. Heading the bill was the famous 1956 long nose D-type 393RW, the penultimate example built, which was driven by two motor racing greats – ex-Jaguar Le Mans and World Sports Prototype Championship winner, Formula 1 driver and SKY F1 TV pundit Martin Brundle, plus ex-Formula 1 racer Bruno Senna.
The 1953 Jaguar Heritage C-type, NDU 289, was shared by legendary AC/DC lead singer and car afficionado Brian Johnson together with Octane Magazine Deputy Editor, Mark Dixon.
Jaguar Vehicle Integrity Chief Engineer Mike Cross drove the well-known ex-Stirling Moss Monthlery record-breaking XK120 Coupé LWK 707 from 1952 with journalist Mikey Harvey alongside him while author David Blakeley and model-turned-TV presenter Jodie Kidd shared the beautiful black 1953 XK120, OOF 748, which was driven by Oscar-winning actor Daniel-Day Lewis in the 2013 event. David and Jodie achieved the accolade of being the top placed Jaguar entry at the end of the event, with the fewest penalty points!
Leading American TV chat show host, Jaguar collector and classic car enthusiast Jay Leno drove the famous ex-Sir James Scott-Douglas 1951 Jaguar XK120 roadster, raced as part of the Ecurie Ecosse team in period. His co-driver was Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum and to complete the Ecurie Ecosse theme, the famous car transporter that was auctioned for a record £1.8m last year had been transported out to Brescia to line up alongside the cars.
Another well-known 1951 XK120 roadster – the ex-Duncan Hamilton racer registered LXF 731 – was shared by husband and wife team, Elliot and Erin Gleave. Elliot is better known as successful British musician Example, with his wife Erin being the Australian TV presenter who he first met when she interviewed him for MTV.
Other significant Jaguar XK models on the Mille Miglia included the ex-Jim Swift racing XK120 roadster, which was driven by multiple award-winning British actor Jeremy Irons. The three car C-type line-up also included the ex Fangio car 70 XVK which had won the Series C race at Monaco the previous weekend! This was shared by Belgian singer-songwriter Milow (Jonathan Vandenbroeck) and Jaguar Land Rover Regional Director for Europe Bernard Kuhnt.
Cars in the Media
Jaguar Heritage cars have also been in some demand for media articles and activities over the last couple of months. Back in April, the 1975 XJ-S V12 from the collection joined a number of other classic models from the Coventry based manufacturers of the time, to be photographed for a future article in Practical Classics magazine. This has now appeared in the June issue and the article by Neil Campbell, entitled “Sent to Coventry”, provides a fascinating history lesson on the thriving industry that has existed in and around the city over the last 100 years – a must read for anyone with an interest in the heyday of Midlands car manufacturing.
The very same XJS, which was one of the original launch cars shown at the Earls Court Motor Show, also provided the backdrop for a future article that will appear in Jaguar World Magazine. The theme of the article being prepared by automotive writer Mike Taylor is ‘XJS Reunited’ and it brought together three old hands who had been closely involved with the original development of the XJ-S. Best known of the trio was Norman Dewis, former Jaguar Senior Test Engineer and now, in his 94th year, something of a Jaguar legend. Norman was joined by Richard Cresswell, former Manager of Vehicle Proving (succeeding Norman) and also Ed Abbott who was a Principal Engineer in Vehicle Proving. Following a photo session with the car at the storage warehouse, Mike interviewed Norman, Richard and Ed to tease out their respective and joint memories of how the XJ-S programme took shape in the early years. Look out for this article over the coming months.
While on the subject of Jaguar World Magazine, the sharp-eyed may have spotted a picture of a gold coloured Daimler in an article in the June edition about the annual London to Brighton Run that took place on April 27. This car was loaned by Jaguar Heritage to Paul Walton, JWM editor, to take part in this year’s run and it has an interesting history. Built in 1973 as a company car, it is a top specification Daimler Double Six Vanden Plas and went on to be the personal transport of both Lord Stokes, Chairman of the ill-fated British Leyland, and also of Sir William Lyons. It was also used as a test bed on several occasions, including the fitment of a two-stage differential and a different engine.
The car was acquired by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust from the British Motor Industry Heritage Trust in 1991. As its condition had deteriorated over time, in 2003 the Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club was asked to undertake a project to refurbish the car. It has not had many outings since then, but it will be making further appearances this year at both the Daimler and Lanchester Owners Club International Rally on June 1 at Gaydon and also at the JEC National Day at Thoresby Hall on June 22.
As part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Jaguar D-type, a special commemorative display has recently been installed in the Jaguar Heritage gallery at the Heritage Motor Centre museum at Gaydon.
Centrepiece of the display is, of course, a Jaguar D-type! The car on show is a unique example being the first prototype that was built in early 1954. This prototype, with chassis number XKC 401 (as it was a development from the C-type model), was taken straight to Le Mans for testing in May 1954, where Jaguar’s principal test engineer, Norman Dewis, immediately broke the previous lap record by a clear 5 seconds! This was the start of the D-type’s illustrious race history which saw many victories over the following six years in the UK, Europe and USA, including three in the Le Mans 24 hour race itself.
The D-type is flanked by two other very famous cars from the Jaguar Heritage collection:
· The 1950 XK120, registration NUB 120, that was driven by Ian Appleyard with his wife Patricia (daughter of Jaguar founder William Lyons) acting as navigator in several races and rallies. Ian won the Alpine Rally twice, the RAC Rally and the Tulip rally as well as being the first winner of the Alpine Gold Cup – for three consecutive runs without incurring a penalty point!
· The one and only XJ13 from 1966. Designed to be a Le Mans competitor to succeed the D-type, the XJ13 was fitted with a quad cam 5.0 litre V12 engine to give it a top speed approaching 200mph. Sadly the rules were changed before it was completed, limiting Le Mans cars to engine capacities not exceeding 3.0 litres. This left the XJ13 sidelined and this is the only complete surviving example.
Behind these cars are a number of display panels which provide a brief history of the D-type and also list 60 interesting facts about the car – some well-known and some more obscure!
To complement the vehicles, the Jaguar Heritage Archive team has also assembled a fascinating collection of D-type related artefacts which have been put on display in two cabinets. These include a number of items kindly loaned by the family of Malcolm Sayer, who is credited with the design of some of the most iconic Jaguars from the 1950s and 60s including the D-type, E-type and the XJ13. Amongst these artefacts are several scale models of potential designs, one of Malcolm’s original note books and an example of his painting skills!
Also on display are a number of original archive documents, some further artefacts kindly loaned by Nigel Webb (including a rare set of playing cards issued to celebrate Jaguar’s Le Mans victories) and a fine selection of scale model D-types.
Finally, to round off the display, two original artworks by the famous automotive artist Roy Nockolds have been put on display. These depict the D-type in the Rheims 12 hour race in 1954 (which it won) and also a dawn scene from the 1957 Le Mans 24 hour race which saw the D-type’s most impressive result with 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th places!
The special display will run throughout the summer season so make sure you plan a visit sometime between May and August.
Just a reminder that the major events over the next couple of months that will see cars from the collection out and about are:
· The Daimler and Lanchester Owners’ Club 50th Anniversary International Rally at the Heritage Motor Centre at Gaydon on June 1 Jaguar Heritage will be displaying eight vehicles spanning 100 years, ranging from Jaguar Heritage’s oldest car, the 1897 Daimler Grafton Phaeton up to the stunning 1996 Daimler Corsica Convertible concept car. Also on show will be some cars not often seen including the 1973 Daimler Double Six (mentioned earlier) and the 1986 Daimler XJ-S.
· The Jaguar Enthusiasts’ Club National Day at Thoresby Hall in Notts on June 22. This will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the JEC and Jaguar Heritage will be bringing along five cars from its collection that the JEC have helped to restore over the years. These will include: 1958 3.4 litre ‘Mark 1’ TOX 1, 1969 S1 XJ6 4.2 PHP 42G and1973 S2 Daimler Double Six VDP (both former cars of Sir William Lyons), 1971 S3 E-type V12 2+2 WHP 205J, and the unique 1996 Daimler Corsica convertible. A D-type from the Heritage collection will also appear in the Jaguar Timeline at this event.
· The Goodwood Festival of Speed from June 26-29; Jaguar Heritage will once again have a selection of racing cars from its collection in the Cathedral Paddock making runs up the famous hill each day. The provisional line-up is: 1954 D-type prototype, 1974 Group 44 E-type V12, 1983 TWR XJS and the 1988 Le Mans winning XJR-9.
· The Silvretta Classic rally in Austria taking place from July3-6, which will feature a three car entry from Jaguar Deutschland who will be using Jaguar Heritage’s 1953 XK120 OTS, 1958 XK150 DHC and the last of the line 1974 S3 E-type V12 OTS.
· Classic Le Mans from July 4-6; details are still being finalised, but Jaguar Heritage is likely to have a strong presence at this year’s Classic Le Mans with a number of cars from its collection on display or doing parade laps. More details next month.
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All information correct at time of publishing.