A former soldier who was already thinking of his future as an amputee athlete while being rescued from a war zone has today been named Jaguar Australia’s newest ambassador.

Paralympian Curtis McGrath, who is also an ambassador for the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games, lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Critically injured, he was evacuated to Germany where he underwent several rounds of surgery before being sent home for more surgery and intensive rehabilitation. Determined to march in his unit’s homecoming parade, he endured three months of intensive and painful rehab to ensure he could take his place among his comrades.

During his battlefield rescue Curtis discussed the possibility of becoming a Paralympian with those taking him to safety. Talk became reality when, after learning to swim again as part of his rehabilitation, he felt motivated to get serious about sport.

Unsure about which discipline to follow, Curtis finally settled on outrigger canoeing and quickly establishing himself as one of the world’s best before moving to sprint kayaks after a 2015 rule change.

He is currently preparing for Portugal’s Paracanoe World Championships starting on August 21, almost six years to the day since losing his legs on the battlefield.

A resident of Queensland’s Gold Coast Curtis, who turns 30 in March, said he was surprised when offered the role of Jaguar Brand Ambassador but proud to accept it.

“It’s a great feeling being appointed as Jaguar’s Ambassador and I’m proud to be associated with the company. Jaguar’s support for the Invictus Games is outstanding and what the company does for the military veteran community is great,” he said.

Matthew Wiesner, Jaguar Land Rover Australia’s Managing Director, said the determination and motivation shown by Curtis in his endeavours to become one of Australia’s great sportspeople was nothing short of inspiring.

“In a relatively short period of time Curtis turned what could have been a personal, life-changing disaster into ongoing outstanding achievement,” Mr Wiesner said. “We are not only proud to be associated with him but pleased that he has become an ambassador for the Jaguar brand as well as for the Invictus Games.”

Curtis’s ambassadorial Jaguar is an F-PACE First Edition, fittingly finished in Halcyon Gold – as befits a gold medal-winning athlete. Halcyon Gold is a limited colour exclusive to First Edition models.

Setting Curtis’s car aside is its professionally-fitted hand control system for accelerating and braking which, he says, is a little like using a computer game console.

Jaguar Land Rover is a presenting partner and major supporter of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event for serving or former armed services personnel who are wounded, injured or sick.

This year’s Invictus Games will take place in Sydney in October and Curtis will be there cheering for every competitor.

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Our latest edition has now hit the streets in hard copy, and is also on the way to every subscriber’s mail box.

No two editions are alike, of course, and some take more effort to create than others – but this one has taken perhaps the most effort, yet is the most satisfying.

We are very proud to present the ten page feature highlighting Clive Beecham’s ex-works and Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose D-Type XKD603.  It the most original D-Type in existence (in our opinion) finished second at Le Mans in 1957 behind the sister Ecurie Ecosse D-Type – and started in Le Mans four races in a row!  That’s the most of any Jaguar.

Then there is the gorgeous V12 XJ-C belonging to Lance Quartermaine.  It is rare, pristine and was self-restored by an enthusiast in Perth, Western Australia over a three year period.

Jaguar has never built a four cylinder sports car for public sale – until now.  We test drive and live with the four cylinder F-Type Convertible and discover a real surprise package.

Not to forget Alfred Momo – a name your may have heard of in conjunction with Briggs Cunningham.  However, nothing has been documented about him that I have found, and that is a huge shame.  So we spent weeks investigating the Italian/American, his family, his engineering genius, his relationship with Briggs Cunningham – and found he and Briggs even owned and operated the official new car sales business in New York, and also its entire service and spare parts.

These are just teasers too of what is in the entire edition #191.

If you have trouble finding our magazine in your book store, simply subscribe here and it will be in your mail box as soon as the ‘postie’ can deliver it to you – anywhere in the world.

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In July 2016 we drove an XF-R, powered by a petrol fuelled engine, all the way to outback Priscilla Queen of the Desert country in Broken Hill, via Brisbane and Albury on a 5027 kilometre marathon.

We encountered (by accident) brutal dirt roads, rudely officially titled ‘Highway’, on the journey from Griffith to Broken Hill – but the car performed brilliantly – thankfully because we were out of phone contact!

Now Jaguar Australia has loaned us a new sister model – XF-R – but a diesel version.

It will be fascinating to compare the diesel engined model with the petrol one – but already it is bringing back many fond memories.

It will all be in edition #192.

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I want to share here two major Jaguar features coming up in our edition #191 because I am very proud of them – and think the subjects we concentrate on should be recognised more widely internationally.

The first is a six page profile about Alfred Momo, the pocket-sized Italian-born American lauded as an engineering genius, and who was a successful legendary engineer on a grand scale before teaming up with great Briggs Cunningham in New York.

He prepared and oversaw the management of Briggs’ team of over 100 race cars, and did that from tailor-made building in Queens.  It hasn’t been explained until now, but he was the co-owner, with Briggs, of Jaguar’s significant New York dealership on Manhattan!  He serviced all of the new Jaguars sold in the eastern side of the U.S. before their sale, and later the cars they sold themselves.

They were also distributors for a number of Italian marques – and while Briggs built his own Cunninghams, Alfred established and built luxury Momos!

These are just the teaser headlines too!

The other story I am delighted with is the ten page feature we are publishing on the Jaguar works and Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose D-Type XKD603.

We have put this one together with the co-operation of its doting owner Clive Beecham, and delve into its Le Mans history which includes one second placing and four Le Mans in a row!

It is one of the most raced Long Nose D-Types, almost certainly the most original – and one of only six genuine ones in existence – of the eleven built.

Neither of these stories have been told in full like this before and took an enormous amount of research.  Most of the period images we are publishing with them have never been seen before!

I promise that if you are new to Jaguar, or an established devotee, these stories will captivate you – and are ones newer luxury marques would love to be able to tell about themselves!

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In our coming edition we road test Jaguar’s first four cylinder sports car ever – the 2.0 litre turbo charged four cylinder Ingenium powered F-Type.

Now Jaguar Land Rover’s 250PS 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine has been recognised as one of the 10 Best Engines for 2018 by WardsAuto.

For 2018, a total of 32 new or significantly improved powertrains from a number of automotive manufacturers were tested by WardsAuto’s editors in real-life, on-road driving conditions. This year’s 10 Best Engines were selected based on a range of testing criteria including, but not limited to, maximum power output, fuel economy, noise characteristics and new technology.

The all-aluminium Ingenium 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine delivers performance, efficiency and refinement without compromise. Jaguar’s first compact SUV, the E-PACE, is the latest model to feature the 250PS Ingenium powertrain; accelerating from 0-60mph in as little as 6.6 seconds and delivering fuel economy of up to 36.7 mpg.

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