We put the spotlight on Alfred Momo in our coming edition.  Sadly, today he is just a name and not much is known about the man or what the achieved, and not just for Jaguar.  In his time he was hailed an engineering genius.

We have put an enormous amount of time into researching the great Italian/American, and particularly his very long Jaguar association with Briggs Cunningham in New York.

Briggs and Alfred were racing four D-Types at one point, three of which were Long Nose models of which just 11 were built.

On one weekend all three of those Long Nose cars were rolled, taken back to the Queens base – and rebuilt by Momo’s craftsmen but with the now famous Momo fin and nose.  The bonnet nose had huge holes for better brake cooling, and the fin had a different profile.  Two of them ended up back at Jaguar Cars in Coventry.  The other is in the Collier Automotive Museum collection in Naples, Florida, which is now called The Revs Institute and is open to the public.

Just as a little highlight of what we have in the coming edition on Alfred, here is one of the rolled Long Nose D-Types outside the Momo Corporation building, and then both cars can be seen in the race department of that building being rebuilt, and with those changes obvious.  The soft roof was to meet U.S. race regulations but were not used.

It is a very important story historically, and I proud that we are publishing it for what I think is the very first time in a Jaguar perspective at least.

I also believe these images have been used by anyone but Jaguar Magazine.

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Our next edition has been the subject of a huge amount of research on exciting features including the world’s best D-Type.  Clive Beecham’s ex-works and ex-Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose machine which raced at Le Mans 1956, 1957 (finished 2nd), 1958 and 1959.  One of only six Long Nose survivors.  Following that win Ecurie Ecosse sold it to an enthusiast in Ohio as the 1957 winner – which was not true – it was second!!!  XKD603 is perfectly original and has all of the hand written books plus Ecurie Ecosse Monzanapolis panels.

Alfred Momo:  World Exclusive.  Finding the Italian-born engineering guru who was Briggs Cunningham’s partner in racing plus Jaguar’s distributorship and sales for the entire US north east – including New York City.
XJ-C – loved and restored – the only Coupe saloon Jaguar has ever built and a V12 to boot.  One of 603 built new.
The brand new and very first, four cylinder Jaguar sports car – The F-Type road tested.
XK150 Restoration.
S.S. Saloon at Windsor Castle Concours.
An as good as brand new XJ-S V12 Convertible – with 2000 miles on the clock.
Best Buys – the original XF saloon.
John Crawford PR Director and Vice President – how he played a major role in saving Jaguar in the US.
Jaguar’s latest at the Autosport show – Project 8, factory racing F-Type, I-Pace racer and 2018 Formula E Jaguar.

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As mentioned yesterday, one of the highlights of our coming edition is that on long forgotten Briggs Cunningham engineering a race team manager guru Alfred Momo.

The softy spoken Italian-born engineer was often called a genius in an era when that word was not thrown around lightly.

In our research we found this brilliant image in our photographic library, and it is worth revealing here as it is intriguing.

The date was October 23, 1960.  The car is the one-off E-Type racing prototype, E2A, the place is Laguna Seca and the people are Bruce McLaren and Alfred Momo!  What a combination of people, car and place!

Briggs Cunningham officially raced the car for Jaguar at Le Mans that year, after which he had there factory replace the 3.0 litre engine with a 3.8, and took it to the U.S. for the rest of the season.  Momo was in charge of the car, of course, and Jack Brabham also raced it in the U.S.

That gives you a tiny taste of what is in store for the Alfred Momo tribute.

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Here are a couple of shots off my phone because it has just arrived in our driveway, and is very keenly anticipated.

Yes, it is the new four cylinder F-Type Convertible, and having driven all the models in the range from the unholy SVR supercharged V8 to this one – I have to say I am truly looking forward to living with it.

It is had just one brief outing in my hands, and at first I thought it might be bit of a pretend sports car.  However, when I got the chance to look for some performance – there is plenty!

The full report is coming up in edition #191.

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For some editions we have planned a tribute to the tiny man, often labelled as an engineering genius, Alfred Momo, who was born in Italy, emigrated to the US with his wife, ran his own engineering business in Queens, New York, and from 1949 managed all of the legendary Briggs Cunningham’s racing activities.

However, I had good idea about Alfred, but have been massively surprised by how much more there was to the man, and how much Jaguar learned from him – including the 3.8 litre XK engine – which he built and raced before the factory.  I was very fortunate to meet Briggs at his closed  museum in 1988, but which still had quite a few of his cars there including his Long Nose D-Type.  He was enormously modest, self effacing and quite (he and his wife being declared the richest couple in the world when they married), and Alfred Momo was exactly the same.

This is undoubtedly the reason Alfred at least, has been as good as forgotten!

However, he was also appointed, by new East Coast (USA) distributor Briggs, in 1955, as the official Jaguar dealer for New York, and together they built a massive on premises on Long Island to service, prepare for sale, sell, and repair Jaguars (and Maserati) for the entire eastern half of the US.

He prepared all of the Cunningham team cars including two works-loaned Long Nose D-Types, the unique E2A and three Lightweight E-Types in the Queens, building.  Today it is totally unloved, unknown and closing in on dereliction!!!

His wife Mary was the Cunningham team’s ‘mother’ and timekeeper, but what happened to them?

Believe me, we have worked hard to find that out and we will publish it all for the first time anywhere – the full story on the great Alfredo Momo.

It is gobsmacking – and long overdue!

It is the first feature in our coming edition

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