January 18, 2018

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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January 16, 2018

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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January 15, 2018

In an exciting round of the ABB FIA Formula E Championship series, Nelson Piquet Jr. secured fourth position for Panasonic Jaguar Racing in his third appearance for the British team at the Circuit International Automobile Moulay El Hassan.

Starting the Marrakesh E-Prix with Nelson in seventh and team-mate Mitch Evans in ninth position, both drivers made good progress in the early stages of the race gaining valuable places, with Nelson working hard to move towards the front of the grid.

Mitch encountered early lap contact which bent his car’s steering. Coupled with some energy management challenges, the team chose to pit him a lap earlier than planned.  Shortly after his stop, a full course yellow flag slowed the grid, which dropped Mitch out of the position scoring positions.  He finished the E-Prix in 11th.

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January 15, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover has confirmed plans to open a software engineering centre and create 150 jobs in Shannon, Republic of Ireland, in 2018.

Working alongside Jaguar Land Rover’s engineering team in the UK, the Shannon facility has an important role to play in realising the company’s vision for electric and automated driving vehicles. It will develop new technologies to support electrification and self-driving features on future Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles.

Jaguar Land Rover has selected Shannon as it is globally recognised as a centre of excellence for current and future software engineering talent.

Nick Rogers, Executive Director of Product Engineering, said: “Technical innovation lies at the heart of Jaguar Land Rover and our innovation is continuous. The new facility provides an exciting opportunity for us to pioneer future autonomous and electrification technologies.”

“The heart of our business will always be in the UK. The creation of a team in Shannon strengthens our international engineering capabilities and complements our existing team of more than 10,000 engineers based in the UK.”

Supported by the Irish Development Agency, the Shannon team will start by developing the next generation of electrical architecture as well as exploring advanced driver assistance systems features for future vehicles.

Welcoming the announcement, Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen said:

“This is a great boost for Shannon, Co. Clare and the Midwest Region. Jaguar Land Rover are iconic brands which have endured through innovation and staying ahead of their competitors. This new software engineering centre will bring 150 new high quality jobs to Shannon. The region has much to offer with qualified and talented people and I wish Jaguar Land Rover and its team well in its endeavours.”

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January 13, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover’s venture capital arm InMotion Ventures, has invested $4.1 million in US-based self-driving taxi service Voyage.

The backing will support Voyage in developing a global service, with the aim that anyone can summon an autonomous vehicle to their door and reach their destination safely. Voyage has already trialled its self-driving taxi service in a gated community in San Jose, California. The company is licensed to test self-driving cars on Californian roads in 2018 and is refining its technology and service with feedback from users.

In this funding round, InMotion Ventures invested alongside Khosla Ventures, SV Angel, Initialized Capital, Amino Capital and Charles River Ventures.

Oliver Cameron, Chief Executive, Voyage, said: “We are thrilled to have support from InMotion Ventures in this successful funding round. The investment will help our business grow in technical and operational expertise, as we expand into new communities globally. This is an exciting year for us with further passenger trials planned.”

Sebastian Peck, Managing Director, InMotion Ventures, said: “We are excited to be working with Oliver Cameron and his world-class team at Voyage. We believe they have the capability to quickly make self-driving, autonomous taxis in residential communities a reality.”

The first InMotion investment of 2018, Voyage is the 12th company to join its mobility and transport venture portfolio.

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January 11, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover Australia will more than double the size of its headquarters this year, when it will, for the first time, merge its sales and marketing office with a training academy in a new facility near Sydney airport (not the image seen here which is Jaguar Land Rover’s HQ in China).

It has for the last decade shared a business park with Volvo, and more recently Kia, 15km north- west of Sydney’s CBD and 25km from its new premises.  Originally it was the headquarters of Ford PAG (Premier Automotive Group) which included Jaguar, Aston Martin and Volvo.  However JLR’s technical training centre was positioned further west, in Parramatta, and was also a shared facility.

According to JLR Australia managing director Matthew Wiesner it made no sense to continue with two sites. We’ve currently had a very separated training facility away from head office here in North Ryde, it has been adequate but not what you would call a very premium environment or advanced given the brands that we have,” Mr Wiesner told GoAuto. “Now we’re bringing everything together, our head office and our training academy. The location is close to the airport, given we have a lot of people coming in from around the country, because movements from the airport to where the training academy is now is another hour or so on the road, and that’s not a great experience for those coming in for various programs. It also gives a presence that we don’t currently have from a commercial perspective. We should be projecting a fairly strong premium presence with the brands that we have, and currently we’re a bit hidden here in North Ryde, and the training academy is hidden out there (in Parramatta).

We should be delivering a much stronger presence for JLR, as this will do so. It’s way overdue from a technical perspective.” JLR Australia has also doubled employee numbers within its current headquarters, from 50 to 100 over the past three years in line with sales growth.

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January 9, 2018

As the automotive industry moves towards 5G,  Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are taking steps towards ultra-fast connectivity with an announcement at CES  2018, in Las Vegas, the world’s largest consumer electronics show.

Every future Jaguar or Land Rover is set to benefit from the highly advanced QualcommⓇ SnapdragonTM  820Am Automotive platform. With this, Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will feature ultra-quick and efficient connectivity, limitless in-car entertainment and over-the-air downloads. Customers will also benefit from immersive in-vehicle experiences with stunning displays and graphics throughout. This new platform has been designed to increase vehicle intelligence and awareness to aid road safety.


CES offers a glimpse of Jaguar Land Rover’s high-tech future, showcasing technologies that will enhance our customers’ experiences. This new exciting relationship with Qualcomm Technologies is a great example. The new Snapdragon 820Am Automotive platform will play an integral role in bringing breakthrough 5G technology to future cars, improving connectivity, safety and personalisation.

Nick Rogers
Executive Director, Product Engineering for Jaguar Land Rover


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January 9, 2018

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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January 7, 2018

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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January 7, 2018

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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