BOB JANE REMEMBERED FROM ‘THE INSIDE’ IN EDITION 195

Strangely enough, our editor and founder was born in the same grimy inner Melbourne industrial suburb as Bob Jane, and later in his life we spent a surprising amount of time with the businessman and racing champion.

That included a full five days at the Brisbane Motor Show where we shared a stand on which Bob sold his Jaguar signed posters – assisted by our future Road Test Editor, Tristan Hughes (as seen here)!

His very very famous Mk2 was on the stand with us, and we also later had a special half day with Bob, one-on-one at the Gold Coast, when he spoke to us about his life love of Jaguar and career.

He raced a Coombs Mk2 in 1962 at Aintree and created massive controversy there, then his Lightweight E-Type at Brands Hatch in 1965.  He owned his Mk2 when he died, and previously a D-Type, his FHC E-Type racer, Lwt E-Type, 30,000 mile MkV and MkV DHC.

He was appointed a Jaguar dealer in Melbourne – and Jaguar’s sales success in Australia in the 1960s owes a massive debt to Bob Jane’s profile.

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XJ CAVALCADE TO PARIS MOTOR SHOW

 
The line-up will feature all eight generations of XJ produced since 1968. The special collection will be led by the car that started it all, the Series I, and finish with the most recent XJ50 special edition, which was revealed earlier this year. The convoy will also include significant models such as the Series II Coupé and X350 XJR.

Starting at Castle Bromwich, where the luxury saloon is produced, the 839km (521-mile) drive will take in a series of important locations, including Jaguar Classic, Bicester Heritage Centre and the Goodwood and Le Mans race circuits, which have played a significant role in the life of Jaguar and the XJ. Journey’s end for the convoy is the Paris Motor Show, where the Jaguar XJ Series I made its debut in 1968.

The Jaguar XJ story is one of design, desirability and performance and over the past 50 years it has become a true giant in the automotive world and it’s only right that we pay homage to it in this special way. When I started at Jaguar, the XJ was already an icon of car design, so to have been part of this story that has been told over half a century has been an absolute privilege.

The cars taking part in this one-off journey:
  • Jaguar XJ Series I: 1968
  • Jaguar XJ Series II: 1973
  • Jaguar XJ Series II Coupé: 1973
  • Jaguar XJ Series III: 1979
  • Jaguar XJ XJ40: 1986
  • Jaguar XJ X300: 1994
  • Jaguar XJ X308: 1997
  • Jaguar XJ X350: 2003
  • Jaguar XJ X351: 2009
  • Jaguar XJR575: 2017
  • Jaguar XJ XJ50: 2018

Paris has a special significance to the Jaguar XJ. In 1968 the XJ made its debut at the show, with Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons revealing his vision for a saloon car with the handling of an E-type. The luxury model was a revelation with its compelling combination of beauty, poise and performance. Since then, the presentation halls of Paris have played a regular role in the life of the XJ – the XJ ‘X300’ was unveiled at the event in 1994 and the revolutionary XJ ‘X350’, with its lightweight aluminium monocoque made its debut there in 2002.

Returning to the Paris Motor Show 50 years after its first appearance on the show stand caps a series of celebrations for one of the world’s great saloon cars, which has been the choice of business leaders, celebrities, politicians and royalty for five decades.

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COOMBS – THE LEGENDARY DEALER SURPRISES

Most of heard of Coombs of Guildford, the successful UK Jaguar dealer starting from the 1950s particularly, which raced ‘Mk1’s and Mk2 Jaguar’s with legendary success.

They also offered modified road versions of their race Mk2s, and today there are more ‘Coombs Mk2′ in the world than were ever built.

This photo then will surprise you, because the then tiny Surrey business was founded by John Coombs’ father long before his son made it famous.

In researching the feature for edition #195 on which are the few genuine full works built ‘Mk1’s, I came across this shot of the Coombs dealership in what is seemingly 1955 or 1956.

It was a very humble business, without flash gleaming showrooms, and which put its second-hand cars on the front apron!

And look at what else they sold!  Not just Jaguar but Citroen, Rover and Ford.

The used cars are from left Jensen CV8, eight-bar grille ‘Mk1’, Jensen CV8, ex-works 1954 Le Mans D-Type OKV3 (minus fin and the Le Mans and Reims light in the bonnet), XK140 FHC, Bentley, Morgan and a Mk2 Ford Zephyr.

The humbleness of the place is a shock to many of us.

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XE SETS LAP RECORD ON FORGOTTEN GP TRACK

The Jaguar XE has followed the SV Project 8 performance saloon onto the track by setting a unique lap record, this time around a long-forgotten Grand Prix circuit in France.

The 8km Circuit de Charade in Clermont Ferrand, which included public road sections, hosted the French Grand Prix in 1965, 1969, 1970 and 1972.  It fell out of favour as loose volcanic rock and the lack of any real run-off areas took their toll on cars and drivers alike. The full, longer circuit was last used in 1988 so Jaguar returned to the historic track to mark the anniversary of its closure by completing the first flying lap of the circuit in three decades.

After completing the fastest ever lap of the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a production saloon behind the wheel of the XE’s track-ready stablemate, the SV Project 8, driver Vincent Radermecker attempted to set a production saloon lap record in the XE 300 SPORT. With a roundabout and two narrow gateways not used in the original circuit to contend with, Vincent lapped the demanding track in just 4 minutes 09 seconds at an average speed of 116km/h.

Vincent Radermecker said: “I set the production saloon record at the Nürburgring in the XE SV Project 8 last year and this lap was every bit as demanding. The agility, dynamic handling of the XE 300 SPORT came into its own on this challenging track. The longest straight is barely 600 metres, so I can see why drivers used to call this the French Nürburgring. It’s a privilege to drive this track and it’s really special to drive here with Jaguar.”

The XE 300 SPORT is powered by a 221kW (300PS) 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine and is capable of 0-100km/h in 5.7 seconds. With 400Nm of torque, Vincent was able to make full use of the XE’s exceptional handling capabilities to exploit the smallest of opportunities throughout the twisty, undulating track, which snakes around the extinct volcano that sits in the centre of the original layout.

Mike Cross, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Engineer, said: “The XE features a lightweight, stiff Aluminium-intensive Architecture and sophisticated integral-link rear suspension, making it the best driver’s car in its class. Following the XE SV Project 8’s record-setting lap at the Nürbugring, for the 300 SPORT to set a record on this fast, flowing and demanding circuit demonstrates that these are two cars with one DNA.”

With its dynamic design and aluminium-intensive body construction, the XE provides the perfect basis for the enhanced performance of the SV Project 8. Taking the already agile and responsive handling of the standard car, the SV Project 8 takes things to the next level with a range of engineering enhancements.

Available exclusively with the 221kW (300PS) 2.0-litre petrol engine, all 300 SPORT models feature unique Dark Satin Grey details including the door mirror caps, rear spoiler and grille surround, along with 300 SPORT badging on the front grille and boot lid.

Distinctive 19-inch or 20-inch Satin Technical Grey finish wheels are exclusive to the special edition along with 300 SPORT-branded brake callipers. Customers can choose from four exterior colours: Yulong White, Indus Silver, Santorini Black and Caldera Red.

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