News

HAVE YOU HAD PROBLEMS COMMUNICATING WITH US?

June 15, 2020

The internet is so good, but it can be a problem too!

Since we changed providers some time ago we have had a number of subscribers telling us they have had problems getting though to us with renewals or new subscription orders.

If you are one of those can you please tell me here or by emailing me at les@jaguarmagazine.com

That way we can address the problems with the provider.

If you are an overseas subscriber and haven’t seen edition 202 yet – please don’t worry. Because of Covid-19 there is no airmail for anything but letters.

Yes, we have gone back to good old ships and the slow haul – but things will get better!

Thank you for your assistance.

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HISTORY – AND A MYSTERY TOO

June 9, 2020
This photograph is from David Kelsey’s Gnoo Blas Racing Photograph collection in the Kelsey Family Collection. Our thanks to Mr Joel Kelsey for allowing us to scan and upload this photograph.

This historic scene was found in our image archive and shows the first Australian Touring Car Championship being contested in 1960 at the Gnoo Blas road track in Orange, west of Sydney.

It is no ordinary ‘Mk1’ either. It’s the second such Jaguar raced by David McKay who started the dominance of Touring cars in Australia with his first works prepared ‘Mk1’ in late 1958.

This is one very special machine and one of the last four works-built 3.4s built purely for competition.

It went on to win this race, with Bill Pitt’s identical car second. Bill’s 3.4 would win next year.

However, the other intriguing Jaguar here is the XK150 FHC parked beside the timing area. It appears like it might have an ‘S’ badge on the door, and while the registration plate can be seen on other images, it is too out of focus to read.

Would anyone know who might have owned it? They must have been a key person involved with that meeting. Perhaps it belonged to the Clerk of Course?

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C-TYPE XKC037 INDERSTOOD AT LAST

June 4, 2020

It is a car which has defied all the odds to survive almost totally original, yet it has never been fully understood and linked to images from all stages of its career.

This amazing and unique 1955 colour image of the car being towed to Bathurst by its owner hints at much more.

It is very well known in Australia as the car imported by Cessnock doctor John Boorman, and crashed heavily twice by him. It was repaired and raced by Frank Gardner, then passed through many hands before it was acquired by Ian Cummins in the early 1970s.

Ian fully restored it for the first time, but it still remained with a non-standard bonnet.

Ot was built by the factory for Le Mans in 1953, and race debuted as a factory entry by Stirling Moss at Silverstone – who rolled it. After being repaired overnight it started second on Sunday.

It next went to a Kenyan owner who raced it in Europe including Northern Ireland (crashed heavily again), Silverstone and Reims.

Then it came to Australia where Dr Boorman won in it, and Frank Gardner scored almost countless wins to set up his career in Europe.

It has since then been to the USA for some years and is now back in Europe.

XKC037 has more great surprises, and will star in our coming edition. After much research we have good images of it at almost every race meeting it entered.

For the near 25 years it was in Australia it didn’t get the respect it deserved – except from ‘Cummo’. That is about to be addressed finally.

Sadly, there are no genuine C or D-Types left in Australia after having over a combined dozen of them.

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STUNNING NEW HISTORIC FILM AND A NEW HERO REVEALED

June 3, 2020

Clive Beecham owns and is devoted to his original four times consecutive Le Mans starting D-Type XKD603. His car was second there in 1957, and recently Clive found and met the Ecurie Ecosse time keeper and good friend of Ron Flockhart, 96 year old Hugh Langrishe.

Now Clive introduces us to Hugh in the period, and in his D-Type when the pair met up for a drive in the elluring D-Type Hugh had not seen 1957.

Here is a link to that film which is a wonderfully evocative, entertaining and important document which also features our own Ron Gaudion who fettled both Ecurie Ecosse cars in the race.

The link is https://youtu.be/DlwtqK0xYwI

Please spend the time to look right through it because it is new and very special. Thanks Clive.

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ANOTHER RARE PROTOTYPE XJ-C FOUND

June 2, 2020
As found and totally original.

As keen devotees of the intriguing and beautiful two door XJ-C it is great news that another of the very few pre-production prototypes built in 1973, two years before general sale, has been found in England.

The number of the car and its identity will have to remain a secret for the time being, but it is a 4.2 manual overdrive, and while clearly rusty, is a very worthy and untouched car ready for restoration.

Its full details will be revealed soon, and we will have more about this surviving piece of Jaguar history in our coming edition.

It’s very exciting news.

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CARS WE HAVE KNOWN – LE MANS 1988

May 29, 2020
Beautiful, creating history and sounding amazing with that V12 engine.

I could never have dreamed I would be at Le Mans in 1988 when Jaguar won there again for the first time as a factory entry since 1955 (56 and 57 were Ecurie Ecosse).

Sadly, Andrew Whyte, who was to be with us, died unexpectedly just weeks before, but I still went with Roger and Penny Woodley, plus Richard and Carol Hassan.

There were five Silk Cut Jaguars – this would be the winner of the race!

I also had a full press and photographer’s pass – so could get almost anywhere, see what I wanted, and get inside images including these here.

I stayed there for the entire 24 Hours of the race, and when it was over I felt almost as tired as the drivers and crew. But what a thing it was when Silk Cut Jaguar #2 crossed the line and won the only race in its short career.

Larry Perkins in car #22.

Silk Cut Jaguar #22 with Larry Perkins, Danny Sullivan and Kevin Cogan was a fabulous 4th and crossed the line with the winning V12 engined car.

The winning crew showing their tiredness being driven to press interviews.

I have never experienced such joy and passion for a race victory, and won’t again. ‘God Save The Queen’ played up and down jammed pit straight for 20 minutes non-stop, girls got their tops off and climbed onto the Nissan pit roof (next to Jaguar) and the winning car was surrounded by a true sea of celebrating Jaguar fans with Jan Lammers escaping to the roof.

Jan Lammers on the roof with fans going crazy for joy.

Driving back to our accommodation in Richard’s Series 3 XJ12, locals flanked the roads for kilometres and cheered and waved at the Jaguar.

Entirely spontaneous – the boys loved it, of course!

The win truly put Jaguar back on the road to success, and to have been there, and up close, for an historic win like this was something never to forget.

While everyone parties …

I do hope Jaguar returns to Le Mans and in the next few years. That is where it wears its competition heart.

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CARS WHICH HAVE HAD AN IMPACT ON US

May 27, 2020

A very special D-Type.

D-Type XKD520 is a very important car and has followed me around the globe unintentionally!

Sold new to Bib Stillwell in Melbourne, then radio superstar Jack Davey, Frank Gardner then former Jaguar Apprentice and Le Mans winner Richard Attwood amongst many, it also lived on Jersey for many years.

It returned to Australia (specifically Brisbane) in 2013 where we inspected and photographed it thanks to its owner – who was forced to send it back to Europe because of excessive Customs Duty!

The car was crashed during Davey’s ownership, and today it is still shows those heavy scars with great character.

Remarkably, every panel except for the bonnet is original! The Frank Gardner Long Nose version built by Alan Standfield in Sydney in 1957 remains with the car though.

It is a REAL D-Type with personality!

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EDITION #202 IS OUT NOW AND IN OUR HANDS

May 26, 2020

If you are looking for the newest edition, it has been delayed by the virus and all of its flow-ons, but now we have hardcopies in our hands and in the mail too.

I am very pleased with it, and am making up for lost time with #203.

Our exclusive stories include:

The Shorter family in Auckland – now the world’s oldest dealer. We tell their story from before they were appointed S.S. dealers in the mid-1930s.

Restore or not restore? All the advice to you need to make up your mind about buying a finished classic Jaguar – or do you restore your own?

Team Shep at Bathurst. The fastest E-Type in the world, which has won a six hour race, raced from Panama to Alaska and is now the fastest E-Type in the world (officially) has now raced at Bathurst!

Jaguar’s 1950s unknown racing crew in the background. Yes we know the drivers, and we also know the key personnel, but what about the hardworking and talented engineers who built, prepared and crewed the Le Mans winning Jaguars and at other events? You will meet them now and know them by name.

Driving the latest 2020 XE – our favourite Jaguar saloon.

Tribute to Sir Stirling Moss. He got his first contract with Jaguar and was steered by Lofty England before he jumped ship to Mercedes-Benz. We pay our respects to the legend.

Peter Lehrke goes back to Sweden to drive the newest Jaguars on iced-over lakes for the third time.

… and loads and loads more.

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AT VERY LONG LAST OUR SITE IS BACK!!!!

May 26, 2020

If you have been wondering where we have been – blame our website!

Yes I know all about blaming tools etc., but it has been a nightmare.

However, we are back and up and soon I will post news here about edition #202 which is just out from the printer.

SIR STIRLING MOSS DEAD AT 90 – APRIL 12 2020

April 12, 2020

Sir Stirling Moss has died aged 90 following a long illness, his wife Susan announced today.

The motor racing legend “died as he lived, looking wonderful” in the early hours of Easter Day, Lady Moss said.

Lady Moss was at the racing driver’s bedside as he died, having nursed him through a long illness.

She told the Daily Mail: “He died as he lived, looking wonderful. He simply tired in the end and he just closed his beautiful eyes and that was that.”

She added: “It was one lap too many. He just closed his eyes.”

Stirling gained his first works contact through Lofty England and with Jaguar. Driving a C-Type at Reims he recorded the first race win ever for a disc braked car.

His first works formula car was the HWM which later won the 1954 Australian Grand Prix in 1954 driven by Lex Davision and powered by a Jaguar engine. It remains in that country.

He rose to fame after the Second World War and went on to be acclaimed as the greatest all-round racer ever.

Though Moss famously never won the Formula One title, he finished runner-up four times and came third three times in a career during which he won 16 Grands Prix.

FI commentator Martin Brundle paid tribute to Sir Stirling, calling him a “mighty racer and gentleman”.

We will have a full in-depth tribute to the great man in our next edition.

Rest in peace Stirling and our condolences to Lady Suzi and son Elliott.