May 26, 2021

There were a lot to choose from, so it took a bit of deciding which one to use.

This is it.

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May 25, 2021

Yes, I knew it was a fabulous restoration, but when the car was driven into the sun (on the Sunshine Coast!) for the first time in over 50 years – we were all stunned.

It was driven out there by the legendary Kevin Bartlett (his career includes the Indy 500 – and today was his 81st birthday – happy birthday KB) who was a key member of the project. The works-built Mk1 Jaguar which started Australia’s passion for Touring cars was already brought out onto the bitumen by Chris Bowden, son of David, and former Moffatt engineer Peter Lisle completed the group, along with David Bowden, of course.

I am not going to tell the story of the day or the Hodgson racing Jaguars here, it is all in the magazine – but we were all stunned when we saw it outdoors.

DO NOT miss this edition – it pure joy, Jaguar history and filled with emotion.

Jaguar Magazine (since 1984) is a subscription only magazine outside Australia



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May 24, 2021

The big photoshoot, including cover, happens in the morning.

Can you believe this car raced only in 1960 and has basically been missing since – but was owned privately by enthusiasts all the time.

It was a shell-only for 50 years, and tomorrow runs on the road for the first time since completion of what is an astounding restoration – using 90% of the parts used on the car in 1960.

We are hoping the mighty Kevin Bartlett will be behind the wheel too.

Hodgson’s Mk2 leads the work-built Mk1 of ‘Pete’ Geoghegan at the super tight Catalina Park track in 1961.

The car has never had a bumped, and has been driven for a mere 7000 miles from new …

I am very excited about this one!

It finished third in the 1961 Australian Touring Car Championship held at Lowood in Queensland, when it was driven by its very colourful owner, Ron Hodgson.

The story has been written and is intriguing.

Don’t miss getting your eyes on this edition (#207) if you are not a regular hardcopy buyer. If you are outside Australia you will not find it in your shops, and you will need to go on-line at our website


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May 17, 2021

JLR continues to make news for all the wrong reasons over its successful suing of a Swedish couple who built a replica C-Type, and others it went after unsuccessfully on behalf of Land Rover.

This time a major article in the Sunday Times newspaper over its actions has garnered the full support of well known author, publisher and owner of the XK and E-Type Clubs, Philip Porter.

It also quotes Michael Quinn, Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons’ grandson who was a signifiant Jaguar dealer in London – until JLR withdrew his licence to sell their cars!!! He was also the supplier to the Royal family of Jaguars and Daimlers, and the business had at least two Royal Warrants of Authority which had to be withdrawn too.

Philip is one of the world’s leading supporters of all things Jaguar, and owns a number of very historic cars including the earliest E-Type Coupe.

With this post is a copy of the Sunday Times feature from May 16, – and a photograph of Jaguar Classic’s own replica D-Type and D-Type, not built by it, and which are used for their own commercial purposes.

Considering the fact there are businesses in Coventry, and all over the world building replica Jaguars, as well as enthusiasts in their own garages, plus an estimated 500 plus examples of C-Type replicas alone in existence – it is difficult to begin to understand why JLR is pursing this course and so vigorously.

It is making not just disappointed devotees in a very big way, but enemies and owners who publicly state they refuse to buy new Jaguars and Land Rovers in the future.Does

JLR not understand or care about the priceless and undying support it has always had from owners and enthusiasts in times of crisis – because for multiple reasons of its own making – it is back head-first into another very serious crisis?

Come on Jaguar Land Rover, what in the hell are you doing to what you call your revered ‘brands’ – and which I prefer to call marques. That’s because Jaguars (and Land Rovers) and not dish washers, refrigerators or irons – ie,. ‘products’ – to all of its passionate followers and you NEED them RIGHT NOW.

It’s time for some humble pie from JLR and for it to back off immediately from this nonsense.

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May 12, 2021

We don’t want to seem smug, but we have been say for a long time electric cars, including the racers, NEED to make noise to raise the appeal and emotion associated with the thrill of driving.

At least the choice of noise would be nice.

Well, BMW is the first manufacturer to realise that and do something about it – thank goodness!!!!

While the hush of electric driving offers an unprecedented level of comfort, the driving experience loses a degree of emotionality. This is where BMW IconicSounds Electric steps in to put smiles on the faces of customers keen to experience Sheer Driving Pleasure with all the senses. In the future, electric driving pleasure will be enhanced by acoustic feedback to every movement of the accelerator.

Like the on-board driving modes selectable at the touch of a button, the driving sound also takes its cues from the driving situation at hand and the driver’s personal preferences. In the basic setting, BMW IconicSounds Electric employs a strikingly transparent timbre with spherical components to convey the basic character of an electrically driven BMW brand model.

An immersive and pleasant atmosphere is created initially in the BMW i4 in COMFORT mode. But when the driver steps on the accelerator, the direct relationship between how the car is being driven and the sounds it makes is immediately revealed: the sound experience deepens as load and speed increase. In SPORT mode, in particular, the car’s aural spectrum is more dominant and powerful, the sound providing a constant commentary on the driving situation. Drive system processes are registered within milliseconds and acceleration, load changes or recuperation given a suitable acoustic accompaniment.

Only when the vehicle is travelling in ECO PRO mode is the acoustic feedback reduced to nothing. Here, the silence of the drive system underscores the driver’s decision to adopt an ultra-efficient driving style.In the version developed specifically for electrified BMW M models, the drive sound of the BMW i4 is charged with extra energy. A

dded to which, the differentiation between COMFORT and SPORT mode is especially strong. Overall, the drive system note displays a less harmonious but engagingly rousing and technical sonic profile. Acceleration sparks a rich intensification of the soundtrack’s development, authentically reflecting the car’s performance character.

“When you press the pedal of an M car, you suddenly get goosebumps all over your body,” says sound designer Renzo Vitale. “We translated this feeling into a drive sound that expresses a fusion of superior power and flowing energy.”It needs to be said – congratulations to BMW. The rest will follow …


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May 11, 2021

In autumn 2019, Jaguar Land Rover invited guests from around the world to witness the opening of the new Jaguar design centre in Gaydon, England.At 129,000 square feet, the studio was a third larger than the one the team had vacated and matched in size the adjoining Land Rover design space.

The studio, part of a wider $700 million overhaul of JLR’s engineering facilities, was the latest in a series of expensive capital investments aimed at helping CEO Ralf Speth achieve his long-sought goal of selling a million vehicles annually.Just 18 months later, that plan is in pieces, torn up by a new CEO, Thierry Bollore.

Since joining JLR last September, the former Renault CEO quickly determined that the British brands could not achieve Speth’s dream of competing head-to-head with the likes of BMW, Speth’s former employer.Bollore gave a stark assessment of JLR’s problems. “Our Jaguar business has not performed. Our manufacturing capacity and operational organisation is not structured for maximum efficiency,” he said during an online speech to investors in February. “And despite visible improvements in quality, our customer satisfaction level is too low.”

Bollore’s solution was drastic. Under his Reimagine plan, none of Jaguar’s current range will be replaced. Instead, the storied brand will go all-electric starting in 2025, underpinning its lineup with a new platform sourced from outside the company and positioning itself much more upmarket and exclusive.

He wrote off £1 billion of investment into the planned Modular Longitudinal Architecture electrified platform that had been designed to underpin the bulk of future Land Rover and Jaguar models.

Vehicles on the so-called “MLA low” and “MLA mid” architectures were canceled, including the long-heralded electric Jaguar XJ sedan, a lower-riding electric Land Rover dubbed “Road Rover” by the U.K. press and the Jaguar J-Pace crossover.Only the “MLA high” architecture was retained because it will be used for the imminent replacements for the Range Rover and Range Rover Sport large SUVs, the company’s twin profit engines.

JLR has been in cost-cutting mode since a sharp change in its fortunes in China forced a write-down of £3.1 billion (then $4 billion) for the quarter that ended December 2019, signalling the end of a run of incredible profits that reached a high of £2.6 billion in 2015.

The company, owned by India’s Tata Motors, reduced its work force by more than 7,000 people to about 35,000.Bollore’s plan, however, marks a change of thinking at the company following Speth’s reign since 2010. Ambitions are no longer linked to volume and the “British BMW” dream has been laid to rest.”

Taking on BMW, Daimler or Audi makes no sense for a company that is a quarter of its size,” CFO Adrian Mardell said during the February investor day.”Many billions of pounds were spent on bricks and mortar and infrastructure,” Mardell noted, singling out the Gaydon engineering centre from where he, Bollore and Chief Creative Officer Gerry McGovern delivered their presentation to investors.”

That was following the original strategy of a million units. That structure has changed,” Mardell said.The CFO spelled out how damaging JLR’s spending frenzy was to its profits using his slide deck. He noted how investment spend overtook operating cash flow in 2017 as the number of vehicles JLR needed to sell to reach breakeven rose to 600,000 in its 2019 financial year from 425,000 in the 2014 financial year.


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May 6, 2021

It is a time of concerning instability at Jaguar. Between its mission to drop internal combustion engines from the marque’s range in less than three years, and its debacle in successfully suing the husband and wife couple who built a replica C-Type, now another unexpected major directional change has been revealed.

We can only imagine what is going on at Board level at Jaguar Land Rover after the new CEO Thierry Bolloré promised drop-dead gorgeous new Jaguar designs. At the same time though he moved Jaguar’s ultimate creations away from an independent Jaguar and into Jaguar Land Rover’s domain under former Land Rover design head Gerry McGovern.

McGovern’s newest role is that of the all-powerful Chief Creative Director.

What has prompted this reaction from me is that Ian Callum’s replacement at the head of Jaguar design, Julian Thomson, has just announced he is leaving Jaguar after 19 years under Callum, and less than two as the Jaguar design head …

Whatever may be said in PR speak, it is not difficult to imagine a clash of missions and even personalities between McGovern and Thomson. I sincerely plead with those with the power at JLR, not to embark upon the non-sensical and fatal type of badge engineering and marque dilution which became the norm at British Leyland and led directly to the demise of so many once proud British marques.

I ask them to please read and learn from history, and I desperately hope Jaguar is not going to warrant the passion put into survival and later independence by its Directors and thousands of devotees in 1960s, ’70s and ’80 – just to keep it pure and alive.

We have much more on all of this worrying time in our next edition – and we won’t pull punches.

Autocar UK posted:

Jaguar design director Julian Thomson will leave the British firm at the end of the month after less than two years in the role.The reasons for the departure are unclear, but a Jaguar statement said he will explore other exciting opportunities outside of Jaguar Land Rover. Reports online suggest that he could be headed to India to work for nascent EV maker Ola Electric.Thomson has been at Jaguar for more than 21 years, following 12 years at Lotus – where he penned the original Elise – and a brief spell in Germany for Volkswagen working on production and concept vehicles.

During a two-year stint as advanced design director at Land Rover, he was involved in the design of the radical LRX concept, which would go on to become one of the company’s most important models: the Range Rover Evoque.

He was also a member of the team that created the final designs for Jaguar models including the XE, XF and F-Type, and he was appointed design director in 2019 when predecessor Ian Callum departed to pursue other avenues.

Upon hearing the news, Callum tweeted: “So sad and disappointed to see Julian Thomson leave Jaguar Design. Especially at a time when Jaguar needs directors of such a high calibre, leadership skills and talent. I wish Julian the very best for whatever he does next. He will be sorely missed.”

JLR CEO Thierry Bolloré said: “Julian has always endeavoured to be a champion of creativity, diversity and building a fair and positive work culture. I would like to thank Julian for his great work, leadership, dedication and significant contribution and wish him every success in the future.”



May 4, 2021
I visited the amazing Bowden Collection of historic racing cars to photograph the now complete Ron Hodgson Mk2 which finished third in the second Australian Touring Car Championship (1961).

The car is stunning, and both Kevin and Peter started the Mk2 for me to experience it for the first time. Let me just say that I have never heard an XK engine which sounded like it – and that’s a compliment!
Next it will be going out for track testing, and I will be there again for our cover shot and others showing the pristine and immaculate car back on a circuit – for the first time since 1961! 

Sitting beside it in the Collection was the ex-David McKay/Ron Hodgson/Pete Geoghegan factory built racing ‘Mk1’ which began Australia’s love affair with touring car racing in 1958. The pairing is a rare sight of course, and both cars are totally undamaged and original with most of their original special parts.

Sitting beside it in the Collection was the ex-David McKay/Ron Hodgson/Pete Geoghegan factory built racing ‘Mk1’ which began Australia’s love affair with touring car racing in 1958. The pairing is a rare sight of course, and both cars are totally undamaged and original with most of their original special parts.

Both have perfectly straight panels including the door skins.

The next treat was when Peter and KB overcame an electrical issue with the Mk1 – and started it for the first time in over five years! Peter had never heard it run, and it sounded superb. ‘The Mk1 and Mk2 sitting right today are two thirds of that legendary image of three Jaguar’s barrelling into the Hell Corner at Bathurst on the first lap of the NSW Road Racing Championship in 1961 Hoddo in the Mk2 in the left finished third, Bill Pitt in the middle was second and Ian ‘Pete’ Geoghegan won in the ‘Grey Pussy’ (on the right).

Finally, Moffat devotee Peter mentioned it was exactly 52 years to the day since first Allan raced his glorious and super-famous Coca Cola Mustang – and it just happened to be resting one level down with Moff’s genuine works Lotus Cortina which came before the Mustang! With just four of us in the place, David asked if I wanted to have a look at the Moffat cars. Would I ever!

So we just had to get a shot of those men with the Mustang to mark the occasion.
I can’t wait to publish this edition and get it out for everyone to enjoy.
What a day that was! Thanks for the privilege David, and have we got some fascinating stories to tell about the Hoddo car too!

Oh yes, and flanking the Mk2 in the first pic are are two of the Frank Gardner works JPS racing BMWs which most famously raced against the TWR JRA XJ-Ss in 1985 at Bathurst!

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April 19, 2021

A preview shot taken for us by the owner of all these cars (and dozens more), David Bowden.It shows his now completed ex-Ron Hodgson racing Mk2 in David’s workshop with the famed works-built ‘Grey Pussy’ ‘Mk1’ which founded touring car racing as Australia’s favourite.

On top of the hoist is the replica Mk2 Ron Hodgson built and sold as the genuine car to an unsuspecting buyer! Below it is one of the works JPS BMWs which raced against the TWR XJ-Ss at Bathurst in 1985.

The Hoddo Mk2 finished third in TWO Australian Championships but has been in thousands of pieces for over 50 years!

Long time owner Paul Cotter began to restore his car, but sadly died before completing the project. David Bowden bought it from his widow. His team, including former mechanic and legendary racer Kevin Bartlett, took several more years to complete the car.

It will be our cover star in the coming edition and we will photograph it for the magazine – on the track!


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April 19, 2021

For you are still in doubt about the fact the 1948 London Motor Show XK120 was LHD chassis #1, here is more proof from other impeccable sources.The important shot here showing the interior of the 1948 Show car on display comes from the definitive XK120 book ‘Jaguar XK120 In Detail’ published by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and written by its head curator Anders Detlev Clausager. Importantly, it shows clearly the first XK120 had a light coloured dash.

The other shot is from Paul Skilleter’s 1976 trail-blazing book ‘Jaguar Sports Cars’. It shows that #660001 had a darker dash. Paul’s caption for this image reads ‘XK120 Roadster interior (HKV455) showing the simple instrumentation.’It has always been acknowledged and is written in the official Jaguar Build Books HKV455 was RHD chassis 660001, and HKV500 LHD chassis 670001.


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