February 21, 2018

A former soldier who was already thinking of his future as an amputee athlete while being rescued from a war zone has today been named Jaguar Australia’s newest ambassador.

Paralympian Curtis McGrath, who is also an ambassador for the 2018 Sydney Invictus Games, lost both his legs in Afghanistan in 2012 when he stepped on an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).

Critically injured, he was evacuated to Germany where he underwent several rounds of surgery before being sent home for more surgery and intensive rehabilitation. Determined to march in his unit’s homecoming parade, he endured three months of intensive and painful rehab to ensure he could take his place among his comrades.

During his battlefield rescue Curtis discussed the possibility of becoming a Paralympian with those taking him to safety. Talk became reality when, after learning to swim again as part of his rehabilitation, he felt motivated to get serious about sport.

Unsure about which discipline to follow, Curtis finally settled on outrigger canoeing and quickly establishing himself as one of the world’s best before moving to sprint kayaks after a 2015 rule change.

He is currently preparing for Portugal’s Paracanoe World Championships starting on August 21, almost six years to the day since losing his legs on the battlefield.

A resident of Queensland’s Gold Coast Curtis, who turns 30 in March, said he was surprised when offered the role of Jaguar Brand Ambassador but proud to accept it.

“It’s a great feeling being appointed as Jaguar’s Ambassador and I’m proud to be associated with the company. Jaguar’s support for the Invictus Games is outstanding and what the company does for the military veteran community is great,” he said.

Matthew Wiesner, Jaguar Land Rover Australia’s Managing Director, said the determination and motivation shown by Curtis in his endeavours to become one of Australia’s great sportspeople was nothing short of inspiring.

“In a relatively short period of time Curtis turned what could have been a personal, life-changing disaster into ongoing outstanding achievement,” Mr Wiesner said. “We are not only proud to be associated with him but pleased that he has become an ambassador for the Jaguar brand as well as for the Invictus Games.”

Curtis’s ambassadorial Jaguar is an F-PACE First Edition, fittingly finished in Halcyon Gold – as befits a gold medal-winning athlete. Halcyon Gold is a limited colour exclusive to First Edition models.

Setting Curtis’s car aside is its professionally-fitted hand control system for accelerating and braking which, he says, is a little like using a computer game console.

Jaguar Land Rover is a presenting partner and major supporter of the Invictus Games, an international adaptive multi-sport event for serving or former armed services personnel who are wounded, injured or sick.

This year’s Invictus Games will take place in Sydney in October and Curtis will be there cheering for every competitor.

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February 20, 2018

Jaguar Land Rover is to sell off many of the surplus, non-JLR vehicles from its ex-James Hull Collection, at a dedicated Affordable Classics sale by Brightwells at Bicester Heritage on March 21.

All of the 100 vehicles will be offered at no reserve, and the collection includes many special editions and one-offs. If you fancy the idea of an Austin Allegro Vanden Plas, a Rover P6 shooting brake or a solid Morris Minor, then this is the sale for you – but there are also Citröens, a Chevette 2300 HS, a Borgward Isabella Coupé, and even the four-wheel-drive Ferguson Scimitar prototype.

Jaguar Land Rover purchased much of the vehicle assortment back in 2014, from serial classic collector Dr James Hull. Representing every decade since the 1930s, this accumulation of 543 cars was estimated to be worth £100 million (roughly $139.5 million), although JLR refused to disclose how much it paid at the time.

Jaguar Land Rover has cared for the cars ever since, and now the excess stock is to be handed down to individual enthusiasts. A collection of memorabilia, nearly 200 pedal cars, a Riva speedboat, and several large-scale aircraft will also go under the hammer.

Besides the cars to be offered for auction, Jaguar Land Rover is also planning to loan 40 classics to registered UK charity Starter Motor. These will help encourage a new generation of young enthusiasts learn the skills required for the maintenance, restoration and driving of historic vehicles. Land Rover is continuing this trend by offering apprentices at its plant in Solihull three classic examples of the marque on which to develop their own skills.

Jaguar Land Rover Classic director Tim Hannig said of the Brightwells auction: “We are expanding the range of services we offer to our clients, and the space created by the sale of reserve fleet vehicles will allow us to focus on exciting initiatives. These include Reborn versions of the Range Rover and Jaguar E-Type, Works Legends cars for sale, and the Classic Collection, which are iconic vehicles cared for by a team of specialists at the new Classic Works facility in the UK.”

He continued: “This program of activity also allows Jaguar Land Rover to inspire and train a new generation of classic car enthusiasts, and I am particularly pleased to be supporting the Starter Motor charity through the loan of 40 historic vehicles, including heritage models from Jaguar and Land Rover.”

For an idea of how many cars are already at the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works HQ, click here.

Matthew Parkin, of Brightwells, added, “These were all bought by someone [James Hull] with great imagination and interest in classic cars, so they’re almost all either low mileage, rare or unusual in some way.”

For the full list of vehicles available visit the Brightwells website.

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February 20, 2018

This is a mission.

When former Le Mans works Long Nose D-Types XKD506 and 508, on loan to Briggs Cunningham in the US, were rolled on one weekend, along with Brigg’s own identical D-Type XKD507, the team’s highly credentialed engineer Alfred Momo (who created the Jaguar 3.8 litre engine and ran it for the first time in these cars), decided to change the shape of the fins and add larger cooling vents in the bonnets.

Long story short – ‘506 and ‘508 were returned to the factory, and the cars were scrapped.

As Jaguar began to run out of spares, it sold parts of those two cars to competitors driving D-Types, and that included the bodies, bonnets and rear panels.

XKD502 got the fin and rear end from XKD508 – and also the former entire main body – when it was repaired.

However, the Momo bonnet from 508 was sold to the owner of XKD504, also a former works Long Nose racer.  That seems to have been in 1963 after it had been badly damaged by Lwt E-Type racer Peter Sutcliffe.

Now.  We know the rear fin from XKD508 in Momo form still exists – but the big question is – what happened to the Momo bonnet from XKD504???

Someone must know …

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February 19, 2018

This intriguing image has just appeared and comes from an official open library source.

It is fascinating, and research shows it was taken in the Sydney park at Bronte beach in 1939.

We don’t know who the six young ladies are, or why they are with the S.S.1 Four Light saloon – complete with stylish optional ACE wheel discs and a very bad front type!

We also can’t identify the car as there is no restoration plate or any distinguishing marks.

Remarkably enough, those beach shelters remain and are virtually identical today, but the hill behind is all housing.

Can anyone tell us anything more about this image and its content?

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February 19, 2018

Our latest edition has now hit the streets in hard copy, and is also on the way to every subscriber’s mail box.

No two editions are alike, of course, and some take more effort to create than others – but this one has taken perhaps the most effort, yet is the most satisfying.

We are very proud to present the ten page feature highlighting Clive Beecham’s ex-works and Ecurie Ecosse Long Nose D-Type XKD603.  It the most original D-Type in existence (in our opinion) finished second at Le Mans in 1957 behind the sister Ecurie Ecosse D-Type – and started in Le Mans four races in a row!  That’s the most of any Jaguar.

Then there is the gorgeous V12 XJ-C belonging to Lance Quartermaine.  It is rare, pristine and was self-restored by an enthusiast in Perth, Western Australia over a three year period.

Jaguar has never built a four cylinder sports car for public sale – until now.  We test drive and live with the four cylinder F-Type Convertible and discover a real surprise package.

Not to forget Alfred Momo – a name your may have heard of in conjunction with Briggs Cunningham.  However, nothing has been documented about him that I have found, and that is a huge shame.  So we spent weeks investigating the Italian/American, his family, his engineering genius, his relationship with Briggs Cunningham – and found he and Briggs even owned and operated the official new car sales business in New York, and also its entire service and spare parts.

These are just teasers too of what is in the entire edition #191.

If you have trouble finding our magazine in your book store, simply subscribe here and it will be in your mail box as soon as the ‘postie’ can deliver it to you – anywhere in the world.

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February 18, 2018
As they say, ‘we never sleep’, and today, with our Road Test Editor, and former racer, Tristan Hughes at the wheel, we look our newest test Jaguar to a quiet part of the world in perfect and sunny conditions to impart the vision of the current Jaguar model, for a major feature in our next edition.
We took hundreds of shots, but here is just one to tease.
Remember, this is the same model we drove 5000 kilometres to outback Broken Hill, and back – but this one is a diesel engine, and not petrol as was the car we drove to BH.
It makes an interesting comparison!
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February 16, 2018

This sprawling site, which is already home to Jaguar Land Rover, is poised to grow even bigger delivering up to 2,700 more jobs and attracting £600m worth of investment.

The latest 100-acre extension to the i54 would cut into on green belt land surrounding the site to the north of Wolverhampton.

Plans for the development of the first 60 acres of land – owned by Wolverhampton council – between Wobaston Road, Pendeford Hall Lane and the current i54 site are expected to go before South Staffordshire District Council in the spring.

If passed the combined Wolverhampton and Staffordshire councils plan will deliver an estimated 1,500 jobs in high value manufacturing and a million sq ft of space.

The other 40 acres, owned by Severn Trent’s Midlands Land Portfolio, is to be part of a separate application at a later date.


Wolverhampton council’s cabinet member for city economy, councillor John Reynolds, said: “Demand is high for more accommodation from potential investors and the western extension will enable us to deliver that for the benefit of local residents and businesses.”

“i54 is one of the UK’s premier advanced manufacturing business parks. Our joint investment at i54 has secured hundreds of millions of pounds of further investment and has brought thousands of jobs to the area with circa 40 per cent of employers living within a 10-mile radius.”

Councillor Philip Atkins, the leader of Staffordshire County Council, added: “i54 South Staffordshire will play a vital part in the Midlands Engine and in the growing productivity of Staffordshire and out neighbours.

“With the i54 built up so quickly it shows there is demand for sites like this in the area. This site will be important locally, regionally and nationally.

“We are looking to deliver high value better paid jobs through this project.”

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February 15, 2018

The AutoBest award ceremony was held in Salzburg for the first time. The judging panel consisted of 31 journalists from 31 countries. Jaguar Land Rover was awarded as the company of the year by AutoBest, the biggest automotive expert jury in Europe.

 AutoBest’s international panel of experts honoured the two brands’ impressive level of growth and solid financial results despite challenging economic conditions, as well as the introduction of innovative and appealing products. Prof. Dr. Ralf Speth, CEO of Jaguar Land Rover, accepted the CompanyBest-Award in the festival theatre with great pleasure.
Currently, Jaguar Land Rover has more than 43,000 employees globally and provides circa 240,000 more jobs within their network of dealers, suppliers and the local economy. Apart from production sides in the UK, Jaguar Land Rover has plants in China, Brazil, India and Slovakia, as well as commissioned production at Magna Steyr in Austria.
In 2017, Jaguar Land Rover sold 621,109 cars in 130 countries. Hereby, over 80% of all produced cars were exported.
From 2020 all new Jaguar Land Rover vehicles will be electrified giving customers more choice. Jaguar Land Rover will roll out a portfolio of fully electric, plug-in and mild-hybrid models, in order to provide their customers additional options. The first fully battery-electric powered model, the Jaguar I-PACE, will be on the market in summer 2018.

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February 14, 2018


The Australian boss of British-based prestige car maker Jaguar Land Rover says the Federal Government needs to provide much better leadership and outline a “clear road map” for a transition to electric vehicles otherwise the country will squander billions of dollars of potential economic benefits.

Matthew Wiesner, Managing Director of Jaguar Land Rover Australia, said it was frustrating watching the uncertainty and there were eerie similarities already to the policy-making angst which had hampered the renewable energy sector in Australia for years.

With no car manufacturing industry left in Australia, the future direction of vehicle development was in the hands of global car makers in Europe, North America and Asia where the electric car industry and take-up rates was more advanced. Those models would come to Australia regardless, and the right regulatory framework and infrastructure needed to be in place to maximise the economic benefits, he said.

“It’s not Canberra’s decision as to whether or not Australia is going to have electrification,” he said.

“It’s coming no matter what.

“Are we ready to take it on?”

Car makers offshore including Jaguar Land Rover wanted to see a stable, over-arching regulatory framework which delivered certainty and stability and would lead to increased investment in electric vehicle-related sectors and the provision of infrastructure such as charging stations.

“It requires long-term investment. The last thing they want to hear is doubt and inconsistency as to where a country like Australia is going in this space”.

Mr Weisner said if the right investment climate was created by regulators and policy-makers then private operators and infrastructure firms would move into the sector to provide the charging network infrastructure to support a much bigger roll-out.

“I suppose it’s the poles and wires of charging infrastructure,” he said, referring to the electricity companies and distributors whose role it was to investment in and maintain the electricity distribution systems operating in Australia.

He said it wasn’t the role of car manufacturers to provide charging station infrastructure around Australia. Car companies didn’t operate petrol stations for traditional combustion engine vehicles, he said. He acknowledged that prestige buyers were at the forefront of electric car buying so far, with Tesla, led by Elon Musk, at the forefront of the electric car push on a global scale.

“People in that market obviously have the means,” he said.

Jaguar Land Rover is preparing to put its first electric vehicle on the market in Australia in September, with its British parent having pledged that by 2020 every Jaguar and Land Rover model will have an electric version available to buyers.

Mr Wiesner said the pricing in Australia for the Jaguar I-PACE, an electric SUV, was still being determined as the company assessed a range of factors including whether to package up home-charging costs as part of the selling offer. “We’re still working on several aspects,” Mr Weisner said. He said it be be somewhere between $100,000 and $150,000.

Federal Minister of Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg outlined early in 2018 his views on the electric car industry and cited Norway as a pioneer, but there was angst among some backbenchers.

Mr Wiesner said higher penetration rates of electric cars would likely only occur when mass-maker car makers expanded their ranges.


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February 13, 2018

A 50th anniversary version of the Jaguar XJ will appear this year, ahead of the new model arriving next year. Design director Ian Callum said the special edition would have “detail work”, adding that the XJ is close to his heart. “1968 was when I decided this is the company I want to work for,” he said. “I will make sure the XJ holds true to its values as we work on the next one.”

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