Classic Jaguar XJ13: How to build a racing car and then never race it
There was only 1 car ever produced and sadly has never officially raced, Jaguar XJ13. It was in the 60’s when Jaguar designers did a great job trying to create a sport car that could compete in Le Mans and certainly Jaguar XJ13 is a beautiful car as you can see int he above picture. The engine was exceptional too in terms of engineering for the mid 60’s (5 litre DOHC), so what could go wrong ! We think Jaguar management screw up a project of a great car though.
Even though the idea of the car started in 1960, the project began in 1965 and the car was finished in 1966. Mr Malcom Sayer (1916-1970) designed the body, he had a great aeronautic background and Jaguar used his skills to develop other models too. Mr Bob Blake was in charge of the whole project. He decided they might need the input of some racing drivers, hence, Mr Jack Brabham (1926-2014) was approached in that regards but the main test driver job was done by the ex-Jaguar apprentice Mr David Hobbs (1939-); Mr Richard Attwood (1940-) also helped on the final stages too.
As you can see, the car was made to be a winner and succeed. But when Jaguar started the process to merge with BMC (the process finished in September 1966), top management got too busy with other things. British Motor Corporation Limited (or BMC) is the legal entity who acquired the shares in Morris Motors and the Austin Motor Company. The agreed exchange of shares in Morris or Austin for shares in the new holding company, BMC, became effective in mid-April 1952. Morris Motors was the holding company of the productive businesses of the Nuffield Organisation who owned MG, Riley, and Wolseley. Other brands of the co will include Mini, Austin, Austin-Healey, Princess, Vanden Plas and Morris.
By the time the Jaguar XJ13 was ready and Ford developed the 7-litre GT40. The mighty Jaguar XJ13 was an old car by the time it was ready to be released. Bear in mind Ford tried to buy Ferrari during those year and the Ford GT40 is just the outcome of the failed merger talks and a prove to the world of the racing capabilities of the giant American car maker. Clearly in the long run Ferrari has proven to be a better brand for racing cars, but this Ford GT is just a
There was only one car ever built and as we have said, it never raced.
Classic Jaguar XJ13 for sale
The owner of the car got a bid for GBP7M in 1996 and he declined it. As a comparison a Ferrari 250 GT SWB got auctioned that year for USD2.5M in the US. I guess when you own something unique you can ask whatever you want for it, another matter is if you can sell it at the price or not. In any case the value of this vehicle if it is ever for sale will break some records.
Picture thanks to supercars.net