Remembered as one of the wildest and noisiest club racing cars of the mid-1960s, the Jaguar Egal is fondly recalled. When midlands industrialist Rob Beck – a quick XK120 racer – crashed his semi-lightweight E-type, smashing its engine block, preparer Geoff ‘Scruffy’ Richardson had a cunning plan.
The Worcestershire engineer – who raced his RRA in the inaugural British GP at Silverstone in 1948 – suggested that he should install one of two seven-litre Ford Galaxie V8s which Beck had bought from Holman & Moody in the USA to put in a powerboat.
The Ford was shorter and wider than the straight six Jag, but their weights were similar and it fitted snugly, mated to a BorgWarner T10 or Jaguar gearbox. Raced initially by Chris Summers, the silver blue Egal, with massive wheels and Ferrari GTOstyle air ducts in its nose, was later tamed by Barrie ‘Whizzo’ Williams, winner of the 1964 Welsh International Rally.
Williams recalls it as a brute, which spun its wheels in any gear but didn’t stop so well, yet has great memories of racing Brian Redman in Red Rose Racing’s lightweight E, 4 WPD. “Once at Castle Combe I bet Ron Fry that I could beat his Ferrari 250LM from the start to Quarry. Unfortunately the Egal’s bellhousing shattered, dumping oil everywhere, and the Ferrari spun off into the bank. Ron wasn’t amused when I asked for my half a crown!”
Happily the hybrid survives and is undergoing a painstaking restoration in eastern USA. Hopefully once finished British fans like me who saw it race in period will see it invited to events like Goodwood’s Members’ Meeting or Revival. MAWP