The historic Cats go on parade to show off their sleek charms at revival event
A PARADE of historic Jaguars arrive at the Goodwood Revival bash near Chichester today and include the gorgeous XK150.
This model, from 1957 to 1961, was the last of the XK series of the era. It was sold with coupé and open bodies, and had a straight six 3.4 litre engine developing 190bhp. It was capable of 125mph and 0-60mph in 8.9 seconds. Average fuel economy was 20.5mpg – one area where modern cars are much improved.
The Jags mark 75 years of the marque and will sit nicely with the heritage theme at Goodwood. This being 2010, Jaguar is on the Apple “apps” service. Search for Jaguar 75 in iTunes. There are lots of Jag facts. When the first Jaguar was revealed, Sir William Lyons (founder of Jaguar Cars) asked guests of the launch event to speculate on how much the SS Jaguar 2.5 litre saloon would cost. The average guess was £632. In fact, the handsome, luxurious machine cost a mere £385.
Lyons’ daughter, Pat, was the co-driver of NUB 120, the most famous competition XK120. Her husband, the Yorkshire garage owner Ian Appleyard, drove it to three Alpine Cup victories and two RAC Rally wins. At Le Mans in 1953 Jaguar C-Types finished 1st, 2nd and 4th. The company sent a telegram to the Queen, dedicating its win to her, in her coronation year, and received a congratulatory reply from Her Majesty.
Of the 16 XKSS vehicles produced, one was bought by actor and racing driver Steve McQueen, who kept it for 10 years before selling it on. Of all his cars it was possibly the one he enjoyed a little too much for it netted him two driving bans. However, clearly regretting his decision, McQueen later bought the car back and owned it until his death.
The superfast but commercially mute XJ220 was developed by an informal group of Jaguar employees known as the Saturday Club who, as the name suggests, dedicated their spare time to special projects. They should have stayed at home and listed to the radio instead.
The introduction of disc brakes was thanks to Jaguar. They were first fitted to the C-Type raced by Stirling Moss and Norman Dewis in the 1952 Mille Miglia. Italian race officials were mystified by the new technology and demanded a demonstration to prove it was in fact a brake and not some illegal addition.
In his teens, Ian Callum, Jaguar’s present design director, wrote to Bill Heynes (then chief engineer) enclosing some of his own designs for a Jaguar.
Heynes kindly replied, suggesting to Callum that to pursue his chosen career, he should learn engineering draughtsmanship and study industrial design.
Quite a tip. The Scot’s work includes the modern face of Aston Martin, the Jaguar XK and XF.
STAR CAR: Jaguar XK150.