At this point in time, there are few cars, especially British cars that are better or more sublime then the Jaguar XKs. As the old Jag advertisements said, they had “Grace, pace, space”; in other words, they were gorgeous, fast and had enough room for two people and their luggage.
The first of the lot, the XK 120 was called that because it could top out at 120 MPH. For a British car to openly boast of that level of performance, in 1948 post-war ration deluged England was nothing sort of amazing. Think of if some notoriously poor country today, let’s say Bangladesh, put out a car that could run with a Bugatti Veyron and would cost about two thirds the price. It was that level of engineering achievement.
The 120 was followed by the 140 and the SS and the truly stunning, both in performance and beauty, C-Type and D-Type, finally culminating with the Jaguar XKE, the car that Henry N. Manny III called “The greatest crumpet collector of all time.”
To commemorate and celebrate these fine automobiles, Jaguar is going to be brining out some of their finest rolling stock at this years Goodwood Festival of Speed – one of the automotive year’s “must see” events.
There’s the full list of what cars, driven by which celebrity drivers after the jump.
JAGUAR CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF XK AT THE GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED
Jaguar will this weekend be celebrating 60 years of the iconic XK nameplate as a collection of models from the 1950s to present day take to the hill at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Running up the famous hill will be the recently introduced XKR-S, two XK 120’s, the historic ‘NUB’ and ‘LWK’ and an XK 140. Also joining this illustrious line up will be the long-nose D-type, famous for winning Le Mans in 1957.
A Classic XK Collection
Jaguar’s fastest ever production XK – the XKR-S – will grace the Goodwood hill in the supercar run throughout the weekend. This limited edition vehicle is powered by Jaguar’s acclaimed 4.2-litre V8 supercharged engine and is capable of 0-60mph in 4.9 seconds and a top speed of 174mph. The XKR-S is for the true Jaguar enthusiast, delivering a combination of high speed performance, dynamic excellence and crafted luxury that is unique to Jaguar.
The record-breaking XK 120 ‘Montlhéry’ Fixed Head Coupe is one of the three 1950s XK’s to take part in the ‘Classic Endurance Cars’ hill climb. This car is famous for its part in the ‘Seven Days and Seven Nights’ event where it was driven by Stirling Moss, Bert Hadley, Jack Fairman and Leslie Johnson. It averaged 100.31mph (161.43km/h) for seven days and nights covering 16,851 miles.
The fixed head coupe will be joined by ‘NUB 120′, the XK 120 that is recognised for establishing Jaguar’s motor sport credentials. ‘NUB 120′ was privately owned and campaigned by Ian Appleyard and his wife Patricia, Sir William Lyons’ daughter, who acted as navigator. Appleyard entered the 1950 Alpine Rally and won a Coupe des Alpes. In 1951, Appleyard and ‘NUB 120′ repeated their success in the Alpine Rally and added the RAC Rally and the elusive Tulip Rally to their string of victories. Despite failing to win the Alpine Rally outright in 1952, the car completed the third consecutive run without incurring a single penalty point earning the first ever Gold cup.
The third classic XK to feature on the hill will be a privately owned XK 140 – a private entry at the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1956 by Robbie Walshaw and Peter Bolton. The car was lying in 11th position before the drivers were disqualified after 21 hours, a penalty that was later overturned. Roger Joyce bought and restored the car 30 years ago, but tragically died at Silverstone five years later. His daughter Annabel Beattie is the current owner.
Long Nose D-TYPE returns to The Hill
In honour of this year’s theme at Goodwood, ‘Hawthorn to Hamilton – Britain’s love affair with World Motor Sport’, the 1957 Le Mans winning long-nose D-type will roar its way up the hallowed hill climb once again. Duncan Hamilton won the Reims 12-hour race in this car in 1956 along with Ivor Bueb and that same year, Mike Hawthorn entered the 1956 24-hour race at Le Mans with Bueb, finishing sixth. Hawthorn and Bueb drove this car again in 1957 at Sebring, finishing third.
Celebrating the XJR-9’s Win at Le Mans
Jaguar’s Le Mans winning XJR-9 will be on display in the Stableyard as part of Dunlop’s motor racing success celebrations. Powered by the Jaguar V12, the XJR-9 took to the Le Mans track in June this year to celebrate 20 years since claiming first, fourth and sixteenth place at the 1988 Le Mans 24 Hour Race whilst running Dunlop tyres. A current Jaguar XKR coupe will also be part of the Dunlop display in the Stableyard.
Geoff Cousins, UK Managing Director, Jaguar Cars, said: “Goodwood is inimitably British and I believe the ideal location for Jaguar to begin celebrating 60 years of the stunning XK sports car. We are very proud to be showcasing our exciting new model – the XKR-S – alongside a number of historic vehicles that perfectly represent the success of XK and our rich and illustrious heritage.”
The Goodwood Festival of Speed is open from 11 – 13 of July 2008. All Jaguar cars will be on display and heading up the famous Goodwood hill climb.
Notes to editors
1952 JAGUAR XK120 FIXED HEAD COUPE
The XK120 took the world by storm when it was introduced at the 1948 London Motor Show. A particularly enthusiastic XK120 owner and driver was Leslie Johnson, who drove one of the three works XK120s to victory in the Touring Car Race at Silverstone in 1949.
Using his own XK120, Johnson in 1950 decided to go in for endurance records. In October of that year, together with Stirling Moss as his co-driver, he did a 24 hour non-stop run at the Montlhéry race track near Paris at an average of 107.46mph (173km/h). In the following year, in the same car at the same venue, Johnson completed a one hour run at an average of 131.83mph (212km/h).
Jaguar provided the car for Johnson’s next venture. The car was only the second right-hand drive version of the new XK120 fixed head coupé, and the idea was to drive this for seven days and seven nights at an average of over 100mph (161km). Johnson’s co-drivers in the attempt were Moss, Bert Hadley and Jack Fairman. The seven day run was made at Montlhéry, in early August 1952.
The first attempt had to be abandoned after the car hit a block of concrete, but after repairs the team started again. A spring broke on the fifth day, and although it was replaced and the run continued, no more records could be officially accepted. Nevertheless, Jaguar’s goal was achieved, as the car averaged 100.31mph (161.43km/h) for the seven days and nights, having covered 16,851 miles (27,120km). In addition, five new class records and four World Records were set for shorter distances, up to four days and 10,000 miles.
1950 JAGUAR XK 120 OPEN TWO-SEATER
This XK 120, more than any other, was the car that established Jaguar’s motor sport credentials. Though neither the first nor the last of the competition XK120s, NUB 120 was by far the most successful of the breed.
Unlike most other competition cars in the collection, NUB 120 was not a works car, but was privately owned and campaigned by Ian Appleyard, with his wife Patricia, William Lyons’ daughter, acting as navigator. It missed victory in its first ever event, the 1950 Tulip Rally in Holland, by one quarter of an inch. Appleyard did not make the same mistake again, entering the 1950 Alpine Rally and winning a Coupe des Alpes.
The following year, Appleyard and NUB 120 repeated their success in the Alpine Rally and added the RAC Rally and the elusive Tulip Rally to their string of victories. Despite failing to win the Alpine Rally outright in 1952, the third consecutive run without incurring a single penalty point earned the first ever Gold Cup for the car!
The secret of the XK 120’s competition success was its extremely rugged chassis, the extraordinary reliability of its then new 3.4-litre, twin-cam engine and the light weight of its all-alloy bodywork (later production cars were built from steel). Its only weakness was its brakes, with heavy wear rates and susceptibility to fade, which almost proved the undoing of the Appleyards on many occasions during their time together.
At the end of its active career in 1953, NUB 120 came back to Jaguar and has been with us ever since. Ian Appleyard replaced it with a new XK 120, registered RUB 120. Today NUB 120 is maintained in full working order and can often be seen at classic car events supporting the marque whose reputation it did so much to establish.
1956 JAGUAR D-TYPE ‘LONG NOSE’
This was the penultimate D-type, built in March 1956 and originally fitted with the latest specification fuel injection engine. It was allocated to the Jaguar works racing team, and was entered for the Reims 12-hour race which it won, driven by Duncan Hamilton and Ivor Bueb.
1988 JAGUAR XJR-9
In 1988 Jaguar went to Le Mans in strength, with an entry of five XJR-9 cars, all powered by the Jaguar V12 engine producing 750bhp from a capacity of 7.0 litres. Two of the cars retired but the remaining three went on to finish first, fourth and sixteenth. The winning Jaguar, driven by Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace, completed 394 laps and covered a distance of 5332.79km (3313.63 miles), in comparison the winning D-type of 1957 covered a distance of 4397km (2732 miles).