Officially founded in the mid-thirties, Jaguar has made some incredibly iconic cars over the years. Perhaps one of their most famous is the legendary Jaguar E-type, a car in which Enzo Ferrari described as the most beautiful car in the world.
The XK70 Jaguar Festival celebrated 70 years of the Jaguar XK engine, and of course all things Jaguar. Take a look at just some of the stand out cars which caught my eye and made the weekend a roaring success.
‘OKV 1’ is a truly special Jaguar. It was only the second car to be built by the Jaguar ‘Competitions Department’. Although it was the second built, ‘OKV 1’ was the first of a famous trio of D-types to debut at the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1954.
With a value of around £15million, ‘OKV 1’ is also one of the world’s most expensive cars. If the car had actually won Le Mans, who knows how much more it would be worth. Regardless, the D-type is still an achingly beautiful car and a treat to see it at XK70.
Stratstone are always happy to display their Lightweight Jaguar E-type, so it was no surprise to see this gorgeous car join in the celebrations at XK70. It’s a car that doesn’t really require an introduction after appearing at many prestigious automotive events around Europe, such as being driven by Top Gear presenter Chris Harris.
However, to see this technically ‘new’ old Jag amongst other legendary Jaguar models was really something special, particularly alongside other ‘priceless’ Jaguar cars from their esteemed history. Lightweight E-type number 15 was of course treated to a few spirited runs up the Shelsley Walsh hill, which considering the value of these cars is always well received. You can keep up to date with the Lightweight E-type here.
Jaguar XK120 SE Pininfarina
The ‘regular’ Jaguar XK120 was built between 1948 and 1954 and came in several body styles. A fixed head coupe, drophead coupe and perhaps the prettiest version of them all – the roadster.
Nevertheless, legendary design coachbuilder Pininfarina made this one-off XK120 SE back in 1954, which has since been restored to its former glory, taking an unbelievable 6,725 hours to complete.
With Pininfarina working with some of the world’s most prestigious and luxurious manufacturers, this one-off Jaguar was a real treat to see at XK70 – especially being so valuable, of which I can only estimate will be well into the millions.
A ‘snip’ at £500,000 new, the Jaguar XJR-15 is understandably rare, with only 53 examples of this supercar being made between 1990 and 1992. Heavily linked to racing, the XJR-15 was derived from the Le Mans winning Jaguar XJR-9 race car, as well as being the world’s first road car to be made out of carbon-fibre.
Powered by a colossal V12 engine, the XJR-15 was pretty much a race car for the road, developing 450bhp. Weighing just over 1000kg also meant it was race car fast, so it was no surprise to see this racing version at Shelsley. It made for another incredible spectacle to watch this ultra-rare Jaguar complete the hill climb with ease.
Jaguar E-type Lightweight Low-Drag Coupe
‘4868 WK’ happens to be the registration of another striking E-type. The car has quite a history as it was purchased by German Jaguar importer Peter Lindner, which was then subject to aerodynamic modifications using Malcolm Sayer’s streamlined Low Drag bodywork at Lindner’s request. This particular E-type was then raced at the 1964 Le Mans 24 Hours by Lindner himself, along with his fellow countryman, Peter Knocker.
Just a few weeks after Le Mans, Lindner was sadly killed in the car in an accident at the French race track of Montlhéry, meaning that the car was put in storage for around 10 years. In 2011, this stunning E-type was restored by CMC, undergoing around 6,500 hours of work, keeping 90% of the original car. Therefore, it was quite a site to see this car in the flesh to fully appreciate the details and effort gone into getting ‘4868 WK’ back to its former glory.
More to Come
The XK70 Jaguar Festival came and went just as the hill climb events at Shelsley Walsh are just hotting up. Amongst the meetings and sprint championships are two stand out events, one of which is Classic Nostalgia, held between 28th-29th July. This year, Classic Nostalgia celebrates historic Formula 1 cars of the past as well as 80s and 90s rally cars. Another historic event takes place between 11th-12th July, when the fastest hill climb cars in the country compete at Championship Challenge, which falls on the 113th anniversary of the first ever hill climb event at Shelsley Walsh.
Photography: Hamiman Photographer/Laurence Kennedy