Monday, February 1, 2010

Jaguar XJ13

The Jaguar XJ13 is a beautiful looking car. Every bit a sexy Jag and as a one-off worth every penny it's valued at, about US$27million at last guesstimate. Unfortunately this great car is very rarely seen but in 2008 it came out of it's museum in Coventry to take part in the Bradford Classic.

Built in 1966 at the time Jag was merging with BMC it took so long to get built it was obsolete by the time it was finished. It showed some potential in 1971 by breaking the Mira lap record with Norman Dewis at the wheel. Unfortunately he crashed several laps later and almost destroyed the car. A company owner saw the car in storage and rebuilt it for Jaguar, from the original jigs, into the car you see today.

With a 502hp 5.0 litre mid-mounted V12, in a car that weighs less than a mid 80's budget Toyota Corolla, the car is meant to be remarkably easy to drive. Jag were very on to it when they built their Le Mans racing cars. They very early on realised it was the drivers that generally wore out before the cars and so made them easy to drive. This meant the driver was less likely to get tired and make a mistake. Excellent idea.

How I know it's easy to drive is that Andrew Frankl from the Times got to drive it in 2006. He said the noise was incredible and I'm hoping I can have the same pleasure one day as it is still driveable.

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