"In the post Leyland era, Jaguar employees formed "The Saturday Club" to work on pet projects outside of company time. Chief engineer, Jim Randle, had a vision for a spiritual successor to the XJ13 (as famously wrecked, through no fault "
Jaguar & Le Mans, 1954
Some truly amazing footage here from a documentary focusing on the 1954 24 Heures Du Mans.
It’s all pretty gripping but highlight for me is right at the start when the Jaguar team emerge from the Browns Lane plant with those immaculate new D-Types, heading for the coast and the drive down to the Circuit De la Sarthe.
You can see here how seat of the pants and simple the scene was this far back: though the Jags were pulling close to 180 MPH on the Mulsanne. No wonder Jaguar development engineer Norman Dewis, who we were lucky enough to meet a few years ago for a feature in the magazine, was keen to introduce disc brakes!
This sort of memory – the sounds, the sounds of those stirred boxes and the pure aesthetic of the whole spectacle – produces a proper lump in the throat.
Note to self: Must go to the Le Mans Classic this year!
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