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Racing Big Saloons Mk VII/VIIM/VIII/IX

Racing the Big Saloons



One of our new members, Elaine Smith of Clearwater FL, r609@gte.net, has 774635 BW, '60 Mk IX LHD. She asked about racing our big saloons; here's some of what I have, from Nigel Thorley's JAGUAR MK VII TO 420G: THE COMPLETE COMPANION --

Monte Carlo Rally, 1952: Mk VIIs in 4th (Rene Cotton), 6th (Jean Herurtaux), 15th (Wadham/Waring), 45th (Bertie Bradnack), 53rd (Ian Appleyard)

Dayton Speed Trials, 1952: Mk VII with Tom McCahill did 100.9 MPH record

RAC Rally, 1952: Mk VII fastest in class (Tommy Wisdom)

Tulip Rally, 1952: Mk VII in 2nd (Ian Appleyard)

Silverstone (race), 1952: Mk VII (LWK 343) in 1st (Stirling Moss), 4th (Bertie Bradnack)

Monte Carlo Rally, 1953: Mk VII in 8th (Donald Bennett), 11th (Rene Cotton), 15th (Ronnie Adams)

RAC Rally, 1953: Mk VII in 10th (Dennis Scott)

Jabbeke, Belgium (speed record), 1953: Mk VII (LWK 343) (Norman Dewis), 121.704 mph

Silverstone (race), 1953: Mk VII (LWK 343) in 1st (Stirling Moss)

Monte Carlo Rally, 1954: Mk VII in 6th (Ronnie Adams), 8th (Cecil Vard)

RAC Rally, 1954: Mk VII in 10th (J. Ashworth)

Tulip Rally, 1954: Mk VII in 4th (Boardman)

Scottish Rally, 1954: Mk VII in 3rd (E. R. Parsons)

Round Britain Rally, 1954: Mk VII in 1st (E. R. Parsons)

Silverstone (race), 1954: Mk VIIs in 1st (Ian Appleyard), 2nd (Tony Rolt), 3rd (Stirling Moss), 5th (Ronnie Adams)

Monte Carlo Rally, 1955: Mk VIIs in 8th (Ronnie Adams), 28th (Cecil vard), 83rd (Ian Appleyard)

Tulip Rally, 1955: Mk VII class win (Boardman)

Silverstone (race), 1955: Mk VIIs in 1st (LWK 343) (Mike Hawthorne), 2nd (PWK 700) (Jimmy Stewart), 3rd (PWK 701) (Des Titterington)

Monte Carlo Rally, 1956: Mk VII in 1st (PWK 700) (Ronnie Adams)

Silverstone (race), 1956: Mk VIIs in 1st (OVC 69) (Ivor Bueb), 4th (Paul Frere)

The factory also built a magnesium-bodied Mk VII, 710006, but never actually raced it, we have this car in the Register, still in England, very good!

After these glory days, the factory withdrew racing support, but many people kept on going:

Silverstone, 1976: Mk VIII lap record 1:18.6 (Graig Hinton)

Silverstone, 1978: Mk VII lap record 1:44.4 (Graig Hinton)

Brands Hatch, 1977: lap record (C. Nicholson)

Classic Saloon Car Challenge, 1983: Mk VIII, 1st in class (Henry Crowther)

Pre-'57 Saloon Car Challenge, 1983: Mk VII in 1st (Richard Bradley), Mk VIII in 2nd (Henry Crowther)

Pre-'65 Saloon Car Challenge, 1983: Mk VIII in 4th (Henry Crowther), Mk IX
in 6th (Dennis Carter), Mk VIII in 9th (Richard Bradley)

Besides being in JCNA, I'm a member of the JAGUAR DRIVERS' CLUB of England and the JAGUAR ENTHUSIASTS' CLUB of England; my friends in the Mother Country tell me our saloons are STILL being raced today in the historic races! Also, note that during all of these years, our saloons have been raced/rallied with standard equipment, NO major modifications.

In '92, I got my own shot, Steve Earle's MONTEREY HISTORIC AUTO RACES at the Laguna Seca race track featured Jaguar; many of us from over the world showed up, and on the Sat., we had 448 Jaguars '34 to '92 in the two parade laps around the track. Most of them left because the Sun. is the Pebble Beach Concours, but I and 67 others stayed for the 2nd day of racing.
During a break between races, Steve let us have the track for four laps with no traffic, I proved to myself that my original Mk IX, RHETT, 792817 BW, has a racing heritage, saw 93 MPH coming into the straight beyond the pits, kept the tach between 2200 and 4500 where max. torque is in my 3.8, drifted twice through the corkscrew and the car just went where I wanted
with no sweat, probably took 10,000 miles off the tyres that day, but what an opportunity!

In other words, YES, these were luxury/racing saloons! Larry Martz

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