Tag Archives: British Motor Corporation

Neville’s e-bay Find – DOHC Jaguar V12

A couple of years after retiring the works Jaguar Racing Team, from front line competition in 1955, Sir William Lyons and Chief Enginner William Heynes discussed building a team of 3 mid engined “G-type” models and returning to Le Mans the scene of five Jaguar victories with their XK 120 C, C-Type and D-Type models.

Jaguar DOHC V12,

In 1963, according to Jaguar records, the board of directors agreed to progress the first Jaguar V12 motor with a view to returning to Le Mans in 1965.

Jaguar DOHC V12

The first of two 5 litre / 302 cui double overhead cam (DOHC) V12’s, essentially 2 x 6 cylinder XK blocks sharing a common crank, ran for the first time in July 1964, it was started by the same Jim Eastwick that is seen at the control panel in today’s blog.

Jaguar DOHC V12

A number of factor’s including the planning for the production of the XJ6, launched in 1968, and a shortage of cash which led to the merger of Jaguar into British Motor Corporation which became British Motor Holdings in December 1966 meant the XJ13 project saw just one prototype completed in May 1966, but nothing was done with it until the following year.

Jaguar DOHC V12

At some point the second DOHC V12, today’s featured motor, was run in a prototype Mk 10 Jaguar and by 1969 it was run for the last time by the works for comparison emissions tests with a single overhead cam (SOHC) V12 that would go into production for the V12 E-type, XJ12 Saloon / Sedan, XJ 12C, Daimler Sovereign equivalents and XJ-S Coupé.

Jaguar DOHC V12

Today’s featured motor was then tidied up for a career on Jaguars exhibition stands at motor show’s in the UK and abroad, complete with chrome flywheel, it would appear that in the early to mid 1970’s it got left behind by the Jaguar works, by now part of the British Leyland empire in Germany.


Four years ago Jaguar enthusiast and racer Neville Swale was thinking about building a replica Jaguar XJ13 when a fellow racer who had similar idea’s but insufficient funds Richard Woods from the Avro Shacketon Preservation Trust told Neville about today’s featured motor which appeared on the German e-bay sight.

Jaguar DOHC V12

Neville knew he had to have it and as he boarded a train a few hours before the end of the auction he put in a bid by mobile phone and promptly lost reception.

Some hours later still on the train Nevilles reception returned and he was surprised to learn he won the auction and one of the rarest Jaguar motors ever built.

When he got the motor home from Stuttgart Neville determined not just to build a replica but a tool room replica XJ13 as close to the original 1966 version, sans big wheels and flared arches, as humanly possible.

I’ll cover the build of the car in future edition, but over the last 4 years Neville has converted the motor back to dry sump lubrication and built up a new fuel injection to replace that which was missing when he bought the motor.

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the first start of this motor in 45 years and the video shows the start and shut down.

At the end of the film Jonathan Heynes a former Jaguar apprentice who worked on the XJ 13 and son of the late Chief Enginner William Heynes who oversaw the development and build of DOHC V12 is seen shaking the hand of Jim Eastwick. Apologies for bad sound on the film.

My thanks to Neville and his wife Lizzie for making me feel so welcome during the start up proceedings. You can see more of Nevilles work on the project on his Building the Legend website linked here.

Thanks for joining me on this “Neville’s e-bay Find” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow when I’ll be taking a look at what is believed to be the oldest surviving stock car to take part in a NASCAR event. Don’t forget to come back now !

5/11/14 Correction this text originally stated Peter Crespin alerted Neville to the presence of the motor on e-bay it was in fact Richard Woods from the Avro Shacketon Preservation Trust who informed Neville. Apologies for any confusion.


1st Class Worker – Austin 1800 Mk II Utility

British Motor Corporation launched it’s AD017 models known initially Austin 1800’s in 1964 with a Mk II version coming out in 1968.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Today’s featured 1969 pick up was built, solely for the Australian market, a year after the model was launched with the strap line “1st Class Worker“.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Australian 1800’s were built with raised suspension and stronger sump guards to meet the more extreme Antipodean conditions, the 1800 Utililty or UTE also had a low ratio gearbox and heavy duty servo’s for anticipated work on the farm.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Today’s featured car, seen at the Classic Motor Show, started it’s life on a sheep farm in Victoria State and ended up in Melbourne. It was purchased by the current owner and shipped to the UK in 2009.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

Apparently it’s first British MOT (mandatory road worthiness test) ran to four pages of faults requiring rectification. These problems were all fixed but the body was in need of a restoration which has just been completed.

Austin 1800 UTE, Classic Motor Show, NEC, Birmingham

As in Europe the practical, if a little too utilitarian, saloon/sedan Land Crabs, as ADO17’s are known, struggled to find a market down under and this extended to the 1800 Utility of which just over 2,000 were built between 1968 and 1971.

Thanks for joining me on this “1st class worker” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at a car named after a breed of bulls. Don’t forget to come back now !

Brighton Speed Trials Under Threat of Permanent Cancellation !

In their infinite wisdom, Brighton & Hove City Council are seeking to ban the Brighton Speed Trials from 2014.

If you care about speed and or motorsport history, please sign this linked petition to save Brighton Speed Trials in 2014 and beyond.

It’s a faf to Register before signing, but relatively painless compared to loosing the event which has been run with few interruptions since 1905.

You do not need to be resident in Brighton or even the UK to sign.

Thanks and please spread the word through whatever social media you have at your disposal.


Badge Transformation – Morris 1/2 Ton Pickup

The design for today’s 1972 (Nineteen seventy two) Morris 1/2 ton pick up, seen at a recent Avenue Driver Club meeting, dates back to the original incarnation of the Austin Cambridge which in A40 guise first saw the light of day in 1954.

Morris 1/2 ton Pickup, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Cambridge was updated in 1954 when it became the Austin A50 Cambridge and again in 1957 to become the Austin A55 Cambridge which stayed in production until the arrival of the Austin A55 Cambridge Mark II fitted with an all new Farina (as in Pinin) body.

Morris 1/2 ton Pickup, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Austin Cambridge 1/2 ton pickup was first marketed in 1957 with the latest A55 panels incorporated into the cab with a 4 cylinder 51 hp B Series motor.

Morris 1/2 ton Pickup, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

From 1962 the Pickup was fitted with a unique to type grill and the 61 hp B Series motor from the Farina A60 Cambridge launched in 1961, and Australian spec A55 Cambridge Mk II which was launched in 1959. 1962 also saw the first of these vehicles marketed with the Morris name.

Morris 1/2 ton Pickup, Avenue Drivers Club, Queen Square, Bristol

The Austin variant of the 1/2 ton pickup was dropped after Austin and Morris part of the British Motor Corporation was further merged with Leyland to become British Leyland in 1968. While the Morris variant continued in production until 1973. Despite having no further significant upgrades since 1962 the Morris 1/2 ton was still marketed with a “New, Tough and Versatile” strap line as late as 1968 !

Thanks for joining me on this “Badge Transformation” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me tomorrow for a look at a Lamborghini Jarama. Don’t forget to come back now !