Tag Archives: E2A

Prototype, Racer, Decoy – Jaguar #E2A

After Jaguars bitter sweet success at Le Mans in 1955, when the works D-Type driven by Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb won the ill feted race following Mercedes Benz mid race withdrawal, Sir William Lyons concluded, as did the board of Mercedes Benz, that Jaguar’s resources would be better spent turning it’s racing success into commercial production success.

The Jaguar racing department became the Jaguar prototype department as all Jaguar works racing programmes were left to customer teams like Ecurie Eccose who promptly won Le Mans in 1956 and 1957 with their D-Types and Briggs Cunningham, who realised he did not have the resources to build and compete with an American sports car with the best Europe had to offer, but still had the resources to buy top line European cars to race.

Jaguar E2A, Ziegler, Goodwood Revival

The Jaguar prototype team’s first job was to build a production version of the D-Type using monocoque construction and replacing the D-type’s live rear axle with independent rear suspension.

This prototype, known as #E(Type)1A(Aluminium), was a 130 mph 2/3rds scale drivable vehicle built in 1957 which after much testing was broken up and scrapped somewhere between 1959 and 1960 without ever having been shown to the press or public.

Jaguar E2A, Ziegler, Goodwood Revival

Today’s featured car #E2A was a full scale second prototype with a monocoque and aluminium body styled by Malcolm Sayer. The car was fitted with a 3 litre / 183 cui fuel injected aluminium straight 6 motor in order to meet the Le Mans prototype regulations. E2A was entrusted to Briggs Cunninghams team and painted in his teams white with two blue stripes colours.

Before going to Le Mans in 1960 E2A was tested at the oval MIRA test facility and the suspension was set up for this purpose when it arrived at Le Mans unknown to Dan Gurney and Walt Hangsen who were employed to drive it.

Jaguar E2A, Ziegler, Goodwood Revival

Dan and Walt found the car extremely twitchy and it was late before the race that the suspension settings were changed to something more suitable to a public road used as a race track rather than a steeply banked oval at MIRA.

#E2A completed the opening lap of the 1960 Le Mans 24 hours in third place, but after just 3 laps the car was in the pits with a broken injector pipe. This was replaced but a train of damage had been set in motion which resulted in E2A retiring after six hours with a failed head gasket and burned piston.

Jaguar E2A, Dron, Goodwood Revival

Back at the Jaguar factory the 3 litre #E2A engine was swapped for a 3.8 litre / 231 cui unit and the car was shipped to the USA Walt Hangsen drove it to a win in the 2nd Annual Inter-club Championship Bridgehampton and class win in the 500 mile Road America race.

Reigning double world champion “Black” Jack Brabham drove #E2A 10th place finish in the 200 mile Grand Prix Riverside, a twisty track to which E2A was as poorly suited as Laguna Seca where Bruce McLaren drove #E2A in two heats of the First Pacific Grand Prix to 12th and 17th place finishes.

Jaguar E2A, Dron, Goodwood Revival

Thereafter #E2A was returned to Jaguar for further testing which included an early anti lock braking system called ‘Wheel Slide Protector’ as used by the Ferguson P99.

#E2A was eventually put into storage, only to be pulled out and painted green in 1965 so that it could be used as a decoy while testing of the top secret XJ13 was carried out at MIRA.

In 1967 Jaguar customer car competition manager Roger Woodley managed to save E2A from the usual destruction for scrap prototype fate by mediating a deal for his father in law Guy Griffiths Camden Car Collection in the Cotswolds to take it with Jaguars insistence that #E2A should never be used in competition.

Jaguar kindly repainted #E2A in Briggs Cunninghams original racing colours and some time after handing it over manged to supply Guy with a 3 litre fuel injected motor.

In 2008 Roger’s wife sold the car for just short of US$5 million at Bonham’s, owner Stefan Ziegler has since had the car prepared to ‘weapons grade racer’ standard much to the chagrin of some old curmudgeons, myself included.

Stefan is seen at the wheel of the car at Goodwood in the photo’s dated 2012, while Tony Dron is seen driving the car in the older images.

Thanks for joining me on this “Prototype, Racer, Decoy” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again for Ferrari Friday tomorrow. Don’t forget to come back now !


Goodwood Revival 2012 – #4 Vote Gurney !

The Dan Gurney Presidential Campaign, which was started by Car & Driver Editor David E. Davis in May 1964 when Dan was still to young to run, was in full swing at the Goodwood revival last weekend.

Ol' Yeller II, Goodwood Revival

Among many of the cars drove during his career was the Balchowsky Buick ‘Ol’ Yeller II which Dan Gurney drove twice against far more sophisticated machinery in 1960 setting a lap record and leading the race when he retired at Riverside.

Jaguar E2A, Goodwood Revival

B.S. Cunningham employed Dan to share the experimental Jaguar E2A at Le Mans in 1960 with Walt Hangsen. The, one of two, prototype E-Type retired with head gasket failure, Stefan Zeigler is seen at the wheel here during practice for the Sussex Trophy.

Thompson Buick Special, Goodwood Revival

Dan drove three very different cars at Indy during the month of May in 1962, having invited Colin Chapman of Lotus over in the hope of convincing Colin to build cars and enter a Lotus team for the 500 in 1963. Dan took passed his Indy Rookie test in a Roadster, then has a go at qualifying for the 1962 500 driving the gas turbine powered John Zink Trackburner, before deciding the more conservative Thompson Buick, above, was the way to go. Dan finished 20th on his Indy debut.

Porsche 804, Goodwood Revival

A couple of months later Dan won his first Grand Prix in France driving the aircooled 1962 Porsche 804 seen being warmed up above.

Shelby American Daytona Coupé, Goodwood Revival

By 1964 Dan was being employed to drive the Shelby American Cobra’s, Dan shared the Daytona Coupé version chassis CSX 2299 with Bob Bondurant to win the GT Class at Le Mans that year. Chassis CSX 2300 is seen above being driven by 1999 Indy 500 winner Kenny Brack on it’s way to pole for the Shelby Cup.

Lola Ford T70, Goodwood Revival

During 1966 Dan campaigned the Lola Ford T70 Spyder, above, during the opening unlimited Can Am season. At Bridgehampton in September 1966 Dan not only qualified on pole but also won, the only Can Am victory for a Ford powered vehicle.

Ford Mk IV, Goodwood Revival

Kenny Brack drove for AJ Foyt when he won Indy in 1999, above is the Ford Mk IV chassis #J5, AJ shared with Dan at Le Mans in 1967. Gurney and Le Mans rookie Foyt comfortably won the race to secure Ford’s second consecutive Le Mans win.

Eagle Weslake T1G, Goodwood Revival

With Foyt having won the 1967 Indy 500 in the last week of May, Gurney and Foyt winning Le Mans in the first week of June, Dan went on to win the 1967 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa in one week later in a car from his own fledgling Eagle team. The Len Terry designed Eagle T1G is powered by a 3 litre / 183 cui Gurney Westlake V12.

Ford Mustang Boss 302, Goodwood Revival

In 1968 Dan’s All American Racers team ran Shelby Ford Mustangs Boss 302’s in the Trans Am series.

McLaren Ford M14A, Goodwood Revival

Dan’s last Grand Prix three drives came when he substituted for Bruce McLaren, after the latters death at Goodwood driving a McLaren M8 Cam Am car. Dan drove the McLaren Ford M14A car to a sixth place finish in the 1970 French Grand Prix his last but one Grand Prix.

Eagle Offenhauser, Goodwood Revival

Earlier in the 1970 season Dan drove to a 3rd place finish in the Indy 500 on his last appearance in the cockpit at the Brickyard. Though he never won the 500 as a driver his Eagle Offenhauser cars won three Indy 500’s in 1968 with Bobby Unser, Gordon Johncock in ’73 and Bobby Unser again in 1975.

Hawker, Sea Fury, Goodwood Revival

Sea Cadets at the Revival were handing out Gurney campaign stickers and badges in return for donations to the Royal Navy Heritage Trust, a charity which is dedicated to keeping historic Navy planes, like the Hawker Sea Fury above, in the air. In August 1952 Lieutenant Peter “Hoagy” Carmichael, of 802 Squadron based aboard HMS Ocean was credited with shooting down a Mig 15 jet in the Korean War. This was one of the few times a jet has been recorded as being shot down by a piston powered plane. Over the Radio Dan told Goodwood spectators that he applied to become a pilot with US forces, however when he was told that this would not be possible because he was married he told us that he moved on “and did some other stuff”.

Thanks for joining me on this “#4 Vote Gurney” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow. For Ferrari Friday at Goodwood. Don’t forget to come back now !


The Ugly Duckling – Jaguar S-Type

Amongst two classic vehicles I recently found in the car park of the Morgan Motor Company was this beautiful Jaguar S-Type that in silver epitomises Sir William Lyons maxim “grace pace and space”, though it was considered the ugly duckling of its two contemporary 4 door siblings the smaller MKII and larger MK X.

The S-Type was a reworking of the Jaguar MKII / Daimler V8 250 shell and ended up looking like a half way house between the MK11 and MK X indeed when I first saw this car from the back I thought it was a MK X.

This particular vehicle is powered by a 210 hp twin carb 3442 cc / 210 cui cast iron bloc 6 cylinder motor which was significantly less popular than the 3.8 litre variant. The 3.4 was capable of reaching 60 mph from stationary in 13.9 secs and had a top speed of 115 mph figures that were down on the lighter 3.4 litre MK II.

However where the S-Type excelled was in its superior traction ride and cornering capability thanks to an independent rear suspension whose origins can be traced back through the MK10 Jaguar to the E-Type and it’s D-type prototypes E1A and E2A.

Back in the day companies that excelled in exporting products were given a Queens Award for Export in recognition of their contribution to minimising the UK’s balance of payment deficit with the rest of the world.

Production of the S-Type commenced in 1963 and continued until 1968 with 9,928 examples of the 3.4 litre being built compared to 15,065 of the 3.8 litre variant. This vehicle appears to be one of the last 909 3.4 litre vehicles built in 1968. Mr Crouch a Jaguar Body Engineer allegedly reported “that everyone (at Browns Lane) was glad to see the end of the S” a sentiment I find difficult to agree with 42 years later.

Thanks to Phillip Whiteman over at The Nostalgia Forum for bringing the role of E2A to my attention.

Slightly off topic, 20 years after Dale Earnhadt pulled off one of the most spectacular finishes in history by making up 16 places to take his final win, Talladega produced another thriller yesterday, an absolute heart stopper for fellow Kevin Harvick fans I am sure with over eighty lead changes amongst 20 odd drivers.

I was most despondent when Kevin T-boned someone with around a third of the race left to run, yet somehow the Happy pit crew kept Kevin on the lead lap after patching his car up with copious quantities of tank tape and Kevin crossed the finish line first with one lap to go (white flag lap) however the big one occurred as Kevin being pushed by David Reutimann on the outside of Turn One fell slightly behind team mate Clint Bowyer who was himself being pushed by pole sitter Juan Pablo Montoya.

Though AJ Almendinger ended up on his roof it was noticeable that none of the vehicles at Talladega went airborne in the same way as last year which might be attributable to the switch from the rear wing to the rear gurney flap earlier this year. Fortunately it would appear no one was hurt either and after agonising minuets off decision making Bowyer was declared the winner.

Harvick has closed the points deficit to 38 on Johnson who got shuffled down the pack on the last restart to an eventual 7th and sits just 14 points ahead of Dangerous Denny Hamlin who had a torrid race going a lap down but thanks to a lucky dog still salvaged a ninth place finish by the end. They don’t call this race the Alabahma Lottery for nothing.

Next week NASCAR moves to Texas where Denny Hamlin won last time out and he Happy and Johnson will have it all to play for, my only prediction is that Johnson will be staying well away from the #77 of Sam Hornish Jr.

Thanks for stopping by wishing everyone a momentous Monday, don’t forget to come back now !