Unfortunately as Jaguar were in financial difficulties at the time of it’s conception, late in 1966 Jaguar merged with BMC which eventually came under government control in 1975, putting racing ever further down the list of priorities. As a consequence the XJ 13 project never received the attention required to develop it into a vehicle capable of contending with either the brutally functional Ford GT 40 or the gorgeous Ferrari 275LM’s and P2’s.
The XJ 13 was powered by an all aluminium 5 litre / 305 cui V12, essentially two XK straight sixes using a common crankshaft, with double over head cams and this unique car was both the first mid engined Jaguar, the next was not to appear until the XJR6 race car in 1985, and the first V12, the next being the Series 3 E Type V12 of 1971.
On the 21st January 1971 while filming, for publicity of the Series 3 E – Type V12, this vehicle was nearly destroyed, with out harm to the driver Norman Dewis, when a magnesium wheel disintegrated on the banked MIRA test circuit in England.
The car was rebuilt at a cost of £1000 / $ 1600 in 1973 with much wider wheels and tyres than the original specification and officially shown to a surprised public for the first time later the same year.
Thanks for joining me on this “13 Unlucky For Some” edition of “Gettin’ a li’l psycho on tyres” I hope you will join me again tomorrow for a look at another Jaguar with a Le Mans story to tell. Don’t forget to come back now !