Tag Archives: XK

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.


Black Cat – Jaguar XK120 #670138

I’d like to thank Geoffrey Horton for sending me these photographs of Phil Hill’s Jaguar XK120 at the 2007 Danville Concours de Elegance.

Danville CC 2007 011s

This chassis #670138 is known to have been raced by Phil, who was guest of honour at Danville in 2007, in at least 3 races in 1950 in which he scored two second place finishes and a win in the 100 Mile race at Pebble Beach in November 1950.

Danville CC 2007 020s

Last week it came to light that I had overlooked something in my original blog on the XK120, namely that while the standard XK 120 took it’s name from it’s 120 mph capability, it has transpired that Norman Dewis was bolted into an XK120 with a streamlined roof and recorded a production car record speed of 172.412 mph on the 21st October 1953 driving along a stretch of Belgian Motorway known as the Jabbeke Straight, between Bruges and Ostend.

My thanks to Terry, Tim, Allan, and Tony at The Nostalgia Forum for the additional details and thanks again to Geoffrey for today’s marvellous photographs.

Hope you have enjoyed today’s Black Cat edition of ‘Gettin’ a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and that you will join me again tomorrow, Ferrari Friday, for a look at my favourite road going V8 Ferrari. Don’t forget to come back now !


Big Cat in Northern Rhodesia – Jaguar XK 140 FHC

The XK 140 was in production from 1954, 1955 model year, to 1957. Improvements over the XK 120 included substantial bumpers, modern flashing indicators mounted in the wings and a more powerful 190 hp engine. Despite the extra weight the XK 140 was still capable of 120 miles per hour.

Continuing on a Jaguar theme today’s blog is a who? what ? where ? when ? to which I have only the following answers.

Who ?

What Jaguar XK 140 FHC

Where some where in Northern Rhodesia now Zambia.

When circa March 1957 (Cover Roan, Antelope, Magazine 03/57)

I hope someone out there might be able to fill in the missing information.

If you have or know of anyone else who has any information about or particularly photographs of any form of motor sport in Northern Rhodesia / Zambia be it rallying, sprints, hill climbs, racing cars or motor bikes, stock cars, bangers, (motorbike) speedway, karting, participants in any capacity, the tracks, particularly track locations, please leave a message below or e-mail me direct arttidesco@netscape.net.

By the end of the year I hope to start editing a no budget photo video on motorsport in Nothern Rhodesia / Zambia any help with information and or photographs would be much appreciated.

Thanking you in anticipation of your responses.

I shall be returning to this subject as the year progresses.

Back with another couple of cats in Hollywood tomorrow on ‘Getting a lil’ psycho on tyres’, don’t forget to come back now !

PS 15/01/11 Wow ! anyone who has any doubts about the power of the world wide web to connect folks check this out, yesterday I received an e-mail from Tim Fulcher who’s dad used to race motor cycles in Zambia, he informed me that the driver above is one Ken Livingstone who played an active part in Nothern Rhodesian motorsport as both a driver and a committee member of Ndola Motor Sports Club. Thanks Tim 🙂


Cats with Grace & Pace – Jaguar XK 120

The post war success of the Jaguar Company was built around the twin overhead cam alloy head iron block XK engine which was in various guises from was in production from 1948 – 1992.

The motor was designed by William ‘Bill’ Heyes and Walter ‘Wally’ Hassan prior to the outbreak of WW2 hostilities, during the period of hostilities Jaguar staff realised the design in between duties as fire watchman over the heavily industrialised city of Coventry which was a major target of German bombing raids.

The XK 120 launched at the London Motor Show in 1948 was the first vehicle designed around a 160 hp 3442 cc / 210 cui version of the XK engine, at the time the XK 120 mph capability made it the worlds fastest production car.

The racing and rallying success of the XK 120 is incalculable including the Daily Express One Hour Race in 1949, Class win at Palm Beach Shores, class win in the Mille Miglia both in 1950 all three with Leslie Johnson at the wheel and a 1,2,3, victory in the 1950 Tourist Trophy. Ian Appleyard took overall wins in the Alpine Rallies of 1950 & ’51 and the first Alpine Rally Gold cup in 1952. An XK 120 driven by Al Keller is also credited with being the only foreign ‘built’ car to win a NASCAR sanctioned event at New Jerseys Linden Airport in 1954 to name but a few.

Leslie Johnson started a three year record breaking spree in 1950 at the 1.58 mile L’autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry outside Paris which features 30 degree banking.

Sharing the driving in 3 hour stints with Stirling Moss for 24 hours they averaged 107.46 mph, covering 2579.16 miles in 1950.

The following year ’51 Johnson drove 131.83 miles in one hour saying afterwards ‘the car felt so good it could have gone on another week’ sowing the seeds for the 1952 attack on the week speed record.

In 1952 a four man team comprising Johnson, Moss, Hadley and Fairman only managed 96 hours at their first attempt at the week record, because a spring broke after 85 hours, Johnson drove with the broken spring for a further 9 straight hours to spare his compatriots any additional risk setting 96 hour, 72 hour and 10,000 mile world and class records all at over 100 mph.

After the spring had been replaced the team then set a full seven day & night record of covering 16, 851.73 miles at an average speed of a staggering 100.31 miles and hour.

The first 242 roadsters, of which the 1949 #267 driven by Roderick Spollon is one, were hand built with aluminium bodies on ash frames, as demand picked up by 1950 pressed steel bodies were used with aluminium bonnet, doors and boot lid. Production of OTS roadsters (no roof) , DHC (convertible) and FHC (steel roof) XK120 variants came to an end in 1954 when the XK 140 was introduced.

Hope you have enjoyed todays 120 MPH edition of ‘Getttin a lil’ psycho on tyres’ and will join me on a safari looking at some big cats in Africa as I continue my quest for new information about events that occurred long ago. Don’t forget to come back now !


In memory of former XK 120 owner Barbara Weaver wife of ARCA and founding SCCA member George Weaver who recently passed away I am posting this photo by Ed Arnaudin of the pits complex at Thompson CT during it’s construction in July 1958.

Barbara, who’s car carried the licence plate ‘SCCA’ and her husband located the Thompson CT site and with financial assistance from Briggs Cunningham the Weavers built and ran the road circuit until 1967, when land could no longer be acquired for the facility to expand.

She was an affirmed motor sport aficionado allegedly falling in love with the Maserati belonging to her husband to be before falling in love with it’s lucky owner.

Amongst many roles in motor sport she played host to Fangio, Shelby, George Constantine, Jackie Cooper and Joan Fontaine, Bob Holbert, Bob Grossman, the entire Cunningham team, Chuck Daigh, Lance Reventlow, and Walter Cronkite.

A full and proper obituary of this wonderfully decidedly hands on character is linked here.

Sincere condolences to Barbara’s family and friends.