Gallery: Nine of the Greatest Jaguar Race Cars Ever Built
By Winding Road Staff
May 06, 2014
Our friends at Motorsport Retro
brings us this gallery of the most legendary Jags built to attack a road course. A decade ago, Jaguar decided to bow out of the F1 series, exiting worldwide motorsport indefinitely. Regardless, Jaguar's 50-year racing history still stands, and it includes some of the most incredible racing machines each era of competition had to offer. While Jaguar might be more well known for their road-going sportscars, racing icons like the XJR-9 and D-Type still hold special places within the hearts of motorsport fans worldwide. Here's a look at some of the most notable racing Jags ever to grace the race track.
Driven by Sir Stirling Moss, the Jaguar C-Type took the win at the 24 hours of Le Mans on its first attempt in 1951. It was later redeveloped following reliability issues, and when on to take first place in 1953 as well.
This car didn’t find its way up on the podium as often as Jaguar might have liked, but the fact that Jaguar even built and raced fantastic-looking Formula 1 machines from 2000 to 2004 was notable enough in itself.
Former Jaguar World Sportscar Championship-winning squad Tom Walkinshaw Racing were commissioned to turn the XJ220 road car - one of the fastest production road cars on sale in the early 1990s - into a Le Mans winner. The car went on to win its class in the French endurance classic in 1993 only to have that win revoked by a technicality.
Jaguar E-Type Lightweight
The road-going Jaguar E-Type is one of the most universally loved sports cars has ever built. Once described by Enzo Ferrari as the most beautiful automobile ever made, its elegant, slippery shape is truly timeless. The race-prepped E-Type Lightweight, of which just a dozen complete examples were built, will always be a favorite among historic race fans.
The XJR-12 earned its place on the list by winning the 1990 24 Hours of Le Mans, its seventh and final victory at La Sarthe. The TWR-built Group C monster packed a 7-litre V12 and carried the team of Briton Martin Brundle, Price Cobb and John Nielsen to a famous win over the sister car of Franz Konrad, Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace.
The Jaguar MK2 was a very popular and successful racing saloon all around the world in the late 1950s and early ’60s. The car pictured above carried Bob Jane to consecutive Australian Touring Car Championship titles in 1962 and ’63, first with a 3.8-liter motor and then a larger 4.1-liter unit.
Tom Walkinshaw’s XJ-S Jaguars, entered under the Jaguar Racing Australia banner, starred in the 1985 James Hardie 1000, a race now known as the Bathurst 1000. Lead drivers John Goss and Armin Hahne took first place on Walkinshaw’s behalf, but the boss himself wasn’t far behind himself, finishing third with Win Percy.
With three consecutive Le Mans 24 hour wins between 1955 and 1957 – one for the factory squad and two for the privateer Ecurie Ecosse team –the Jaguar D-Type is truly one of the most significant racing cars ever built.
The Jaguar XJR-9LM finally brought Jag back to the winner’s circle at Le Mans after a drought that lasted more than three decades. The Tom Walkinshaw Racing-built machine, powered by the thunderous 7-liter V12, ended seven years of dominance by Porsche when Johnny Dumfries, Jan Lammers and Andy Wallace took the win on June 12, 1988.