Jaguar XJ13: The Engineering Masterpiece That Fell Victim to Rules

A project canceled due to being too powerful for Le Mans.Jaguar's ambition in the 1960s was to reclaim the pinnacle of the podium after winning seven...

Jaguar XJ13: The Engineering Masterpiece That Fell Victim to Rules
Jaguar XJ13: The Engineering Masterpiece That Fell Victim to Rules
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A project canceled due to being too powerful for Le Mans.

Jaguar's ambition in the 1960s was to reclaim the pinnacle of the podium after winning seven races between 1951 and 1957. In pursuit of this dream, a secret team of engineers embarked on the XJ13 project without the knowledge of Sir William Lyon, the founder of the British brand, and had to keep their work hidden.

Due to the secrecy surrounding the project, progress naturally moved at a slow pace. When the work was nearing completion, the rules of Le Mans changed, and the XJ13 dream was shattered. Despite the fact that the maximum engine capacity for race cars was set at 3000 cc, effectively severing the wings of the XJ13 equipped with a 5.0-liter V8 engine, the project was not entirely abandoned.

Realizing that the XJ13 couldn't be taken to the races, Jaguar decided to use this car for promotional and publicity purposes. During a film shoot in 1971, one of the alloy wheels suddenly came off, causing a significant accident, but the driver escaped unhurt. In a subsequent accident, the engine suffered damage due to prolonged overrevving. Lastly, in 2004, during unloading from a truck in Copenhagen, the vehicle violently collided with the curb, resulting in major damage to the engine block in particular.

The fully restored XJ13 was equipped with a 4994 cc V12 engine. This was the first engine produced from scratch by Jaguar since the release of the six-cylinder XK in 1948. The engine, capable of producing 502 horsepower at 7,600 rpm, was paired with a 5-speed ZF transmission.

The chassis of the XJ13 was designed by Derrik White and manufactured by expert Abbey Panels, making it an aluminum monocoque. The layout of the V12 engine was mid-rear, and the suspension was independent on both axles. The body, designed by Malcolm Sayer, was entirely made of aluminum.

22 Nis 2024 - 17:21 - Classic Cars

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