Lot 140: 1989 Jaguar XJ13 Sports Prototype Recreation
This spectacular recreation of Jaguar’s unique and legendary XJ13 sports prototype is the work of Bryan Wingfield, an engineer famous for his Ford GT40 restorations and highly accurate C-Type and D-Type replicas. Constructed in 1965/66, the original XJ13 had been intended to spearhead Jaguar’s return to Le Mans where the Coventry firm had triumphed on five occasions in the 1950s, but development was protracted and by the time it ran for the first time in March 1967, was already outclassed. The solitary XJ13 was mothballed at the factory, re-emerging in 1971 to take part in a filming session at MIRA promoting the new Series III E-Type. Crashed heavily, the result of a wheel collapsing, it was subsequently rebuilt and survives in Jaguar’s collection.
Bryan Wingfield’s XJ13 recreation was originally commissioned by a customer who later pulled out of the deal, leaving Bryan to complete the project on his own account. The intention had been to use a two-cam Jaguar V12 road engine and ZF DS25 transaxle unit, but the opportunity arose to purchase a genuine XJ13 four-cam V12 motor and the car was completed around the latter power unit. This engine does not have the uniquely gear-driven cams of the ‘works’ XJ13 but is one of the proposed production layouts with chain-driven cams. The engine is number ‘8’ out of a proposed ten-unit build but is believed to be the final unit completed, the remaining two being used as spares. During the development programme the inlet port angle was changed to improve combustion, and this engine is believed to be the only one with the ’heads actually cast with the ports at the revised angle, explaining why the injector trumpets are closer together than on the works XJ13.
The engine when received had no induction equipment whatsoever and was fitted with the original twin six-cylinder ignition distributors. The works engine was rebuilt after the crash using the E-Type 12-cylinder Opus ignition with single distributor, and this system has been fitted to the recreation’s. Revised inlet porting and the non-availability of original parts mean that throttle bodies and injector trumpets had to be specially made. A Mk1 Lucas ‘square flange’ metering unit having proved unobtainable, a Mk2 production unit with triangular flange was used. The throttle linkage, while modelled on the original, is unique to this engine.
Originally intended as a road car, the recreation features a body-tub (built by Tennant Panels Ltd) mainly constructed of sheet steel, painted with twin-pack polyurethane paint and then skinned in aluminium. In order not to set up an electrolytic reaction between the aluminium and steel, the joints were bonded with aircraft adhesive and copper rivets used. Jaguar having declined to co-operate in the project by granting access to Abbey Panels’ original body buck, the recreation’s aluminium coachwork was constructed by G P Metalcraft using measurements taken from the original car and scale drawings made from photographs supplied by Jaguar historian Paul Skilleter.
Important Sports & Competition Motor Cars|
Bonhams, Goodwood Revival, Chichester
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