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Walter Hassan of Jaguar, Bentley, Coventry-Climax, ERA etc...


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#1 Nev

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:25

The late Walter Hassan, of course, is known to many as one of the key figures in designing Jaguars 6-cyl and 12-cyl engines.

Did you also know that before he joined Jaguar he worked for WO Bentley & Coventry-Climax, built at least two Brooklands Bentleys for Woolf Barnato and also worked on one of John Cobb's LSR cars as well as an ERA? A man of many talents it seems!

Perhaps the above is already known to you but I was so impressed by his ''CV'' that I took a little time to research his story - I have posted the results on my personal blog Jaguar XJ13 - Building the Legend for anyone interested.

I would also welcome any additional information you may have on Hassan as, although I know a little about Jaguars, what I know about Bentleys can probably be written on the crown of a BRM V16 piston ... :blush:

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#2 berkeleybill

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:40

A good read would be ' Climax In Coventry ' ,I read It many years ago and If I remember correctly It covers Walter Hassan's period there and mmuch before !

#3 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 17:42

Well, his autobiography was called "Climax in Coventry" ... :wave: Still in print and generally available for about £20.

There's also a 16-page A4 pamphlet called "The Walter Hassan Scrapbook", published some years ago by Coventry Motor Museum. Quite rare, I believe.

#4 Nev

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 18:08

Well, his autobiography was called "Climax in Coventry" ... :wave: Still in print and generally available for about £20.

There's also a 16-page A4 pamphlet called "The Walter Hassan Scrapbook", published some years ago by Coventry Motor Museum. Quite rare, I believe.


Thanks so much! Found the book on Amazon - its on its way ....


#5 Ray Bell

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 22:36

I'm told that he copied the major 'architectural' dimensions of the original 3.4 Jaguar engine from the Wolseley 25hp engine of the late thirties...

That would be bore, stroke, rod length, deck height and so on. And I think it's popularly known that the drawings for that engine were done during the war, ready for production when things settled down a bit.

#6 Vitesse2

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Posted 19 November 2010 - 23:24

And I think it's popularly known that the drawings for that engine were done during the war, ready for production when things settled down a bit.

Yep - while they were firewatching in case of air raids.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 00:03

And so was born a legendary engine that's been admired for half a century...

But today, surely, it can be seen as being out of date from perhaps about the late fifties? Long stroke, heavy iron block, only heavy development enabled it to remain competitive with more modern stuff. And in touring car racing, perhaps the fact that it was in a unique capacity range until the 260 Fords came along?

#8 cooper997

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 03:00

Classic & Sports Car magazine published a feature article on Walter in their March 1994 issue. An obituary for him appeared in their September 1996 issue

Stephen

#9 Nev

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 20:06

I came across a fascinating video interview of the late Wally Hassan O.B.E.

Walter Hassan

It may take a few seconds to load. Please excuse its quality.

He comes across as a modest gentleman. It made me smile to hear his description of what the initials "O.B.E." really stand for - "Other Bug**er's Efforts" :)

#10 Ray Bell

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Posted 20 November 2010 - 21:49

Like Wolseley's?

I rest my case. Not that I ever made a case, of course...

#11 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 15:02

I came across a fascinating video interview of the late Wally Hassan O.B.E.

Walter Hassan

It may take a few seconds to load. Please excuse its quality.

He comes across as a modest gentleman. It made me smile to hear his description of what the initials "O.B.E." really stand for - "Other Bug**er's Efforts" :)

Thanks for that. Gripping stuff that kept me listening although I had things to do and really hadn't time.

#12 RStock

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 17:30

Did you also know that before he joined Jaguar he worked for WO Bentley & Coventry-Climax, built at least two Brooklands Bentleys for Woolf Barnato and also worked on one of John Cobb's LSR cars as well as an ERA? A man of many talents it seems!


Do some research about Brooklands and you'll see the late Wally Hassan's name a lot. The Barnato-Hassans were always my favorite (there's a great photo at the Brooklands Archives of Dudley Froy at speed) but he built other "Bently Specials", the Pacey-Hassan and Jackson-Bently Special that I know of. He also was instrumental in the development of the ERA. Hassan is one of those fellows who perhaps doesn't get the recognition and acknowledgment he deserves, I feel.

#13 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 17:53

I'm told that he copied the major 'architectural' dimensions of the original 3.4 Jaguar engine from the Wolseley 25hp engine of the late thirties...

That would be bore, stroke, rod length, deck height and so on. And I think it's popularly known that the drawings for that engine were done during the war, ready for production when things settled down a bit.

By whom were you told?

Was the Wolseley not similar, except for the badge, to the contemporary Morris? Was there any connection between the engine in these cars and that in the pre-war SS Jaguar?


#14 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 18:46

Was the Wolseley not similar, except for the badge, to the contemporary Morris? Was there any connection between the engine in these cars and that in the pre-war SS Jaguar?

SS engines were Standard, not Morris.
Nice point in that linked interview about how Lyons wanted the engine that became the XK to "look like a Grand Prix engine" - i.e. twin cam, although Hassan said they could get the power required with a push-rod engine - as they more or less had with the SS100 in 3½ litre form.

#15 Roger Clark

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 19:28

SS engines were Standard, not Morris.

I know that but I didn't think Standard produced anything as large as the 3.5-litres of the SS100. I wondered whether this might have been the source of the XK/Wolseley link of which I hadn't previously heard.

#16 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 19:51

I know that but I didn't think Standard produced anything as large as the 3.5-litres of the SS100. I wondered whether this might have been the source of the XK/Wolseley link of which I hadn't previously heard.

Weren't the 3.5s developed by Standard, even though they only ever used the smaller 2.7 version themselves? There was also the ERA road car project, which was going to be a 4 litre, again using the Standard engine - until Bill Lyons scuppered it ...

#17 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 21:35

Originally posted by Roger Clark
I know that but I didn't think Standard produced anything as large as the 3.5-litres of the SS100. I wondered whether this might have been the source of the XK/Wolseley link of which I hadn't previously heard.


To answer your earlier question, and to take the doubters off my tail, Roger...

The story I heard about the Wolseley 25hp engine, which was indeed based on or morphed out of a Morris engine, which came in both ohv and side-valve form I believe, came from the owner of one or three of these engines. Knowing the gentleman, I doubt that he would have said it without some foundation, and it would be quite easy to check the basic figures, the bore and stroke.

No, it had nothing to do with the Standard engine. The Wolseley 25hp had, I'm told prodigious power. One was used in a very hefty Special which was entered for the Australian Grand Prix at Leyburn in 1949, it was driven to the event by Bill Kelly and then he was the riding mechanic in the car as it was driven in practice. It never ran in the race.

The car featured (?) an Armstrong Siddeley chassis, with the rear cut and inverted to undersling it. A Chevrolet front axle and brakes (giving, I'm told, awful results) and a Dodge rear axle, and mounted in the middle of it all was a Vauxhall 30/98 gearbox. So you can tell from all of this that it was a huge car. The twin SU carburettors were also very close to the bonnet sides and therefore tended to suck the bodywork into themselves.

Despite all of this, Bill recounted to me how he looked behind them as they entered one of the one-mile straights at Leyburn and Frank Kleinig's potent Hudson 8 Special came onto the straight behind them. It didn't pass them, however, until they reached the braking area!

At the time I also spoke to an owner of one of these cars in Melbourne, who told me that it would 'stay with a 179 Holden to 60mph' despite being a limousine that weighed 'tons'.

The real proof, however, is the vacant eighth spot on the grid for that AGP in 1949. Pike withdrew after practice because the brand new car's bodywork was becoming too badly damaged by the flying stones of the airstrip, only the fastest cars there eclipsed Pike's lap times in what was a cumbersome, ill-handling beast that only had horsepower in its favour.

#18 Tim Murray

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 22:11

... and it would be quite easy to check the basic figures, the bore and stroke.

The Wolseley 25hp engine had dimensions of 82 x 110 mm, giving 3485 cc. The original XK engine had dimensions of 83 x 106 mm (3442 cc) but these dimensions were not the same as the earlier prototypes. The first dohc engine was the XF (4 cyl, 66.5 x 98 mm, 1362 cc). Then came the XJ in 4 cyl (80.5 x 98 mm, 1995 cc) and 6 cyl (83 x 98 mm, 3181 cc) form. To improve the low-speed torque the stroke was then increased to 106 mm.




#19 Ray Bell

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 22:44

Hmmm...

I wonder about deck height, rod length and so on, then? Maybe it was an old wives' tale.

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#20 Allan Lupton

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 23:10

Weren't the 3.5s developed by Standard, even though they only ever used the smaller 2.7 version themselves? There was also the ERA road car project, which was going to be a 4 litre, again using the Standard engine - until Bill Lyons scuppered it ...

The engines for SS were made by Standard, although they were rather different from those they used themselves being OHV. The 2½ (2664cc) SS must have had its origins in the Standard 20 and I seem to remember the 3½ was developed from that for SS. (73 × 106 and 82 × 110 respectively)
The Raymond Mays car used the 2.6 litre V8 Standard; not sure if that was to be marketed as an ERA.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 21 November 2010 - 23:11.


#21 Vitesse2

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 23:22

The Raymond Mays car used the 2.6 litre V8 Standard; not sure if that was to be marketed as an ERA.

No, different animal, Allan. ERA wanted to build a sports car to gain some much-needed revenue: target market was Lagonda and to a lesser extent Bentley. This was actually the primary reason Tom Murray Jamieson had been re-hired, but shortly after Tom's death the project had to be abandoned when Bill Lyons wrote to Sir John Black saying that he would consider Standard to be in breach of their contracts with SS if they supplied ERA. Looking at it realistically, Standard probably couldn't afford to lose the SS business, but the ERA was an unknown quantity. Although we can probably guess how it would have turned out ... :well:

#22 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 01:11

Interesting that the SS 3½ engine had the same dimensions as the Wolseley 25hp. I wonder if Ray's informant might have got his engines confused.

#23 Ray Bell

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 02:39

That could well be the case...

The specs for the SS engine could have been derived from the Wolseley at Jaguar's request.

#24 Allan Lupton

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 08:21

Interesting that the SS 3½ engine had the same dimensions as the Wolseley 25hp. I wonder if Ray's informant might have got his engines confused.

Never read too much into coincidences of bore and stroke. Bores were often aimed at the RAC horsepower calculation on which road tax depended, so many unrelated engines would have the same - and received wisdom about ideal bore:stroke ratio did the rest, e.g. all those 11.9hp 1½ litre engines with 69 × 100 (=1496cc)
As I wrote, the Standard 20 was the basis for the 2½ litre SS at 73 × 106 which gave 19.824 h.p. (i.e. just under 20 for tax) and a S:B ratio of 1.452 (the same as that 69 × 100!).
The 3½ SS works out as a gnat's over 25hp at 82mm but may have been 3 7/32" in fact (81.76mm) to get it under 25hp with a round figure of 82mm quoted.
Edited to say that last speculation is wrong! Piston dimensions for the 3½ litre post-war engine are 3.2245-3.2256 at the bottom of the skirt, although less further up, so it wouldn't have gone into a 3 7/32" (3.21875") bore.

Edited by Allan Lupton, 22 November 2010 - 08:26.


#25 Dutchy

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 13:49

I have been led to believe the Lagonda Rapier engine was influencial in the design of the XK. At 62.5 x 90 mm there is no obvious correlation but it is a known modification to fit Jaguar XK conrods which have the same (2") journal size and are of the same length.
Certainly there are obvious similarities - chain driven dohc for example - also the engines were manufactured by Coventry Climax to Ashcroft's design.

Edited by Dutchy, 22 November 2010 - 13:50.


#26 RStock

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Posted 22 November 2010 - 20:12

The first dohc engine was the XF (4 cyl, 66.5 x 98 mm, 1362 cc). Then came the XJ in 4 cyl (80.5 x 98 mm, 1995 cc) and 6 cyl (83 x 98 mm, 3181 cc) form. To improve the low-speed torque the stroke was then increased to 106 mm.


Wasn't there a stillborn V-8 project also?

#27 Nev

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 08:39

Wasn't there a stillborn V-8 project also?


Yes - but with a difference. The prototype V8 engines were assembled and run around 1964 but were simply V12 blocks with throws removed from the crankshaft so that four of the cylinders weren't used. At least one of these blocks survived as an empty shell (although I don't know of its current whereabouts). It was part of Walter Hill's collection and was sold after his death - here's a picture of a "V8" block dressed up as a V12.

Posted Image

Walter Hassan makes reference to these engines which were tested at the same time as the quad-cam V12s. The "V8" blocks came from the same castings as the V12 blocks.

Some of the original V8 testing data survives in the JDHT archive and they were kind enough to let me see the records. I have to be completely honest and say that the logic of testing a V8 in this way completely escapes me. However, it was possible that Hassan/Baily/Mundy did this simply to compare the "smoothness" of the unit against the V12? Any thoughts?


#28 Ray Bell

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 10:04

Or to save on casting heads?

Really strange, the crank would have to be... well, what would it have to be? It must have been a 60° vee, surely?

#29 Nev

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 14:16

Or to save on casting heads?

Really strange, the crank would have to be... well, what would it have to be? It must have been a 60° vee, surely?


Yes - must have been 60 degrees. I can't really see the logic but perhaps I am missing something?

#30 RStock

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 20:10

Yes - but with a difference. The prototype V8 engines were assembled and run around 1964 but were simply V12 blocks with throws removed from the crankshaft so that four of the cylinders weren't used. At least one of these blocks survived as an empty shell (although I don't know of its current whereabouts). It was part of Walter Hill's collection and was sold after his death - here's a picture of a "V8" block dressed up as a V12.

Posted Image

Walter Hassan makes reference to these engines which were tested at the same time as the quad-cam V12s. The "V8" blocks came from the same castings as the V12 blocks.

Some of the original V8 testing data survives in the JDHT archive and they were kind enough to let me see the records. I have to be completely honest and say that the logic of testing a V8 in this way completely escapes me. However, it was possible that Hassan/Baily/Mundy did this simply to compare the "smoothness" of the unit against the V12? Any thoughts?


I don't doubt what you say, mind you but I believe the V-8 I refered to was a different, later project. I could recall having read about it but wasn't sure, only remembering because a Jaguar with a V-8 at that time stuck with me. So I did a google search to see if I could find the stories where I read this and here are the two excerpts where this is mentioned.

Rivers Fletcher speaking from a 1996 obit on Wally Hassan - When I was racing a Jaguar-engined special and Hassan took me to an event in his XJ saloon, I noticed the great acceleration of that car. Hassan said: "It is not what you think," and then showed me the engine, which was a new Jaguar V8 unit. Hassan said: "I really like working for Jaguar because their organisation is so good that they can make any engine just as an experiment," and in fact no V8 Jaguar engine was ever produced.


That would have to be late 60's? At earliest 1968 if it were an XJ?

From the Jag Lovers website (The XJ story) - It had originally been Sir William's hope that the new saloon car would from the start be fitted with the new V12 engine which was being developed by the team of Wally Hassan, Claude Baily and Harry Mundy. However the V12 was delayed (and would make its debut in the E-type in early 1971), and a V8 derived from the design was still-born.


There seems to have been an actual V-8 block produced but perhaps the V-8/V-16 was what Hassan meant when he said "It's not what it seems." Again, I'm not doubting, just confused and asking. Could this have been a Daimler V-8?

#31 Robin Fairservice

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 21:13

Try this site for a Military Jaguar 9 litre V8!

http://www.jagweb.co...performance.php

#32 Allan Lupton

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Posted 23 November 2010 - 23:19

I don't doubt what you say, mind you but I believe the V-8 I refered to was a different, later project. I could recall having read about it but wasn't sure, only remembering because a Jaguar with a V-8 at that time stuck with me. So I did a google search to see if I could find the stories where I read this and here are the two excerpts where this is mentioned.



That would have to be late 60's? At earliest 1968 if it were an XJ?



There seems to have been an actual V-8 block produced but perhaps the V-8/V-16 was what Hassan meant when he said "It's not what it seems." Again, I'm not doubting, just confused and asking. Could this have been a Daimler V-8?

I remember stories of a V-8 engine for the Jaguar XJ-6 being under development around 1970. One of my colleagues was going to buy one when they appeared, but they didn't. We speculated that it would be the Daimler 4½ litre (Majestic Major) engine but rumour had it that there was a new engine in development. Might still have been based on the Daimler of course.

#33 Nev

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 08:55

I remember stories of a V-8 engine for the Jaguar XJ-6 being under development around 1970. One of my colleagues was going to buy one when they appeared, but they didn't. We speculated that it would be the Daimler 4½ litre (Majestic Major) engine but rumour had it that there was a new engine in development. Might still have been based on the Daimler of course.


I believe it is entirely possible (and likely) that Jaguar were looking at V8 options in the 1970s. I haven't been able to uncover any actual documentary evidence yet (I tend to be very wary of "google/internet evidence") but that isn't to say it doesn't exist - just that I haven't been able to delve that far yet.

The reason I am so mistrusting of info found on the web is that, in my own particular project, there is so much conflicting and innacurate info about on the web. I prefer to see something in "black and white" which can be cross-referenced against so-called "eyewitness accounts". After all, the events we talk about happened many years ago and individual's memories can sometimes become hazy. There are also individuals/groups who have a vested interest in keeping certain facts hidden. The XJ13 is a good case in point - the Legendary Norman Dewis is 90 this year and this wonderful gentleman's memory may account for many inconsistencies that have been woven into the XJ13 story and have become "facts". Also the JDHT themselves don't wish any facts to be known that could reflect adversely on the car - for example, the fact that the car was not fitted with an engine capable of attaining its published 502 bhp - indeed, it only achieved a maximum of 445 bhp @ 7000 rpm in 1966. The higher power figures were only achieved on later engines (my own included). They claim the two engines installed in the XJ13 were the only "competition-spec" engines - the reverse is true. Also, the fact that the rebuilt car is very different to the original is something they would rather remained a secret. However, the JDHT's approach is perhaps understandable bearing in mind their desire to maintain the "mythical status" and "uniqueness" of the XJ13.

For your interest, here are the performance figures for the XJ13 from a document dated 20th April 1966 issued by George Buck. The figures are for the engine fitted in the XJ13 after an extended period of testing on the test-bed to optimise performance.

RPM BHP BMEP TORQUE

4000 259.5 168.0 340.0
4500 282.2 162.8 330.0
5500 373.5 176.0 359.0
6000 382.5 165.5 335.0
6500 420.0 167.8 340.0
7000 445.0 165.2 334.5
7500 430.0 148.5 300.5



#34 Nev

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 12:20

A bit more about Jaguar's V8 - from "Climax in Coventry" by Walter Hassan & Graham Hobson

In Hassan's own words in 1975 ...

"At the time it was intended to make the Jaguar V-12 the start of a whole new family of engines, and I don't think it is breaking any confidences now to say there could have been a V-8 version on sale if it had measured up to Sir William's exacting standards. There isnt a V-8 XJ saloon, of course, though more than one V-8 prototype was built. Because it was intended to use much of the common V-12 tooling, the V-8 engine had only a 60-degree angle between cylinder banks, and while we all hoped this would prove satisfactory it was a disappointment to us all. Engineers know that V-8s should have 90 degrees between the banks, but we had hoped for the unpleasant secondary vibrations involved in a 60-degree design could be suppressed by clever engine mounting. But this proved not to be possible and, as with the four-cylinder XK engine of the 1940s, there were unpleasant vibrations in the structure, felt also through the gear lever, which we could not tame. There are other possibilities and permutations in the basic V-12 theme, but in view of the somewhat changed world economic environment I doubt if Jaguar will bother to exploit them, at least for some time to come."

Hassan wrote the above in 1975.

It does confirm that the first Jaguar V-8 prototypes were based on the V-12 design and that, until 1975 at least, there were no other V-8 prototypes at Jaguar.


#35 RStock

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 20:09

I believe it is entirely possible (and likely) that Jaguar were looking at V8 options in the 1970s. I haven't been able to uncover any actual documentary evidence yet (I tend to be very wary of "google/internet evidence") but that isn't to say it doesn't exist - just that I haven't been able to delve that far yet.

The reason I am so mistrusting of info found on the web is that, in my own particular project, there is so much conflicting and innacurate info about on the web. I prefer to see something in "black and white" which can be cross-referenced against so-called "eyewitness accounts". After all, the events we talk about happened many years ago and individual's memories can sometimes become hazy. There are also individuals/groups who have a vested interest in keeping certain facts hidden.


Now there's a smart lad. That is also why I didn't take the statements I quoted at face value and raised the questions. The words by Rivers Fletcher (I meant to link the site but forgot and will have to try and find them again) were included in a story that seemed to have conflicting info, such as, reading it you would think the V-8 he was refering to was in probably the 1950's but as it was said to be in an XJ that couldn't possilbly be. I think it was due to being poorly worded that factual error though.

#36 RStock

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Posted 24 November 2010 - 20:27

A bit more about Jaguar's V8 - from "Climax in Coventry" by Walter Hassan & Graham Hobson

In Hassan's own words in 1975 ...

"At the time it was intended to make the Jaguar V-12 the start of a whole new family of engines, and I don't think it is breaking any confidences now to say there could have been a V-8 version on sale if it had measured up to Sir William's exacting standards. There isnt a V-8 XJ saloon, of course, though more than one V-8 prototype was built. Because it was intended to use much of the common V-12 tooling, the V-8 engine had only a 60-degree angle between cylinder banks, and while we all hoped this would prove satisfactory it was a disappointment to us all. Engineers know that V-8s should have 90 degrees between the banks, but we had hoped for the unpleasant secondary vibrations involved in a 60-degree design could be suppressed by clever engine mounting. But this proved not to be possible and, as with the four-cylinder XK engine of the 1940s, there were unpleasant vibrations in the structure, felt also through the gear lever, which we could not tame. There are other possibilities and permutations in the basic V-12 theme, but in view of the somewhat changed world economic environment I doubt if Jaguar will bother to exploit them, at least for some time to come."

Hassan wrote the above in 1975.

It does confirm that the first Jaguar V-8 prototypes were based on the V-12 design and that, until 1975 at least, there were no other V-8 prototypes at Jaguar.


Yes, I think the mystery (to me anyway) is whether or not there were actual V-8's developed by Jaguar and not just a Daimler installed, or if this was the V8/V12 that you refered to earlier. Hassan seems to indicated there could have been an independant effort in the above story, but it could just as easily indicate there wasn't. :confused:

However, the timeline seems to be between 1968 and 1975, I'd say, which is much later that the 1964 experiments you mentioned earlier. That's based on what could be faulty info from Rivers Fletcher though, with Fletcher saying the car was an XJ. I suppose that could be a typo, perhaps Fletcher said XK? That would be more in line with the early '60's V8/V12. But he did say the car was a saloon which doesn't match either as I believe none were saloons? :confused:

I think I need to quit while I'm behind.

#37 Vitesse2

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 18:20

No, different animal, Allan. ERA wanted to build a sports car to gain some much-needed revenue: target market was Lagonda and to a lesser extent Bentley. This was actually the primary reason Tom Murray Jamieson had been re-hired, but shortly after Tom's death the project had to be abandoned when Bill Lyons wrote to Sir John Black saying that he would consider Standard to be in breach of their contracts with SS if they supplied ERA. Looking at it realistically, Standard probably couldn't afford to lose the SS business, but the ERA was an unknown quantity. Although we can probably guess how it would have turned out ... :well:

Amazing what you find when you're not looking! The 4 litre ERA sports car engine is briefly described in a letter from Harry Mundy on page 497 of the December 1941 issue of Motor Sport. The previous month the magazine had reported that this engine and lots of spares - plus a "completely hush-hush 5 litre Grand Prix ERA engine" - had been purchased by an un-named enthusiast in a cycle shop in Nottingham.

According to Mundy, only one example of the 4 litre engine was built and this was by no means in a "ready to run" condition when the project was abandoned - he mentions porting problems and possible high oil temperatures - and there was no gearbox casing, even though its purchaser claimed to have one.

The "hush-hush 5 litre Grand Prix ERA engine" turned out to be an experimental 1932 unit based on the Vauxhall-Villiers, considered by Mundy to be obsolete. Those who really know their 30s history will no doubt recall that Raymond Mays was making noises about a team of 5 litre GP cars at about this time: according to Munday the engine was never finished and still lacked many parts. All designs for it had been destroyed and Mays had turned to the White Riley project instead.

Presumably these were left behind as "not wanted on voyage" at Bourne when ERA moved to Donington and Mays then sold them off?

edit: Rivers Fletcher wrote in to say that as far as he was aware these engines had gone to Donington, so presumably they must have been disposed of when the Army took over the track.

Edited by Vitesse2, 27 November 2010 - 19:43.