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Jaguar E2A: unique and too original to race?


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#1 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 22:51

I see from 'Classic & Sports Car' that E2A, the last all-Jaguar competition car and 'missing link' between racing D and road-going E type, is to be raced at Goodwood in September. For those who don't know the story – or appreciate the significance of the car – E2A was designed as a competition car that would be used to test the production independent rear suspension. It was run in Cunningham colours as a quasi private entrant car at Le Mans in 1960, where it suffered engine problems and was retired after 89 laps. After that, it was lightly modified for a short and generally undistinguished racing career in the USA, where it was increasingly outclassed by the new generation of dedicated and ultimately rear-engined sports racers. It was then returned to the factory, where it was little used for many years.

E1A, the other E Type progenitor was scrapped, and E2A – also hand-built one-off – very nearly went the same way. It was saved by ex-Jaguar apprentice Roger Woodley, acting for Guy Griffiths. After years of being run more or less as it ended up, and only seen on track for demonstrations, it was sold at auction in 2008. The new owner – who it is, I don't know – has had a 'sympathetic restoration' done and has already raced it at this years Le Mans Classic.

This car is a vital link in the evolution of both the E Type and the IRS used on Jaguar cars from Mk IX to XJS and beyond. It has never been stuffed, never mind miraculously recreated from a subframe, like one or two other machines out there. I love historic racing, but feel different about this car. Would anybody else join me in urging the owner to reconsider?



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#2 D-Type

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 23:19

The car is unique and original. Given the scant regard that some Goodwood racers show for the irreplaceable cars they are racing, it shouldn't be risked. To quote or paraphrase Doug Nye: "Once lost, originality can never be replaced"

#3 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 23:21

Lots of good stuff on E2A in this earlier thread:

1960 Le Mans fastest lap/fastest qualifier

It does seem a shame to put such a unique motor car at risk.

#4 Tim Murray

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Posted 22 August 2010 - 23:51

TNFer Wouter Melissen has an article on E2A, and photos of it at this year's Le Mans Classic, on his Ultimate Car Page site:

http://www.ultimatec...Jaguar-E2A.html

#5 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 01:37

The only compelling reason I can see for this car not to be raced, arguments about low driving standards in historic racing aside, is that it would appear that Jaguar only sold the car to the Griffiths family on condition that it was never to be raced, if that condition is documented anywhere on works headed paper then the value of E2A will presumably drop like a stone should E2A indeed be classified as a weapons grade racer in the hands of it's new owner.

#6 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 14:55

If I understood the link in Tim's post #4 correctly then E2A has already raced at Le Mans thus braking the Griffiths family promise not to race the car, presumably the market value has been adjusted accordingly ?

Edited by arttidesco, 23 August 2010 - 16:41.


#7 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 15:03

And note especially the cockpit shot on the Melissen pages: this car is a near-perfect 'time capsule'. I think it is bonkers to race it!

#8 Pullman99

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 15:29

I think it is bonkers to race it!


Hear Hear! Leaving issues of conservation and the modifications required for present competition use aside, the argument that "it's only original once" may be applied. I first saw this car, when owned by Guy Griffiths, at the 50th anniversary of "Jaguar" exhibition in 1972 at the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in Coventry. I had only seen it in pics prior to that. I was surprised that the JDHT or Coventry Transport Museum didn't seek to purchase the car when it came up for sale although funding could or would have been a major issue. Either way, E2A is a national treasure and, without knowing the intent of its current guardian, I do hope that the car's continued use is sympathetic to its long-term preservation but I can't help thinking that such originality may already have been compromised.


#9 David Birchall

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 15:31

I wonder if Doug Nye can by dragged into this conversation?
Or would it be too much of a conflict?

#10 Pullman99

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 16:14

Some of you will also recall that the Mercedes W196 which was presented, I believe, to Beaulieu for display in the museum, was sold by Lord Montagu a few years ago


Hi Alan. :wave: I believe that this was one of the most controversial sales ever undertaken by a UK transport museum. The car was donated by Daimler-Benz to The National Motor Musuem Trust prior to the original opening of the National Motor Museum in 1972. I think that the car sold may also have been the second one to be displayed and that the one ultimately disposed of may have been the Moss Aintree winner (will stand correctd on that, obvioulsy). This all occurred at a time when the museum was very short of funds and it probably represented the only way of meeting those immediate and future needs through selling an individual vehicle. Although an important car, it did not exactly conform to the museum's stated collecting policy of "Motoring on the roads of Great Britain". As a gift - and I think that the handover featured SM personally - it was for the NMMT to dispose of it as they saw fit.

Am I correct in saying that it went to first to Joel Finn in the United States and then subsequently to a French industrialist? I believe that figues of around $24 Million were bandied about for its latter sale value. In any event, I don't think that the NMMT benefitted to anything like that amount for the original sale. No doubt, disposing of this asset a few years later would have resulted in a far higher figure but I think that the pressure was on to proceed at that time. Quite what Daimler-Benz thought about the whole thing I don't think has been disclosed but I am certain that the museum would have cleared their intentions with a company that had demonstrated support for the museum originally when other - UK based - elements of the motor industry did not.

But, it was original and I personally saw it being driven on more than one occasion by the musuem's original Chief Engineer, Louis Giron.

Edited by Pullman99, 24 August 2010 - 10:26.


#11 john ruston

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 16:29

If the owner of the Jag wants to race it what's the problem?
He owns it,it's his decision.

#12 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 16:46

If the owner of the Jag wants to race it what's the problem?
He owns it,it's his decision.


Quite right too, but no reason for the masses in the peanut gallery not to express an opinion on it :wave:

#13 Pullman99

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:00

If the owner of the Jag wants to race it what's the problem? He owns it,it's his decision.


Absolutely. But I concur with Artidesco's view that it is also quite in order to allow comment from those on this Forum who share the view that there is a very fine line between preservation of originality and its loss through trying to make an object - through having to conform to prevailing regulations - into something less than it was.

Whilst the loss of an ex-Riccardo Rosset Footwork might not be a supreme tragedy, the potential loss - or damage of any kind - of E2A would be just that.

Apologies to any Riccardo Rosset fans out there!



#14 Alan Cox

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:08

Thanks for elaborating on the W196 sale, Ian. Sorry to introduce it, being a little OT.

#15 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:12

Whilst the loss of an ex-Riccardo Rosset Footwork might not be a supreme tragedy, the potential loss - or damage of any kind - of E2A would be just that.

Apologies to any Riccardo Rosset fans out there!


We have enough gear stick knob specials as it is, would seem to be the view of most of us here on TNF, including XKD 558 mentioned elsewhere in TNF in the last couple of days, why ruin a rare car with an important works history when you can go and build a new one around any old burnt rusty lump of metal pulled out of a landfill site and claim it's yet another version of XKD 558 ?

Alas I fear in the case of E2A the damage is now already done.

#16 David McKinney

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:14

It might surprise you to learn that valuable cars are raced quite regularly, and 99% of them go home at the end of the weekend with no damage

#17 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:52

It might surprise you to learn that valuable cars are raced quite regularly, and 99% of them go home at the end of the weekend with no damage


It does not surprise me that 99 percent of historically significant race vehicles go home without 'further damage' David, but I was thinking in terms of 'damage' to race prepare E2A to make her fit for track use presumably multipoint safety harness, extinguisher, extinguisher button, roll hoop ?, ignition cut out switch, change and or up rating suspension ? up rated disc brakes ? up rated brake hydraulics at least the hoses ? and such like, none of these things would have been fitted last time E2A was used by the factory or when handed over to the Griffiths family with a promise that E2A would not be raced again - a promise broken by someone who could easily have afforded to have had a new chassis knocked up out of a few historic D-Type remnants for a fraction of the price he paid for E2A.

Edited by arttidesco, 23 August 2010 - 17:53.


#18 Pullman99

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 17:57

Thanks for elaborating on the W196 sale, Ian. Sorry to introduce it, being a little OT.


There are parallels between the two. I have lifted my post onto an earlier thread dealing with M-B queries and which gives further information on the W196 (Chassis 006).

Artidesco's most recent post perfectly sums up this dilemma!


#19 Tim Murray

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 18:27

If I understood the link in Tim's post #4 correctly then E2A has already raced at Le Mans thus braking the Griffiths family promise not to race the car ...

Yes, definitely (see below)

It does not surprise me that 99 percent of historically significant race vehicles go home without 'further damage' David, but I was thinking in terms of 'damage' to race prepare E2A to make her fit for track use presumably multipoint safety harness, extinguisher, extinguisher button, roll hoop ?, ignition cut out switch, change and or up rating suspension ? up rated disc brakes ? up rated brake hydraulics at least the hoses ? and such like, none of these things would have been fitted last time E2A was used by the factory or when handed over to the Griffiths family with a promise that E2A would not be raced again - a promise broken by someone who could easily have afforded to have had a new chassis knocked up out of a few historic D-Type remnants for a fraction of the price he paid for E2A.

Here's a link to a thread on the Retro Rides forum which features posts from someone involved with the running of E2A at this year's Le Mans Classic. The engine has been replaced in the interest of reliability - who knows what else has been changed.

http://retrorides.pr...mp;thread=85537

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#20 RA Historian

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 19:48

It does not surprise me that 99 percent of historically significant race vehicles go home without 'further damage' David, but I was thinking in terms of 'damage' to race prepare E2A to make her fit for track use presumably multipoint safety harness, extinguisher, extinguisher button, roll hoop ?, ignition cut out switch, change and or up rating suspension ? up rated disc brakes ? up rated brake hydraulics at least the hoses ? and such like, none of these things would have been fitted last time E2A was used by the factory or when handed over to the Griffiths family with a promise that E2A would not be raced again - a promise broken by someone who could easily have afforded to have had a new chassis knocked up out of a few historic D-Type remnants for a fraction of the price he paid for E2A.

What an excellent point! An historically significant race car does not have to be crashed to be altered from the original. The mere fact of race preparation, as stated so well by Arttidesco, has removed that car from the "in period" status that it had prior to prep.

Thanks for that post!

Tom

#21 Paul Parker

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 19:49

[quote name='Tim Murray' date='Aug 23 2010, 19:27' post='4550863']
Yes, definitely (see below)


Here's a link to a thread on the Retro Rides forum which features posts from someone involved with the running of E2A at this year's Le Mans Classic. The engine has been replaced in the interest of reliability - who knows what else has been changed.

http://retrorides.pr...mp;thread=85537
[/quote

The original totally unique all alloy 85 x 88mm 3 litre fuel injection engine was taken out of the car by Briggs Cunningham post Le Mans 1960 and replaced by a typical period iron block 3.8 35/40 wide angle head motor (which featured the prototype block for the later lightweight E type, albeit in cast iron) for its brief American campaign. BOTH THESE PERIOD ENGINES ARE RETAINED BY THE OWNER. Following Goodwood the Cunningham 3.8 unit will be reinstated.

Therefore it now has an iron block 3.8 35/40 wide angle motor (but not a hotrod version) similar to the one fitted by Cunningham post Le Mans 1960. As for what else has been changed the answer is virtually nothing, it even has the original front shock absorbers which of course have been refurbished for obvious safety reasons but they are the originals (the rear units were completely worn out and not even safe for demonstration purposes). It also still has the the original springs and original brakes. E2A is otherwise just as it was under Guy Griffiths' aegis and I examined the body, chassis, suspension and steering parts et al at Le Mans, which under the very authentic 50 odd years of accumulated grime still have the original polished surfaces.

There is no intention to 'modify' and bastardise this piece of automotive history and it will not be subjected to regular historic racing. Additionally of course it will be driven by possibly the most sympathetic and safe pair of hands in racing, the amazingly smooth and experienced Tony Dron.

Anybody concerned about this is very welcome to contact CKL Developments who will be happy to reassure those who think otherwise.

#22 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 20:44

I have the greatest respect for Tony Dron; let's hope the other drivers in E2A's Goodwood event do as well. It's a privately owned car and yes, of course, the owner is free to do what he wants with his property – I am just appealing to his better instincts. Its a shame Jaguar so little valued the car at the time it was sold on, and it is also true that it would not have survived without private interest (I raise a glass to that). It's also a shame JHT didn't acquire it when its value had become obvious. However even there it might not have been safe. JHT is perfectly capable of stuffing historic cars: c.f. the Montlhery XK120 and, more recently, the origami job on the front of a Walkinshaw XJ-S.

#23 Doug Nye

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 21:28

I wonder if Doug Nye can by dragged into this conversation?
Or would it be too much of a conflict?


:blush: - What did it ever win?

CND

Edited by Doug Nye, 23 August 2010 - 21:30.


#24 Teapot

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 21:31

This is a time of the year when you're better off keeping a foot in both camps...
How many times have we heard that a car is far too important to be kept hidden in a museum or, on the other hand, that the same car is too precious to be raced on a track? Both are perfectly sensible points of view and it's hard to tell where the separation line resides that might made people to plump for one side or the other. Let's imagine for a minute that (God forbid!) E2A got out of Goodwood with some bent panels or a broken piston: it would then go under the loving hands of some restoration wizard to reappear few months later, looking better than ever. Do some new bits and a new coat of paint really diminish this car significance or what it achieved during its career? Maybe they do, but still this is a racing car, and racing is what it's meant to do, even at great risk for its originality. But then again, E2A is one of a kind. I can't really take sides on this debate because, when I'm just about to embrace the "better safe than sorry" line, my mind races to Stirling Moss: he's 80, he fell down two floors through a lift shaft few months ago, and he can't wait to drive in anger again. He truly is one of a kind, and he's not as easy as a car to repair (even if the last events suggest otherwise!), but he seems not to bother too much, as long as he can get round a track!

#25 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 21:49

There is no intention to 'modify' and bastardise this piece of automotive history and it will not be subjected to regular historic racing. Additionally of course it will be driven by possibly the most sympathetic and safe pair of hands in racing, the amazingly smooth and experienced Tony Dron.


Thanks for your reassurances that E2A is not to be basterdised, however the Griffiths promise notwithstanding your description of her current condition would not encourage me to let E2A anywhere near a competitive event Paul.

Do I take it that E2A is racing to different safety standards than those in the USA where vehicles of a similar age are fitted with roll hoops like the Collier Museums recently flipped Scarab ?

Speaking of the flipped Scarab, however safe a pair of hands Tony Dron is, which I would agree he most certainly is, can we be assured that those competing against Tony at Goodwood will be of a similar standing ?

Again referring to the recent events at Laguna Seca there were two tail end Charlie's who could not make it more than 200 yards beyond the start line of the opening lap before conspiring to cause the event that flipped John 'Safe Pair of Hands' Moreton and his Scarab.

Comments I have seen about that race, of cars being highly tuned vis motors and brakes allowing 'overly aggressive driving' crazy qualifying races with cars off everywhere do not leave me feeling in anyway confident that a car such as E2A with a relatively (compared to it's older siblings) insignificant racing pedigree and arguably far more significant story as a prototype used in the development of one of the more iconic motor cars of all time is worth risking in the millionaires playground of 'weapons grade' historic race cars at Goodwood which has a reputation little, if any, better than the Laguna Seca event.

What can possibly be gained from such folly, is E2A going to gain in value because it was driven either at the Le Mans Classic or Goodwood 50 years after it was raced properly in anger ?

Is a car that has been relatively unharmed in the hands of the Griffiths family for so long really worth the risk of a Stirling Moss type incident, for heavens sake his car did not even make it through one lap of qualifying at Lagunna Seca before being destroyed while parked off the racing line ?

IMHO there is not one single argument why as significant and original a vehicle as E2A is, should be risked in this way and I sincerely hope the owner never comes to regret the day he decided to break the Griffiths promise and tradition not to race E2A, 'just because he could'.

I believe it was Winston Churchill who said 'with great wealth comes great responsibility' not something I see being exercised here.

#26 David McKinney

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 22:19

I agree with Doug's comment, wherever his tongue might have been in relation to his cheek

There must be a thousand cars of greater historic importance racing around the wold today

The opposing viewpoints in this thread can be broken down into two camps, the racing enthusiasts and the car enthusiasts

#27 arttidesco

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 22:35

I agree with Doug's comment, wherever his tongue might have been in relation to his cheek

There must be a thousand cars of greater historic importance racing around the wold today

The opposing viewpoints in this thread can be broken down into two camps, the racing enthusiasts and the car enthusiasts


On this occasion it is precisely because IMHO E2A is infinitely more significant as a prototype of one of the most iconic models of all time, than as a racing car that I am vehemently in favour of the car returning immediately to it's recklessly disregarded raced no more tradition and putting both feet in the car enthusiasts camp if it were any other D-Type I really wouldn't bother.

#28 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 23:09

:blush: - What did it ever win?

CND

Nothing, but it's still a very significant car.
http://forums.autosp...w...1656&hl=e2a

See post 17 in particular.

#29 Jerry Entin

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 23:49

The following is the opinion of Willem Oosthoek:
As for additional points:

- The tailfin is missing! Why call it original? The original Le Mans windshield is missing too.

- in 1960 the car had a roll bar installed under its tail by Cunningham, a requirement by the SCCA and USAC. Can't it have one now [if the original was removed]?

- during the early 60s the factory used the car as a hack for numerous experiments, including Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock brakes, so I doubt it has the original brakes today.

#30 Tom Glowacki

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 23:59

The following is the opinion of Willem Oosthoek:
As for additional points:

- The tailfin is missing! Why call it original? The original Le Mans windshield is missing too.

- in 1960 the car had a roll bar installed under its tail by Cunningham, a requirement by the SCCA and USAC. Can't it have one now [if the original was removed]?

- during the early 60s the factory used the car as a hack for numerous experiments, including Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock brakes, so I doubt it has the original brakes today.



The Miller Club meeting at The Milwaukee Mile has no racing, just track sessions for the various groups of cars. Drive as fast as you want to, but don't race. I have yet to see crash there, just people having a good time, probably scaring themselves just enough to have a good time, but that's all.

#31 arttidesco

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 00:24

Howdy Jerry and Willem, if the roll hoop fitted by Cunningham for USAC and the SCCA is still fitted under it's tail I'd be overjoyed for Tony Drons sake though I seem to remember he is around 6' 2" plus so I hope it is big enough for him.

I have never argued E2A should be preserved as originally built or raced only that it should be preserved as it last left the Jaguar factory with the request that it never be raced, in other words as a development hack for the E-type.

I am not sure even the most unsympathetic of Jaguar workers, owners, and or enthusiasts can argue that request should be ignored no matter who 'temporarily owns' E2A at the moment.

Edited by arttidesco, 24 August 2010 - 00:26.


#32 raceannouncer2003

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 00:38

Do I take it that E2A is racing to different safety standards than those in the USA where vehicles of a similar age are fitted with roll hoops like the Collier Museums recently flipped Scarab ?

...a Stirling Moss type incident, for heavens sake his car did not even make it through one lap of qualifying at Lagunna Seca before being destroyed while parked off the racing line ?


Apparently the Scarab had a roll hoop fitted when it raced "in the day". I think it might still have the same hoop, and that this collapsed forward when Morton crashed at Laguna Seca. See this link:

http://www.racingspo.....arab 003.html

I don't think Moss' Porsche was "destroyed". He said they will be taking it back to England for repairs (cheaper than doing it in the States!)

I am vehemently in favour of the car returning immediately to it's recklessly disregarded raced no more tradition and putting both feet in the car enthusiasts camp


Should be "its"...see blood pressure thread!

As for the subject of this thread, I guess the proof will be in the pudding (so to speak!) If E2A gets wrecked, the car enthusiasts will say "I told you so!" If not, well... Personally, I'd like to see it raced, but not wrecked. I felt bad when John Morton crashed at Laguna Seca. I was mostly concerned for him, but it was also certainly sad to know that one of my favorite race cars was so badly battered.

Vince H.


#33 RA Historian

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 00:42

Apparently the Scarab had a roll hoop fitted when it raced "in the day".

Right, Vince. The Scarabs, when raced by RAI, had roll hoops, but they were small and contained in the headrest. When the Meister Brauser Team bought the third chassis from RAI in mid 1959, they added a much higher roll hoop, as well as a rear nerf bar to protect the fuel tank, etc. When they bought the second chassis from Jeffords a couple months later, they also had this car fitted with those safety improvements.
Tom


#34 arttidesco

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 00:56

I guess since I was still in nappies around the time the D-type and Scarab raced with roll hoops I can be forgiven for not knowing better, I just hope that once the current owner has finished having his fun with E2A on the track it can be returned to the same spec it left the Jaguar factory for the last time, and future owners do the right thing by the Jaguar factory and refrain from racing her.

Is anyone up for a fancy dress 'Don't wreck E2A !' demo outside the gates of Goodwood on Sunday the 19th ?

(JOKE :rotfl: )

#35 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 01:46

The purpose of a racecar is to be raced, otherwise it is not a racecar.
Now a significant part of motoring history as such should be treated well, and as all historic cars driven with respect meaning 9/10 racing. And really a factory racecar was probably different everytime it raced, plus if it was used as a test bed probably more so than others.
Driving standards do seem to leave a lot to be desired though in historic racing though more through lack of skill than intent. Though in the UK they are too desperate, that is up to the stewards to pull them into line. And to be emphasised at drivers meetings

#36 arttidesco

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 02:01

The purpose of a racecar is to be raced, otherwise it is not a racecar.
Now a significant part of motoring history as such should be treated well, and as all historic cars driven with respect meaning 9/10 racing. And really a factory racecar was probably different everytime it raced, plus if it was used as a test bed probably more so than others.
Driving standards do seem to leave a lot to be desired though in historic racing though more through lack of skill than intent. Though in the UK they are too desperate, that is up to the stewards to pull them into line. And to be emphasised at drivers meetings


Lee E2A has a history in the hands of Jaguar R&D beyond racing as a test bed for the legendary E-type so this car was put to non competition use and was handed over in such a condition to the Griffiths family with a promise not to race it. This subsequent R&D history and that now broken promise not to race are the only reasons I believe this particular chassis should never be raced again, though the driving standards argument is also particularly compelling in this instance.

#37 bradbury west

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:03

.....finished having his fun with E2A on the track it can be returned to the same spec it left the Jaguar factory for the last time,


But the whole point is that the original condition will have been destroyed. Time warp cannot be recreated, nevertheless the owner has the right to do as he wishes. The one consolation is that in Tony Dron, the car has one of the finest historic race drivers in the world pedalling it.
Roger Lund

#38 Paul Parker

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 08:37

The following is the opinion of Willem Oosthoek:
As for additional points:

- The tailfin is missing! Why call it original? The original Le Mans windshield is missing too.

- in 1960 the car had a roll bar installed under its tail by Cunningham, a requirement by the SCCA and USAC. Can't it have one now [if the original was removed]?

- during the early 60s the factory used the car as a hack for numerous experiments, including Dunlop Maxaret anti-lock brakes, so I doubt it has the original brakes today.


Yes E2A's tail panelling and 'drivers' hump were subject to changes for the reasons stated (plus the 3.8 motor, shallower screen etc.) and these can be seen today, nevertheless the car's overall specification and condition remains period Jaguar as in when they were last using it, in this case for development and testing purposes. So it is as original as it can be in the circumstances.

Notwithstanding this old machinery simply corrodes and crumbles if it is not used and ultimately you end up with a car, in this instance, that would be in effect an ornament capable only of trundling up and down gently lest its superannuated mechanicals break. The same and more so apertains to old aeroplanes.

In my personal opinion I would rather see it competing, albeit with due care, than have it sitting around deteriorating and gathering dust or being wheeled out occasionally to potter about so I suppose I belong in the racing enthusiasts club.

#39 Peter Morley

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:02

Hi Alan. :wave: I believe that this was one of the most controversial sales ever undertaken by a UK transport museum. The car was donated by Daimler-Benz to The National Motor Musuem Trust prior to the original opening of the National Motor Museum in 1972. I thinbk that the car sold may also have been the second one to be displayed and that the one ultimately disposed of may have been the Moss Aintree winner (will stand correctd on that, obvioulsy). This all occurred at a time when the museum was very short of funds and it probably represented the only way of meeting those immediate and future needs through selling an individual vehicle. Although an important car, it did not exactly conform to the museum's stated collecting policy of "Motoring on the roads of Great Britain". As a gift - and I think that the handover featured SM personally - it was for the NMMT to dispose of it as they saw fit.

Am I correct in saying that it went to first to Joel Finn in the United States and then subsequently to a French industrialist? I believe that figues of around $24 Million were bandied about for its latter sale value. In any event, I don't think that the NMMT benefitted to anything like that amount for the original sale. No doubt, disposing of this asset a few years later would have resulted in a far higher figure but I think that the pressure was on to proceed at that time. Quite what Daimler-Benz thought about the whole thing I don't think has been disclosed but I am certain that the museum would have cleared their intentions with a company that had demonstrated support for the museum originally when other - UK based - elements of the motor industry did not.

But, it was original and I personally saw it being driven on more than one occasion by the musuem's original Chief Engineer, Louis Giron.


My recollection of the "scandal" was that the person the museum sold the W196 to almost immediately sold it for a rather larger amount (about 10 times), given the museum was short of money they could have done with the extra 11.7 million which probably had a somewhat less noticeable effect on the Bamford's bank balance!

Setton subsequently sold it to Friedhelm Loh for considerably less money!




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#40 Kpy

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:03

But the whole point is that the original condition will have been destroyed. Time warp cannot be recreated, nevertheless the owner has the right to do as he wishes. The one consolation is that in Tony Dron, the car has one of the finest historic race drivers in the world pedalling it.
Roger Lund

Tony Dron, Stefan Ziegler and Robert Newall raced this car in the Le Mans Classic in July of this year. What changes to the original condition will be made to the car between now and racing at Goodwood?

#41 Philip Whiteman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:23

The danger is that the relatively high original part/panel/paint finish count will be reduced if it is crashed or, in the worst instance, burned out.

Re original aircraft: the Shuttleworth Collection leads the way in displaying old aeroplanes. The trick is that they stick to demonstrations without wringing the things out. However, even they substantially wrecked their very original Bleriot when it was unwisely taken for a circuit, rather than being 'hopped' along the length of the runway.

I am just suggesting wise treatment for E2A.

#42 arttidesco

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:05

I am just suggesting wise treatment for E2A.


Fingers crossed ?


#43 RCH

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:31

What is the point of racing any old car? I would submit that it is either to recreate the glory of that car when it was new or to prove that it had potential that was never realised.

E2A in its own right didn't have a distinguished racing career, as a Jaguar enthusiast I find myself taking claims of fastest practice lap at Le Mans 1960 with a pinch of salt, perhaps the Ferraris and Maseratis were not pushing too hard?

Unrealised potential? I suspect that Jaguar let it be raced that year as a sort of taster to the public, "look at this and just see what's coming next year!" sort of thing. I think Jaguar knew all along that they needed a much greater step forward than E2A to be successful in racing again. You could argue that the success of "Lightweight" E Types at Goodwood demonstrates that unrealised potential far better than racing E2A ever could.

I normally argue that old racing cars should be raced but in this instance, maybe, E2A isn't really an old racing car. Its significance in motoring history is something different.

Now it would be interesting to see XJ13 race..... only joking, honest!

#44 bradbury west

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:49

[quote name='RCH' date='Aug 25 2010, 08:31' post='4552378']
You could argue that the success of "Lightweight" E Types at Goodwood demonstrates that unrealised potential far better than racing E2A ever could. /quote]

But you would be wrong
Roger Lund


#45 RCH

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 16:18

but you would be wrong
Roger Lund
[/quote]

Err..... why? :confused:



#46 Ralf Pickel

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 16:42

Might have something to do with the technical hardware and preparation difference for the Lightweights/Replicas then and now - just a wild guess....;)

Edited by Ralf Pickel, 25 August 2010 - 16:42.


#47 arttidesco

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 17:06

You could argue that the success of "Lightweight" E Types at Goodwood demonstrates that unrealised potential far better than racing E2A ever could. /quote]

But you would be wrong
Roger Lund


On the contrary since Jaguar used E2A as a development car for the E-Type and that Jaguar had absolutely no intention of racing E2A further, else why seek a promise from the Griffiths 'not to race E2A' as a condition of sale, absolutely nothing is gained from racing E2A what so ever.

If anything was to be gained why not race her with the last engine E2A left the works with ? Answer E2A did not leave the Jaguar factory with a weapons grade racing engine.

My contention stands that nothing, absolutely nothing is gained from racing E2A, and it is nothing but sheer folly to be racing one of the few remaining D Types that has both halves of its original chassis still attached, that was part of an important development for the E-Type, and in that final developmental stage was never intended to race with assurances given by E2A's original purchaser that it would not be raced.

The current owner has broken one tradition lets pray nothing befalls the car before it is taken out of racing service again lest we have another D Type key fob special on our hands.

#48 bradbury west

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 17:12

Might have something to do with the technical hardware and preparation difference for the Lightweights/Replicas then and now - just a wild guess....;)


Absolutley right, Ralf. The Ltwt E types struggled in their day against the Ferraris in their intended arenas, just as the Zagato Astons did, other than as club racers. There has been comment previously on TNF about the new breed of lightweight E iterations which grace the Revival. In period they struggled to make much over 300bhp, and then not always reliably IIRC. There have been 2 missed opportunities to preserve period correct lightweights in recent years.

E2A was and is something quite different, successful or not. Prior to and subsequent to its sale, Messrs Dron and Nye have both written comprehensive accounts of the car and its provenance and condition, and its historical significance. Silhouette hotrod E types have nothing in common with it IMHO.
Roger Lund

#49 arttidesco

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 17:49

E2A was and is something quite different, successful or not. Prior to and subsequent to its sale, Messrs Dron and Nye have both written comprehensive accounts of the car and its provenance and condition, and its historical significance. Silhouette hotrod E types have nothing in common with it IMHO.
Roger Lund


Rather a weapons grade hotrod E type than a car that was sold with a promise not to be raced IMHO Roger :wave:

#50 RCH

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 18:47

Absolutley right, Ralf. The Ltwt E types struggled in their day against the Ferraris in their intended arenas, just as the Zagato Astons did, other than as club racers. There has been comment previously on TNF about the new breed of lightweight E iterations which grace the Revival. In period they struggled to make much over 300bhp, and then not always reliably IIRC. There have been 2 missed opportunities to preserve period correct lightweights in recent years.

E2A was and is something quite different, successful or not. Prior to and subsequent to its sale, Messrs Dron and Nye have both written comprehensive accounts of the car and its provenance and condition, and its historical significance. Silhouette hotrod E types have nothing in common with it IMHO.
Roger Lund


Still don't understand why you say I was wrong! You have said more or less what I was thinking. However I have to add that perhaps the level to which the Lightweights have been developed illustrates that there was potential there that was never seen in the '60's. Bear in mind that Ferraris and Cobras could equally have been developed way beyond the level seen at the time.