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"The Gathering"

Looking back to 2015

50 years (almost to the month) after similar events took place in Jaguar's Competition Department, work was continuing apace on my exact recreation of Jaguar's 1966 XJ13 Le Mans Prototype.


GT40s ..... move over!"
© 2023 Neville Swales

On Tuesday, 3rd March 2015 I was privileged to be joined by members of the original team who all contributed to the XJ13 project. These wonderful older gentlemen were kind enough to offer the benefit of their considerable experience as my car reached its "rolling chassis" stage. Also present were friends and enthusiasts.


Left to right: Mike McElligott, Peter Wilson, Peter Jones, Jim Eastick & Frank Philpott
© 2023 Neville Swales

The gathering took place at the premises of North Devon Metalcraft in the UK. The pictures and videos which follow record the events of the day:


North Devon Metalcraft - "The Lads"
© 2023 Neville Swales


North Devon Metalcraft's workshop - my quad-cam powered car was joined by a superb pre-war Alfa-Romeo as well as the beginnings of a 6-litre V12 SOHC customer car - testament to the skills and versatility of the ND Metalcraft team
© 2023 Neville Swales


The North Devon Metalcraft team at work - these people are SKILLED!


© 2023 Neville Swales

The lines and curves of Malcolm Sayer's original 1966 design have been faithfully captured by the chaps at NDM. When you remove the later "1970's" additions such as flared arches, taller rear body etc, the purity of Sayer's design becomes evident. The man was surely a genius and the XJ13 represents the pinnacle of his achievements at that time. Let us not forget that Sayer was also responsible for the shape of the E-Type - one of the world's most iconic and beautiful cars. It is a shame that his talents and contribution to the racing cars which defined Jaguar and formed the foundation of their rich heritage were never really recognised during his tragically short lifetime. Jaguar continues to trade to this day on their rich heritage of which Malcolm Sayerwas so much a part. If anyone at Jaguar deserves an OBE, it is Malcolm Sayer. Are these things ever awarded posthumously?


© 2023 Neville Swales

The picture above shows a three-quarter rear view of the car. I should point out that the rear wheels are inset rather more than they will end up. It was interesting to see just how much rubber could actually be accommodated in the back without having to deface Sayer's original design as was done during Jaguar's rebuild. It was perfectly possible to accommodate wider wheels without having to add those flared rear wheelarches.

The picture below shows one of the first customer cars. These cars are powered by Jaguar's later SOHC 6-litre V12s although we are also working on a 7-litre version as well as developing a quad-cam version of the same engine. The latter is being built for customers wanting the ultimate replica.


© 2023 Neville Swales

The engine is mated to a "ZFQ" 5-speed transaxle which was manufactured exclusively for this application by Quaife in the UK. In the XJ13, the driveshaft doubles up as the top suspension link and so needs to be beefed up to cope with the additional lateral loads. Externally they have a similar cosmetic appearance to the classic ZF although the internals are new and improved. The transaxle is mated to the engine using a custom-cast bellhousing in the design of the original. There is a bit of background to making the bellhousing here. You will note the front wheels are black in colour. These are actually magnesium-alloy Lightweight E-Type wheels made using Jaguar's original drawings and are being used only as slaves. The rough-cast finished wheels will be painted silver as specified in Jaguar's original drawings for the XJ13 wheel. Fronts are the same as used for the 1964 Lightweight E-Type and rears (9 ⅜”) were exclusive to the XJ13. Needless to say, the wheels on my recreations will use wheels made to these original specifications. Hub-carriers are also custom cast to exactly replicate those of the original.


Recently-discovered original drawing of the XJ13 wheels (critical data has been obscured for the web)
© 2015 Neville Swales


Specified final treatment.
© 2023 Neville Swales

The pictures below show more views of the same engine:


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales

The picture below is included to point out that at least two current XJ13 replica manufacturers used this excellent 1:18 scale model as a basis for their full-size replicas. What they may not have realised is that these models (although based very closely on the original) are manipulated and distorted so they look good when reduced to this small scale. This may explain why certain full-size replicas of the current car just don't look "right".


"Little & Large"
© 2023 Neville Swales


© 2023 Neville Swales

 


The engine sits a few inches behind your head ...
© 2023 Neville Swales


Arrival of the Jaguar VIPs
© 2023 Neville Swales

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