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Old 12th May 2013, 12:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
Neville
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Question 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Would Jaguar's XJ13 have seen off the Mk IV GT40 at Le Mans in 1967 if the commitment had been there from Jaguar?

In my opinion?

Yes.

Let me explain ...

Original XJ13 - Would it have been competitive?

What do you think?

By the way - anyone know what happened to the GT40 borrowed by Jaguar in February 1966 from Ford Advance Vehicles? Originally road registered OVX 355D and painted silver.
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Old 12th May 2013, 06:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

I believe one of the reasons the XJ13 project was shelved was because with the introduction of the 427 Fords, it was deemed to be unlikely to be competitive?
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Old 12th May 2013, 07:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

The picture I see of your 1966 GT40 is actually of the 1968/9 Gulf GT40s either P1075 (the double Le Mans winner) or P1074 (the ex Mirage M1). I might not be that technical but its doubtful wheither an XJ13 would of won the 1967 Le Mans if entered for the following reasons

1) The Le Mans 24 hour race is a race of attrition you have to to be running at the end. The 1966 MII seven litre winner had 465bhp. It was not the most powerful of the eight MKII entered!!!
Ford had entered Le Mans twice before they won it.
1964 3 works small block entries FAV No 10, 11, 12 all DNF
1965 2 big block works entries GT106, GT107 427 /7 litres all DNF
2) The XJ-13 would have been extremely lucky to win first time out. How much development has it had? Was it going to be used in the 1966 season?
You could say the MKIV J-5 and the 1968/69 P1075 Gulf GT40 winners were lucky but they had much more development either directly or indirectly. By 1968 the GT40 was slow but reliable.
3) The XJ-13 (503bhp) would of been competitive with a small block GT40 in 1966 and might of held its own with the seven litre MKII (465bhp-485bhp)provided it was up to 210 mph top speed which is what the 1966 MKII were geared for over 24 hours.
4) You could say the MKIV was lucky to win but it was developed from the 1966 J car.
The MKIV was not developed from scratch; but its engine was developed from the MKII as a detuned NASCAR engine. And testing had been done!!!
The MKIV was a much more powerful car 530bhp than a small block 1966 GT40 380 bhp it was not a GT40 but a redesign from the the unsucessful J car.
The cars that the XJ-13 (503bhp) should have been tested against would be the 1967 small block but lightweight Mirage M1 (GT40 chassised); The 1966 small block lightweight Alan Mann cars.
Has the XJ-13 engine been tested for 24 hours continious running?
Can the XJ-13 brake from 210mph to 35mph (1966 MKII detuned figures) at the end of the Mulsanne straight for 24 hours? The 1966 MKII had special one piece Kensley Girling vented brake assemblies as that tended to crack because they went up to 2000 degrees when braking at the end of the Mulsanne straight.
For 1967 the MKIV were hitting 213mph-215mph at the timing station which I believe was at the start of the Mulsanne straight. An owner said that the top speed of a MKIV was 224mph??
Can the XJ-13 cope with hitting nearly or above 200mph on 4 parts of the circuit for 24hours?
What about its fuel consumption and the number of pit stops it requires?
It was Jaguars intention to enter 3 cars? If Ford found out about this why would it not enter more MKIV's??
The design as I thought of the XJ-13 was for the 1966 season not the 1967 one??
Regards Allan
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Old 12th May 2013, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

I love my Jags, I love my ETYPES, I love driving my etype 10,000miles every year today. I love the xj13, thought it was really cool.
Do you think it would beat the gajillions Ford put into the GT40.
NO WAY...........
Remember the gajillion Porshe had to spend and the lives lost to finally beat the gt40 or till they were deemed to old.
The 917 and later was turning 220 +, jag was flurting with 200....possiblly.
Love my Jags, no way my friends, no way.
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Old 13th May 2013, 04:19 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

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Originally Posted by allanfeldman View Post
For 1967 the MKIV were hitting 213mph-215mph at the timing station which I believe was at the start of the Mulsanne straight. An owner said that the top speed of a MKIV was 224mph??
I'm sure I read somewhere that the timing hut was at the 4.4km mark on the circuit, which is a good 1.25 miles short of the Mulsanne Kink, so I think it's safe to say that the MkIV was capable of 216mph+.
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Old 13th May 2013, 05:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

You make some very good points gentlemen - but do I detect a note of bias?

The thought of a Jaguar-Ferrari-Ford scrap in 1967 would have been quite an enticing prospect and I do believe the XJ13 may have acquitted itself rather well. Biased? Me?

Of course, the car (and its engine) were never race-proven. Jaguar's lack of commitment in the face of diversions such as an impending takeover by the British Motor Corporation meant the moment was lost. Shame as I believe the car would have put up a good show,

Don't forget that the team who developed the engine and car already had a good track record of building robust and reliable engines as well as lasting the distance. The engine was exhaustively tested at full-chat on the test bed. There is no way Heynes/Lyons would have installed the engine in the car if they thought it wouldn't last the distance. There may have been a discrepancy in power but remember that Malcolm Sayer was a genius whose designs were as functional as they were pretty. It was often the case that Jaguar's cars weren't the most powerful on the Le Mans grid but they would regularly achieve the highest top speeds on the Mulsanne straight. As far as braking is concerned, don't forget that Jaguar were pioneers (along with Dunlop) of the disc brake. They did have a little experience of these things. The chassis designer Derrick White and Malcolm Sayer really knew their onions and didn't rely on sheer brute force/massive-budget/weight of numbers to achieve their aims.

Something like 4 Mk IVs were entered at Le Mans in 1967. Jaguar's early plans would have likely been for a similar number. There are many references to "the first car" in 1965. They certainly won't have been overwhelmed by weight of numbers although they would have had a weather eye on those P Ferraris!

It may have been the case that those wonderful MK IVs may have blown the XJ13s into the weeds anyway but I do honestly think the Jaguars would have acquitted themselves well. The impending capacity change wouldn't have been such an issue in future years and Jaguar already had at least one 3-litre design on the drawing-board before 1967. Lyons was a very astute businessman but his attention was diverted elsewhere and the XJ13's stop-start development meant the moment was lost.

For now, we will have to content ourselves with "what if" and GT game consoles. If the powers-that-be will allow me I would dearly like to see my XJ13 (albeit a replica) sharing the same piece of tarmac as the mighty GT40 and sublime P-Ferrari. That's my dream and I'm sticking to it!
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Old 13th May 2013, 09:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

I seem to remember OVX 355D was the first car to run a ZF trans and was tested throughout europe by John Horsman and the then FAV works superintendant and chased across borders by customs during those tests. cant remember chassis number though. correct me if I am wrong.
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Old 14th May 2013, 02:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

There seems to be one glaring misunderstanding in the linked article. Specifically, the suggestion in the article that a GT40 would trounce a modern recreation of the XJ13 because "current GT40s have undergone 50 years of development" whereas a modern XJ13 hasn't....this misses the fundamental point: GT40s BACK IN THE DAY were highly developed machines. Forget about modern times, by 1967 the GT40 had a huge amount of development already invested in it with the full resources of a hugely successful global company and the very best drivers. The GT40 was much more developed than any other car on the track by a good margin. If the XJ 13 had been brought to LeMans in 1967 it would have had to go through years of development and testing before showing any real results, just like any other race car of that vintage. And even if Jaguar could afford to support the necessary level of development (extremely expensive undertaking), by the time the kinks were worked out....maybe 1969 or 1970...the 917 had arrived and would be unbeatable by Jaguar.

I love Jags. I personally restored a 1964 e-type drop head myself in college...by my own hands....body, paint, engine, interior, everything....didn't write a single check to anyone to do any work for me...so I know Jags of that vintage and they're quality machines put together in a logical manner. I loved that jaguar. But there's just no way the XJ13 would have been a real and formidable challenger. Just my $.02.
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Old 14th May 2013, 02:19 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

The XJ13 is stunningly beautiful, and a powerful car.....no doubt of that. It's a lovely and wonderful machine. It's just not of a calibre of a LeMans winning race car is all....
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Old 14th May 2013, 04:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Cliff, your premise completely ignores the ingenuity of 'men in sheds'.....the UK's ubiquitous automotive secret weapon.

Ford's strength was also their greatest weakness, for all the money they spent, the attrition rate was appalling - a lot of it down to their intransigence over the design of the top end of the 289.

I too like to think the Jaguar would have given them a run for their money, at a fraction of the cost.

But, we'll never really know now will we?
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Old 14th May 2013, 11:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Wasn't the timing a bit off here, no pun intended? I think what you are asking, Neville, is whether or not a full-out effort on the part of Jaguar with the XJ13 would have been competitive in the same time frame? I don't know the chronology of the XJ13 as I do the GT40 and its derivatives, but it's not a bad question.

It's hard to answer, though, as there was only one XJ13 built and it wasn't extensively tested, to the best of my memory. I don't believe it ever actually raced, did it?

As far as competitive, well, I think it was John Wyer who said that in order to finish first, you must first finish. Ford's approach to endurance racing was logically sound- detuned engines running at output levels high enough to get out in front, and cars that could carry them around and around for 24 hours. And Ford was determined to win whatever it took. In order to beat them, Jaguar would have had to have had cars which were just as reliable (Mark IIs and Mark IVs were very reliable once sorted out) and fast enough to stay up there with them. I don't know how fast the XJ13 was, but I don't think it had the speed that the Mark IVs did.

As far as possibly winning in '68 and '69, I think the GT40s campaigned by Gulf were nearly as fast as the big-block cars by then. And they were reliable enough to win. Plus they had arguably the best race team manager alive at that time, John Wyer. Jaguar would have had to assemble all those elements and make them work.

Ford didn't win four LeMans 24 hour races because no other team was any better; they won them because they were the best at the time. Endurance racing isn't just a matter of speed; it's also a matter of driver endurance, organization, resources, and head games played against the opposition. I think at the top of their form Ford really were the best. They didn't just spend a lot of money- they learned fast and profited from their mistakes.

It's a pity Jaguar wasn't in there with a race team. It would have made an interesting era in motor racing even more interesting, no question, and if nothing else it would have made Ford work even harder for their victories.
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Old 14th May 2013, 01:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

But Jaguar had already participated in Le Mans since 1950 and had won the race no less than 6 times with 3 different models - the last being not 7 years before the GT40.

Given what we know about 'winning out of the box' and the difficulty thereof, it is surely not such a leap of faith to imagine Jaguar doing well if they had put their mind to it..

By the way, the winning 'D' Types were doing 160 mph + on the Mulsanne 8 years earlier without hardly any extra aero.

Jaguar were hardly new to endurance racing - unlike Ford.
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Old 14th May 2013, 05:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Hello All,

Sorry, but I believe all the facts & logic point to a dnf for Jaguar in 1967 or perhaps a low top ten position at very, very best.

ditto Alans points, plus,

The distance covered by Gurney & Foyt was 388 laps at an average of 135.482 mph.
This knocks 1966 into a cocked hat, with 360 laps at an average of 125.389.
Dan has described how he held back to coach A.J, the rookie endurance driver.

Sure Jaguar had good people but, Fords team was a match for anyone - John Wyer, Alan Mann, Kar Kraft, Shelby American Inc, Holman Moody, etc, etc
People who were involved with winning the week before, not seven years previous.

The Ford cars were subjected to simulated 24 hour Le Mans races, corner by corner, lap by lap. I don't believe Jaguar could have matched the commitment or attention to detail, & certainly not straight out of the box.

As near as it can be in motorsport, failiure was not a option for Ford in 1967.

The testing of (OVX355D) GT40P/1013 a Mk1 road car with a 289 & ZF couldn't of told them too much about a Mk2 or Mk4 race car...

If the XJ13 was to of had Le Mans glory I suggest its best chance would of been in 1968 (& only after 2 or 3 years previous developement) against the small block JWA GT40s & Porsche on the newly chicaned circuit. In 1969 the race between JWA GT40s & Porsche saw speeds & distances jump back up again towards 1966 levels, a real challenge to match. Then in 1970 we enter the Porsche era of dominance.

I hope Neville builds & enjoys a new XJ13, good luck mate.

Regards Steve
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Old 14th May 2013, 07:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith1 View Post
But Jaguar had already participated in Le Mans since 1950 and had won the race no less than 6 times with 3 different models - the last being not 7 years before the GT40.

Given what we know about 'winning out of the box' and the difficulty thereof, it is surely not such a leap of faith to imagine Jaguar doing well if they had put their mind to it..

By the way, the winning 'D' Types were doing 160 mph + on the Mulsanne 8 years earlier without hardly any extra aero.

Jaguar were hardly new to endurance racing - unlike Ford.
Good point Keith, you're absolutely right, Jaguar was no stranger to LeMans and endurance racing, and no stranger to the Winner's Circle in that venue. The impressive D-types did very, very well with modest resources at the time. I think the game had probably moved up a notch or two by the mid/late 60's since Jaguar's success with the D-types but who knows, maybe the XJ13 would have been relatively fast right out of the box with decent levels of reliability...or at least able to be developed as such in a reasonable time frame. I think the window would have been pretty short for the XJ13 however as I just don't see it being a challenge to the 512S or 917s...and maybe not the earlier 908 long tails either....so, it would have to be a winner by '67 or '68 at the latest as by '69 there was no stopping the 908/917/512S onslaught.

Would have been real nice to see Jag giving the Ford contingent some competitive pressure. Maybe Ford would have tried to buy Jag at the time after the failed ferrari bid. Who knows.
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Old 15th May 2013, 01:56 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

When the original was filmed at high speed in 1971 it crashed. The reason given by wiki is that a wheel was deflating because it had a patch up job to prevent a slow leak.

Two questions now. How can you do high speed laps with that wheel? Was it a red herring to disguise the fact that the body got light at speed and the driver lost control? I am only speculating there. Looking at the rounded smooth lines, which by the way looks super, it seems there might not be a lot of down force. Similar to the rounded body under sides of Can-am cars that started to flip at high speed. The sides were changed to flat sides around 1967 to prevent the flip. This is not first hand knowledge but what I have read in books.









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Old 15th May 2013, 02:09 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

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When the original was filmed at high speed in 1971 it crashed. The reason given by wiki is that a wheel was deflating because it had a patch up job to prevent a slow leak.

Z.C.
Puncture?

I remember it as a failed wheel due to the unseen internal corrosion of the magnesium.
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Old 15th May 2013, 04:36 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

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Puncture?

I remember it as a failed wheel due to the unseen internal corrosion of the magnesium.
That is the oft-repeated reason given by Norman Dewis over the years to try to absolve himself from blame. It is only quite recently facts have come to light that point the most likely reason was the fact a tyre had been plugged to cure a slow leak. Lofty England had given instructions that the car could only be used in the promo film if it wasn't driven at anything like racing speeds. Norman Dewis was aware of this instruction.

The facts are as follows (recounted in Peter Wilson's definitive XJ13 book and following interviews with some of the people who were actually there on the day):

The XJ13 was taken to MIRA on the 19th January in preparation for the following day's filming. Phil Weaver detailed Peter Jones to spend the day/evening checking over the car. Weaver also warned Dewis of the puncture repair and repeated Lofty's instruction that the car shouldn't be driven at high speeds.

As Norman Dewis got into the car the next day, Peter Jones reminded Dewis of the instruction once again.

Towards the end of the day's filming, Norman went out for a planned four laps. he drove at increasingly-fast speeds and the inevitable happened on the third lap.


New wheels and tyres were added prior to filming. The XJ13 Log Book states these wheels were made new after testing of the car only four years earlier (late in 1967). Excepting possible manufacturing defects, it is perhaps unlikely that they could have deteriorated to the point of failure in that short space of time in storage? The use of magnesium as a constituent of alloy wheels was not a new technology in the 1960s indeed, magnesium wheels were used on every car that won the Indy 500 from 1946 to 1963.

Norman's account was contradicted in a letter by Lofty England to "Jaguar Magazine" in 1988. A copy of this letter had been in the Jaguar Heritage Archive since then. However, around the time of Peter Wilson's research for his XJ13 book, and when it became apparent he would publish the real cause of the crash, the document suddenly went missing (although the copy actually received by Jaguar Magazine was obtained by Peter and included in his book anyway).
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Old 15th May 2013, 04:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

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Two questions now. How can you do high speed laps with that wheel?
Z.C.
The answer is, "you can't". As the crash proved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZedSea View Post
Was it a red herring to disguise the fact that the body got light at speed and the driver lost control?
Z.C.
The speeds attained on the day were well below speeds achieved in testing. Indeed, the UK unofficial closed lap record was held by David Hobbs (the XJ13 main test driver) in the XJ13 for 32 years until it was broken quite recently by a McLaren F1 road car.

There were never any issues reported of aerodynamic instability - even at speeds in excess of 180mph when the record was set. That Malcom Sayer certainly knew his onions!
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Old 15th May 2013, 08:56 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

In order to be competitive, Jaguar would have had to assemble three competitive cars (team of two plus a spare car) at a minimum, at least four qualified drivers, and all the team personnel. I don't know how many team managers were qualified for the job at that point in time but someone would have wanted the job- Jaguar had an established reputation and all that. I don't think they were there yet with the development of the car but they could have been at least competitive if they had put their collective mind to it- I won't argue against that. Keep in mind Chaparral fielded an effort and did well for a bit until the battery went dead.

One of the pieces of received wisdom about that era at LeMans and endurance sports car racing in general is that Ford just threw money at the race series until they won it. Nothing could be further from the truth. While they may have fumbled around a bit at the beginning, Ford learned fast, and made quite a few intelligent choices. That's why they won twice and Ford cars won another two times. Jaguar would have had to field an entrant that was at least as reliable and fast AND as well organized.

As you say, it's nice to think about. And now- how's your car going, Neville, and when do we get to see it? I only spent twelve years on mine- how long have you been at this?
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Old 16th May 2013, 04:11 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: 1967 - GT40 vs Jaguar XJ13

Hi Jim - good to hear from you again.

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I don't think they were there yet with the development of the car but they could have been at least competitive if they had put their collective mind to it- I won't argue against that.
I can't disagree with these thoughts.

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One of the pieces of received wisdom about that era at LeMans and endurance sports car racing in general is that Ford just threw money at the race series until they won it. Nothing could be further from the truth. While they may have fumbled around a bit at the beginning, Ford learned fast, and made quite a few intelligent choices. That's why they won twice and Ford cars won another two times. Jaguar would have had to field an entrant that was at least as reliable and fast AND as well organized.
Quite a tall order - admittedly. One thing for certain, if the GT40 had been a lemon, no matter how much money was thrown at it, it wouldn't have succeeded. In truth, the GT40 was (and still is) and outstandingly impressive car that COULD be developed and turned into the race-winner it became. It is one of my all-time favourite cars and I just love its brutal and purposeful performance and design.

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As you say, it's nice to think about. And now- how's your car going, Neville, and when do we get to see it? I only spent twelve years on mine- how long have you been at this?
Only three years Jim - hopefully NOT only a quarter of the way through yet!
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