This year marks 70 years since the Jaguar XK120 – arguably Jaguar’s first sports car – was revealed to the world. Since then, Jaguar has gone on to make its name in sports cars, from the C-Type, through to the iconic E-Type and, most recently, the F-TYPE.
In celebration of 70 years of this Jaguar icon, the legendary Shelsley Walsh hill climb hosted the XK70 event, gathering a collection of XKs, XK-engined cars and other sporting Jaguar stars.
JD Classics supported the event as a sponsor, contributing eight cars, including a selection of XK120s, 140s and 150, as well as its famous RAC TT Celebration-winning Jaguar E-Type Lightweight, known internally as ‘1196’. It was in these early sporting Jaguar models, including the XKs, that JD Classics first established its reputation for impeccable restorations and race preparation.
No weekend at Shelsley Walsh – the world’s oldest continuous motorsport venue – would be complete without a bit of competition. Since 1905 the likes of Malcolm Campbell, John Surtees, Stirling Moss and Hans-Joachim Stuck have thundered up the 1,000-yard climb, and at XK70 it was the turn of JD Classics driver Chris Ward.
Ward took to the hill in a number of XK models over the weekend, but his most spectacular run was in the XK-engined E-Type ‘1196’. Ward’s time was around five seconds quicker than any other Jaguar over the course of the event, and unofficially the fastest ever run set in a Jaguar model.