Glyn Jones mentioned that the XJ13 minder, and a passenger had a big, big fright in the car that day at Donington back in 1987. Well here is the proof.
Luckily I was photographing it at the time just as George was downshifting to turn left onto the Melbourne Loop.
According George, a senior Jaguar engineer and one of the party which rebuilt it in the early 1970s following Norman Dewis’ MIRA crash, the gearbox had not been touched when the car was finally running again, and the shift was very sloppy.
As he went for third gear, he said it went into first, so when he released the clutch the engine screamed way over the rev limit, and the rear wheels locked up.
This spin was the gobsmacking result!
The engine had been blown up at Silverstone in 1978 by a Jaguar employee who lost his mind, so the last possible quad cam prototype V12 XJ13 engine was cobbled together from parts and put into the car.
Nobody was allowed to drive it other than George then, so you can imagine the state he was in after he got the car back to the pits following the spin!
In 1989 he and his wife Celia came with the car to Adelaide for the Australian Grand Prix parades, and was genuinely road registered for the only time (‘XJ13’) along with F1 and other equally serious race cars driven through the daily Adelaide traffic grind!
It was also the first time the XJ13 left England.
The aim was to drive from the Grand Prix garages, up the winding steep Mt Barker Road to the famous Eagle On The Hill monument thirteen kilometres away – then return on the same route.
The South Australian Premier John Bannon was one of the XJ13’s passengers. It had to be driven into a public service station for more petrol, causing quite a stir. The D-Type is XKD526 and is currently on the market in England
Sadly, George has died since then, but the XJ13 is safe and sound.
It was a big few international Jaguar days in Adelaide!
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