The Jaguar XJ13 is a unique prototype, which Jaguar’s race car division came out of retirement to produce in 1965. The XJ13 was designed to go head to head with Ferrari and Ford in an attempt to end their dominance at Le Mans, and put Jaguar back on the winners podium.

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“In 1967 the car was extensively tested at MIRA, and completed a lap of the the No 1 circuit in 62.8 seconds at 161.6 mph. For many years this impressive achievement remained in the Guiness Book Of Records as the highest speed recorded for a lap of an enclosed British circuit.

Soon after, the rules were changed at Le Mans, and cars with engine capacities larger than 3000cc were banned from the race, rendering the XJ13 obsolete before it managed to compete in a single race.

Jaguar decided to use the now redundant XJ13 as a marketing tool to support the launch of their new V12 engine. A short film was commissioned, at MIRA, where Norman Dewis would take to the wheel so that they may capture some footage. On the final lap of the banked circuit, one of the rear wheels disintegrated, and the XJ13 careered into the safety fence and rolled end over end into a ploughed field. Dewis walked away unhurt, a fine tribute to the inherent strength of the monocoque chassis design, but the XJ13 was left in tatters.”

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