Jaguar XJ13 1966
When it comes to racing, there may not be any other marquee around with a richer historical heritage than Jaguar. Back in the day, Jaguar won the 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1955 to 1957, with the now legendary D-Type taking the checker three years in a row. The company’s activity as a works team ended in 1956, but there were those within the company that still had a passion for racing. These men continued to develop racing cars, and one in particular was intended to succeed the D-Type. This car was dubbed the XJ13 and was completed in 1966. It was Jaguar’s first mid-engine race car.
The body was similar to road-going E-Type, often considered one of the most beautiful road cars in history; however, within the engine compartment sat a 5.0-liter DOHC V12 that pumped out 495 HP. This engine would serve as the basis for the company’s 12-cylinder engines for years to come.
The engineers had high hopes for the XJ13 in actual competition, but the management team at Jaguar wasn’t keen on seeing it race, and along with the fact that company brass wanted to keep the V12 engine a secret, the XJ13 project was canceled. It’s too bad really, because the car was said to be the most beautiful in Jaguar’s history. Although it never made it onto any racetrack, one car was actually produced, but it was severely damaged during filming of a promotional clip for the E-Type. Since then, the car has fortunately been restored to its original splendor.