Thirteen. Unlucky for some

The Jaguar XJ13 was a prototype racing car that Jaguar developed to relive the glory days of the C and D-types of the 50s and 60s.

The XJ13 is considered one of the most beautiful racing cars of all time.

The story of the XJ13 is an unlucky one.

The XJ13 was a brave attempt to keep up with the Porsches and Ford GTs of the mid-60s.

Despite plans to be race-ready for the 1965 Le Mans, it was only ready for testing in 1966, by which time Ford had their 7.0 litre GT40 ready.

The XJ13 has the sad story of never competing in a race.

By 1967, the regulations changed to allow only a 3.0-litre capacity, and the XJ13 was rendered permanently redundant.

A wasted opportunity, in the hands of Norman Dewis (Jaguars test driver), the car
reached 161 mph down the straight at the MIRA test track, establishing a new lap record.

By then, the appetite for racing at Jaguar had been diminished due to a merger with BMC.

On 21 January 1971, Dewis drove the only Jaguar XJ13 for a film promoting the new V12 Jaguar E-type at the MIRA high-speed circuit.

While filming, the tyre failed, and the car crashed heavily, almost destroying it; fortunately, Norman escaped unharmed.

Following its rebuild, the car was over-revved and destroyed, rebuilt, and then the sump was damaged on a curb in Copenhagen, requiring a complete rebuild.

After that rebuild, unbelievably, the engine suffered severe damage at Goodwood.

Turning the ‘unlucky 13’ superstition into an unfortunate reality on four wheels!