Jaguar TWR XJS chassis 1
Among other racing modifications, TWR implemented the single wheel nut and compressed air jacking systems to speed up their pit stops. A heavier car than its BMW competitor, TWR001 needed extra pit stops and so speed would therefore be essential for a Jaguar win. The new Lucas developed micro-chip injection system was not yet ready for testing and so a large hole is cut out of the original bonnet in order to allow for the six Weber carburettors - ‘Tom’s hack’.
Still in its damson/white livery, TWR001 was then taken to the Gaynor proving ground for straight line testing and following this, made ready for testing at the then disused Goodwood circuit. Although an open test day, no public announcement was made with testing undertaken in great secrecy. Opinion at this time within the racing community was that the car is actually destined for Bathurst, Australia. Another test is carried out at Silverstone on March 2nd and later at Zolder in Belgium. The car was then painted black in advance of final confirmation of sponsorship from Motul Oil, who were awaiting the latest testing results.
The Jaguar XJS TWR is revealed to the media mid-March 1982 with the announcement that TWR will be running the XJS in the European Touring Car Championship. Sponsorship had been confirmed from Motul Oil and Akai, along with results based backing from Jaguar Cars and free tyres from Dunlop. All homologation requirements had been met for the Group A specification and in readiness for the first race at Monza, the six Weber carburettors were replaced with the standard fuel-injection system and inlet manifolds.
The 1982 race season
21st March, Monza – Walkinshaw/‘Nicholson’ start on the front row but retire mid-way when a chicane damages the underside.
April 4th, Valleunga – Walkinshaw/’Nicholson’ finish third, although most lap charts indicated that the car came second.
April, Zolder – Belgian National (non-ETC) event won by Walkinshaw.
May 2nd, Donington – Walkinshaw/’Nicholson’ lead the race, but forced to retire when the radiator is holed.
May 16th, Enna – Not raced.
May 23rd, Mugello – Walkinshaw starts well from pole position but retires due to a valve spring failure.
June 13th, Brno – The first ETC win for Walkinshaw/’Nicholson’ and the Jaguar XJS.
June 27th, Zeltweg – Starting on pole, Tom Walkinshaw drives single-handedly, but loses time due to windscreen wiper failure finishing second.
July 4th, Nurburgring – The second ETC win. Despite a puncture, Walkinshaw/‘Nicholson’ finished first place ahead of BMW in third.
July 31st - August 1st, Spa-Francorchamps, 24 hour race. Two Jaguars appear for the first time along with an updated livery. The Walkinshaw/’Nicholson’/Percy car with its new Getrag five-speed gearbox takes pole position and a brief lead, but both cars retire after night-time crashes.
September 12th, Silverstone – A 1-2 finish by Walkinshaw/’Nicholson’ and Allam/Lovett provide Jaguar Cars with its third ETC win and first TT victory since 1951. This convincing performance proves to be an important milestone in the Jaguar/TWR relationship giving Jaguar Cars the confidence to officially back the project in 1983.
26th September, Zolder – The fourth ETC win and another 1-2 position for the XJS. Both Jaguars occupy the front row of the grid.
In March 1983, Jaguar Cars announced their formal return to the European Touring Car Championship. Jaguar were to co-sponsor with Motul Oil and the cars would have a white and green livery. TWR will continue to prepare and race the cars, with full support from Jaguar.
“One car is being prepared from scratch, the other is (in updated form) the car which became the TWR ‘No 2’ car in 1982. Last year’s ‘No 1’ car, which won four ETC races last year, will stay at base – available for development or, of course, for spares if these should be needed at short notice.” (Jaguar 1983 European Touring Car Championship Programme)
After a victorious competition season, TWR001 is formally retired from racing after its four ETC wins and one non-ETC win in 1982.
In June 2012, a TWR XJS is sold to the championship winning historic car racer, Chris Scragg.
Having previously been stripped of its engine and retained as a show car for use in promoting the race series, the XJS had fallen into the hands of Jaguar Heritage Trust where it continued to be exhibited as an example of a race series ‘show car’. Later, it was fitted with a standard XJS 5.3 litre V12 production engine and inboard rear brakes for display purposes at shows.
When the Trust decided to sell the car, it is purchased by John Pearson, renowned Jaguar enthusiast, who then quickly sells the vehicle to Brian Stevens, who purchases it with a view to using it for racing. Retaining the paint scheme, the engine is replaced by a full race Rob Beere unit with throttle bodies, (a fibre glass bonnet is used to accommodate the bulge although the original is retained), outboard rear brakes, a 5 speed Getrag manual gearbox, catch tanks and an alloy fuel tank. The underside is cleaned and painted white, with Perspex door windows and roll cage fitted. Finally, in 2010, a PAS steering rack replaces the manual steering. The car is then put up for sale as it does not meet the specification requirements to acquire FIA papers.
Chris entrusts his newly acquired car to Mike Wilkinson, of M&C Wilkinson in Everton, South Yorkshire, to prepare it to the correct racing specification. During 2012, the car is raced several times. Chris competes at Brands Hatch and was about to the take the lead, when, with only minutes to go, a wheel bearing fails forcing him to retire from the race early. At the Silverstone Classic, his son, Ant Scragg triumphs over the competition going on to win the ‘Win Percy Trophy’.
With preparation now complete; the FIA papers were acquired with a view to selling on the car. However, a chance meeting with an ex employee of TWR at the 2012 Stoneleigh Historic Racing Car Show raised the possible historical significance of this vehicle, which until this point has been lost. His assertion was that this XJS is ‘Tom’s Hack’.
Renovation to full race specification
The vehicle was returned to Mike Wilkinson’s workshop for further investigation to see if this could be the original TWR001 that competed in the 1982 championship and the findings are well documented in Nigel Thorley’s article ‘The car that never was or still is!’ in the December 2013 edition of the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club Magazine. Based upon the overwhelming evidence discovered, Chris decided to restore this important vehicle back to its 1982 Donington TT specification and livery.
M&C Wilkinson have completed the final stages stages of re-commissioning, corroborated by its FIA HTP paperwork. The vehicle has since been tested by Chris Scragg and the team on the circuit at Blyton Park, in readiness for its demonstration at the Goodwood Members' Meeting in March 2017.
TWR XJS Chassis 1 is now offered for sale in race ready condition.