At the end of the 1940's, Jaguar the car company decided to enter the world of racing, fielding their successful XK 120 sports car. And they went after one of the biggest motor sports, the 1950 24 Heures du Mans. Unfortunately, clutch failure ended their quest.
For 1951, they created a lightened, rebodied version labeled the C-Type, and succeeded. Their C-type won again the prestigious race for 1953.
They followed up with a totally new racer christened the D-Type, and won the 1955, 1956, and 1957 Le Mans races.
The Office – Jaguar D-Type CockpitPen&ink and watercolour pencils on white archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2009
The company continued with the development of other racers, but with little success.
In the early 1980's, Tom Walkingshaw Racing (TWR) took a Jaguar XJS to a win of the 1984 European Touring Car. With this success, Jaguar decided to get officially back to racing.
With company support, TWR developed the Jaguar XJR-6 for the 1987 season, and it finished 5th at Le Mans. With their other successes in the season, Jaguar won the World Sports Car Championship.
Silk Cut Jaguar XJR-9LMPen&ink, paint markers and markers on purple archival stock
© Paul Chenard 2012
For the 1988, TWR built the all-new XJR-9LM. For their assault of the famous French endurance classic, Jaguar had Jan Lammers, Johnny Dumfries and Andy Wallace driving their beautiful racer.
Thirty-one years after their previous Le Mans victory, Jaguar was finally in the winner’s circle again.