The greatest number of “works supported” Jaguars ever will take part in this year’s Mille Miglia, with a D-type, four C-types and a Mark VII saloon being supported by Jaguar Cars and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.
Joining the historic cars and a fleet of XKR and XFR support vehicles will be Norman Dewis, the former Jaguar test development driver who navigated for Stirling Moss in the 1952 race - which was to end with the duo’s C-type crashing on the Raticosa Pass only 123 miles from finish and while lying third at the time.
Jaguar has had a long association with the famous event. In 1950 four works-prepared XK 120s ran in the Mille Miglia, and in 1951 a young Stirling Moss took part in a similar car.
Since the race was recreated as a retrospective event, privately owned Jaguars as well as those from the Jaguar Heritage collection have taken part almost every year.
This year will see a total of 20 Jaguars from around the world competing with 355 other cars of all shapes and sizes. Tony O’Keeffe, the Jaguar “works manager” at Jaguar Heritage, said: “we wanted to create a proper ‘works team’. We are sending our long nose D-type, our C-type which actually took part in the Mille Miglia in 1953, and we are supporting three other C-types and a Mark VII saloon. We will also have a Jaguar legend with us – Norman Dewis
“It will be history repeating itself,” said Norman, now 88. “In 1952, 57 years ago, we drove the C-type I competed in that year, and a Mark VII support car, all the way from Coventry to Brescia, and this year will create the atmosphere that I remember so well.”
Peter Mitchell Executive Director at Jaguar heritage said: “The Mille Miglia is one of the most famous events in the world. It allows Jaguar Heritage to show two of its most famous cars to a worldwide audience, support other famous historic Jaguars which have been invited, and allows Jaguar Cars to showcase their latest vehicles.”
The 2009 “Works Team:”
Jaguar Heritage 1956 Jaguar D-type ‘Long Nose’. Registration mark: 393 RW s/n XKD.605
This was the penultimate D-type, built in March 1956 and originally fitted with the latest specification fuel injection engine. It was allocated to the Jaguar works racing team, and was entered for the Reims 12-hour race, which it won, driven by Duncan Hamilton and Ivor Bueb.
The 1953 Jaguar Heritage C-type. Registration mark: NDU 289 s/n XKC.045
The car appearing at this year’s Mille Miglia is one of the later production cars, and unlike the 1953 works cars these were normally fitted with SU carburettors and drum brakes. It was bought by the Italian driver Tadini who entered it in the 1953 Mille Miglia, but had to retire.
1952 Jaguar C-type. Registration Mark: MDU 214 s/n XKC.004 (Nigel Webb)
This was the first privately owned C-type Jaguar, bought by Duncan Hamilton. The car was raced in period until 1965, and since then in historic events by drivers such as Stirling Moss and Johnny Herbert.
1953 Jaguar C-type. Registration Mark MVC 630 s/n XKC.046
This car was used by the Ecurie Ecosse team and owned by Sir John Scott Douglas. It was raced in the UK, at Reims, and at Spa in the 24 hour race where it was placed second. In the 1980s and 1990s it competed in the USA.
1953 Jaguar C-type. Registration Mark RAU 450 s/n XKC.049 (Alan Minshaw)
This car is a production C-type and was raced in period by the late Archie Scott Brown
1954 Jaguar Mark VII. Registration Mark 97 DMH
This car is a very original example of the MK VII, a type of Jaguar saloon which also competed in the original Mille Miglia.