'The ex-Tony Hazelwood Jaguar XJ8'
BUILT : 1975 ( public debut July 19th 1975 )
CLASSIFICATION : SuperSaloon
ENGINE : 6990cc Surtees Weslake Chevy V8 BHP : 620
RACED BY : Tony Hazelwood ( 1975 ), Gordon Mayers ( 1975-77 ), Mick Hill ( 1978 )
CURRENTLY : project still in need of full re-fabrication following garage fire in July 1978
NOTES : Now this is a fascinating case. One of the top 10 Supersaloons of all time but was severely damaged in a garage fire and has left the remains a tantalizing project.
Having sold the famous DAF V8 Tony Hazelwood built his next Supersaloon in the form of a Jaguar XJC with a 620bhp John Surtees Can Am Chevy V8 and dubbed it the XJ8. Chassis described as 'steel monocoque centre section'. Made it`s public debut July 19th 1975 causing much attention and 2nd on its race debut August 25th at Silverstone with sponsorship from Hughes of Beaconsfield Jaguar. 2 weeks later Tony let Gordon Mayers drive her to its first ( and maybe only ) win in the BARC Forward Trust race at the same circuit.
Very fast when it ran right, this 2 mpg car was plagued with fuel feed/ misfire problems and like the DAF, dare i say was actually more popular and famous than it was successful.
Mayers raced the car through 1976 at the height of the Supersaloon era with a dramatic modification of the bonnet being fully slanted where the front grill had been. Fewer races in 1977. Mike Wilds has fond memories of the car 'It was amazing to drive, I tested the car a couple of times. It was very quick with that Can Am Surtees engine... also very loud'.
From the photos you can just how far back into the cabin that enormous engine was placed along with the Hewland gearbox. The driver having to use an elongated steering column and sat behind the B-pillars in remarkable close proximity to the V8 !
Offered for sale dec 1976 for £8k, it sold a year later to fellow supersaloon racer/builder Mick Hill for 1978. Mick extended the front arches out, replaced the grilled front back and repainted her white with 'Taylor`s 24' backing. Hill got the car more reliable and did the BRDC Supersaloons ( top 4 placings ) and Donington races before disaster struck that July. A garage fire caused significant damage. At the time reports used words like 'destroyed' and it passed into folklore the car was gone. Most of the working parts were salvaged, repaired and put into Hill`s next project, the aptly named 'Phoenix' Skoda. Privileged access to the Hill family archives has thrown up a few photos of the aftermath, the most detailed is posted below.
Then fast forward to 2014 and a chance meeting with a competitor as we both sort a brief chat with Marcus Pye in the Mallory commentary box. He was holding some A4 prints...'oh the Hazelwood Jaguar that was destroyed in the fire' i said. Turns out the competitor who i shalln`t name had just bought the remains at auction. The body and what mechanicals that were left ( see photos below ) did exist afterall. He`s a Jaguar man but doesnt do the internet. What a project and hope for a resurrection. Sadly an update in early 2020 was the project had been literally shelved by the owner due to the foreseen costs and complexities.
'The ex-Albert Betts Jaguar Mk.1 UXF 363 '
CLASSIFICATION : Special Saloon ( road registered )
ENGINE : 3781cc Jaguar straight 6 cylinders
RACED BY : Albert Betts ( 1957-1970 ), Roger Warrell ( 1971 ), Reg Palmer ( 1975 ), Gerry Marshall ( 2002 )
CURRENTLY : alive and well, less modified in classic racing
NOTES : Albert Betts was a racer/engineer who ran AWB Motors of Clapham offering tuning, fibreglass panels and metalflake resprays . Skills all displayed in his 2-tone mark 1 race car. Betts raced this car from 1957 in 2.4 form, upgrading to 3.8, through the 60s and was still going in 1970 often at Snetterton . Not as modified as other mark 1/2s ,the wider wheels can be seen proud of the near standard bodywork. Even the chrome bumper was retained. Raced by Roger Warrel in 1972 and reappeared in 1975 raced by Reg Palmer still sporting the chrome but on wider tires.
'He ( Albert Betts ) developed it into an outright race winner. He was a great driver and engineer'- Reg Palmer
Looking more standard the car has enjoyed much success in the modern age of classic motorsport in the hands of Don Law Racing of Newcastle-under-Lyme. Gerry Marshall raced it at Goodwod in september 2002 and its been a Goodwood regular since in the hands of Don and Justin Law .