Jaguar XJ13 The Definitive Story of the Jaguar Le Mans Car and V12 Engine

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ISBN: 9780956685711, Author: Peter D. Wilson

The definitive story of the Le Mans car and the V12 engine that powered it.

This book tells the inside story of Jaguar's fabulous Le Mans prototype – gloriously shaped by Malcolm Sayer and arguably the world's most famous race car never to have turned a wheel in competition! In some 300 pages and 600 illustrations, many in colour, every aspect of XJ13's origins, design, build and testing is covered by author Peter D. Wilson – who is uniquely qualified for this task because in the early/mid-1960s he was an engineer working in Jaguar's competition department and helped build the car. 

The book also gives the first-ever detailed account of the fantastic 5.0 litre four-cam V12 engine which powered XJ13 (and which was intended to power Jaguar road cars too). This brings to light the extraordinary saga of Jaguar's intended purchasing of Lotus, with the carrot of a Jaguar V12 race engine for Colin Chapman's Indianapolis aspirations cleverly dangled by Sir William Lyons! A story which has never been told before, it includes a fascinating exchange of correspondence between those two wiley old campaigners, Lyons and Chapman. 

Not only does Peter have personal knowledge of XJ13, he also interviewed key people in the story, including Mike Kimberley who was assigned the project after the sad departure of Derrick White to Cooper Cars (Mike went on to become chief executive of Lotus for many years). Then retired engine men George Buck,Jim Eastick and Frank Philpott, who developed the four-cam engine on the test-bed, also contributed their knowledge and helped Peter assess the significance of the many test reports which have been analysed for the book. These and large quantity of other key documents came to light during the hundreds of hours Peter spent researching in the Jaguar Heritage archives at Browns Lane, and a number of them are reproduced in full. 

The book also explores other mid-engine designs which Malcolm Sayer proposed, including after the XJ13 project was shelved. It also tells how the eventual production 'flat head' V12 engine emerged from the original Baily/Heynes design (codenamed 'XJ6') which powered the XJ13, but which proved too bulky and complex for use in road Jaguars. 

All in all, this is a detailed account of this extraordinary Le Mans Jaguar that is both technical enough to please the engineer, but also expressed in a way that even the layman can appreciate what it takes to design, build and test a sophisticated, 200mph+, V12-engined Le Mans car. 

The main contents of the book in more detail are as follows:- 


  • C-type, D-type, E-type (including Lightweight) and E2A

Project XJ6: The four – cam V12 engine

  • Part 1: Concept and design
  • Part 2: Build and development
  • Part 3: The afterlife…
  • Part 4: What might have been…?

Project XJ13: The mid-engined Le Mans car

  • Part 1: Origins and design
  • Part 2: Making a start
  • Part 3: Opposition – The Ford GT40
  • Part 4: Completion and static test
  • Part 5: Out to play…
  • Part 6: Redesign and upgrades
  • Part 7: Scattered to the winds…
  • Part 8: A new dawn…and disaster!
  • Part 9: Like a Phoenix…


  • Wingfield
  • Proteus
  • TWR
  • Charles Motors
  • Tempero Coach and Motor Co. Ltd
  • Racing Green Cars
  • Predator Performance
  • AKZ Vehicle Engineering
  • Vicarage
  • Digby and Gwen Cooke’s Australian XJ13
  • XJ13 on Ebay!


  • AUTOart 1:18 scale
  • AUTOart 1:43 scale
  • Mattel Hot Wheels
  • K & R Replicas 1:24 scale
  • Smallwheels
  • Gems & Cobwebs 1:43 scale
  • Jaguar Model Club 1:43 scale
  • Guild Models 1:43 scale
  • Danbury Mint 1:43 scale


  • XJ13 specification as first completed March 1966
  • Ford GT40 Airflow tests
  • Ford GT40 Performance test and specification
  • XJ13 first Test Report – MIRA, 5th March 1967
  • XJ13 Development Report, 6th July 1967 – Rear wheel steer
  • XJ13 Test Report – MIRA, 9th July 1967
  • XJ13 Test Report - Silverstone 15/16th August 1967
  • Competition Department XJ13 Investigation Report – Ted Brookes 26th October 1967
  • George Buck V12 four-valve head report




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    Jaguar XJ13 The Definitive Story

    Jaguar XJ13 The Definitive Story of the Jaguar Le Mans Car and V12 Engine

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