Auto Royale March 2021 Newsletter

With the kind permission of Auto Royale and Marque II Media Ltd., we are delighted to bring you the March edition of the Auto Royale Newsletter. In it you will find some very interesting snippets about that great British marque – Jaguar. 
There will be leapers and growlers aplenty when Auto Royale celebrates the 120th birthday of arguably one of the most important figures in British motoring history, Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons. Given 2021 is also a milestone year for the C-Type and the E-Type, it seemed only fair that we honour the occasions with the second of this year’s exciting headline classes in the British International Concours d’Elegance.
The William Lyons / Jaguar XK class will celebrate the great and the good of Jaguar’s design, technical and competitive achievements with a dozen legendary XK-engined examples from both road and track. And they won’t be just the usual suspects either, with coachbuilt examples from Pininfarina and Bertone along with the UK debut of the American-built Hansgen Special. This may well be the most exciting display of authentic, unique and important Jaguars in the UK this year, and what follows below is only a taste of what is to come. Enjoy!
See you in the summer!
Auto Royale HQ
At the height of his career, Walt Hansgen was, along with Shelby and Cunningham, one of the best known and most successful road racing drivers in America. With over 120 podiums from just over 200 starts, he won four consecutive SCCA Championships between 1956 and 1959, and at 44, was both the oldest and fastest rookie to qualify for the Indianapolis 500.
Whilst Jaguar was often his first choice, he found in 1951, that his stock XK120 lacked sufficient power against the factory-built sports racers he competed against. So, without funds to purchase a C-Type, he went about designing and building his own version, resulting in the “Hansgen Special”.  His first season in 1953 proved very successful with a succession of top finishes, and the rest as they say, is history.  Newly restored from a Swiss collection, this sensational car makes its UK debut at Auto Royale in July.
It has been said that this one-off Pininfarina-bodied XK120, commissioned by American dealer Max Hoffman, could well be the rarest Jaguar in the world.  Initially unveiled in 1955 at the Geneva Motor Show, it languished in Germany for more than 40 years before undergoing a marathon 6725-hour restoration by Classic Motor Cars and finally receiving its curtain call at Pebble Beach in 2017.
Italian coachbuilders didn’t always get it right with Jaguars (the Pininfarina-bodied XJ12 anyone?), but when they did, the result was sublime and this XK120 is simply top of the tree. Auto Royale is super-excited to showcase not one but two rare coachbuilt Jaguars, this one joining the equally exquisite XK150 Coupe by Bertone.
The fifth C-Type to come out of the Browns Lane factory, and only the second to be sold to a privateer racer, XKC 005 went on to have a successful and storied career.  After achieving 6th place at the 1952 Monaco Grand Prix with Tommy Wisdom, it was returned to the factory in June and fitted with experimental disc brakes. In the same year that the Works team ran a disastrous campaign at Le Mans, Stirling Moss went on to win the Reims Sports Car race, registering the first competition victory for a disc-braked car.
As a works and privately entered car, Moss went on to drive XKC 005 to victory at Goodwood, Turnberry, Boreham and Charterhall, and a year later, in 1953 as a Works entry, Tony Rolt and Len Hayden were leading on time when the car broke down only 200 miles from the finish line. XKC 005 is no stranger to the concours scene, but is certainly a worthy addition to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its stablemates.
We are pleased to welcome Fuzz Townshend’s Classic Oils who will be bringing two iconic brands to Auto Royale.  Having recently secured the distribution rights to Gulf Oils here in the UK, the orange and blue will take centre stage on their stand, accompanied by popular Australian classic oil brand, Penrite.  Time your visit right and you could even meet Fuzz himself, star of Car SOS, as he joins the judging team to judge Best in Show.
For more information about Classic Oils, check out the website at, or visit them at the show on stand #SG 019.
In 1956, and with more D-Type shells than they could sell, Jaguar came up with the splendid plan to offer a toned-down D-Type for the road.  And so it was that nothing more than an excess of stock brought about one of the coolest and most coveted Jaguars in history, the XKSS.  In fact, it was so cool that the “King of Cool”, Steve McQueen not only bought one new, but after selling it on, later bought it back, such was his admiration.
That only 16 of the planned 25 examples made it into production thanks to the famous factory fire in February 1957 has only made it more desirable, and when one example was sold at auction by Gooding & Co in 2017, it was recorded as the most expensive British road car in history.
Jaguar used two E-Types at its official unveiling in Geneva in 1961.  Famously 9600HP made the dash to the launch with PR Manager Bob Berry at the wheel, arriving with minutes to spare. However that was not the first car unveiled to the media at Le Gastronomic du Parc des Eaux Vives on Wednesday 15 March. That honour fell to chassis 885005, which was hidden in a packing crate inside the hotel, the sides of which would fall away to reveal the iconic motor to the world’s press.
Similar fanfare followed the next day at Salon de l’Automobile and two months later the car was sold to a Swiss insurance company CEO and privateer racer. Little is known of its life in Switzerland, but to be sure, this is undeniably one of the most important non-racing Jaguars in the World, and we look forward to welcoming it on its return to the mother country.
Looking for an easter surprise for the car enthusiast who has everything?  Then look no further. From now until Good Friday, you can get a 15% discount for all General Admission tickets on any day of Auto Royale this July. Simply enter the code:
To activate your discount.  There’s no limit on the number of tickets you can buy, so why stop at one. Take the whole crew.
Our Covid-19 guarantee means that if you book your tickets now and the pandemic forces the cancellation of Auto Royale, you will get your money back, no questions asked.
To book your seat at Auto Royale click here or visit for more event details.
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