About – Lanes Cars E Type Jaguar Specialists

Lanes Cars – Martin Lane

Firstly welcome to Lanes Cars which was first established in 1993 as an Independent Jaguar Specialist in Birmingham Jewelry Quater before moving to premises in the Heart Of England.

Martin Lane has always had a very keen interest in early car racing from the dawn of motoring from The Gordon Bennett Cup which started in Paris Europe in 1900 an event that proved crucial in the racing world. This was an annual race which attracted international competitors from around the world and in which each country could register up to three cars for the next six years.

The first race that bore the name Grand Prix followed In 1906, the first race which was organized by the Automobile Club of France (CAF) and ran for two days in the month of June. The circuit, located in Le Mans, had a total length of around 105 kilometers (65 miles) with 32 participants, representing 12 different automakers.

The rivalry between Mercedes Benz, Ferrari and Jaguar teams of the 1950s, 1960s at Le Mans is legendary

Especially when Jaguar Cars set out to win the Le Mans race winning in 1951 on the first outing of their C Type Jaguar.

With Mercedes Benz winning in 1952.

Jaguar C Type won again in 1953, when it was the first racing car to  average speeds at over 100 miles per hour, this was attributed to modifications from 1951 C Type with its body weight being lightened, the use of fuel bags instead of a petrol tank,  triple Weber Carburetors and Dunlop Disc brakes which allowed for superior and later braking into corners over their competitors.

Jaguar followed this Le Mans-winning car with their D Type which once again had been specifically designed to win Le Mans 24 hour race.

Sharing many mechanical components from it’s C Type predecessor, its structure was radically different with a monocoque construction and integrated aviation technology, in a sports racing car such as the D Type which is clearly visible by its vertical stabilizer and its aerodynamic superiority was evident from it’s recorded maximum speed of 172.8 mph on the Mulsanne Straight in 1954 but came second to Ferrari  in 1954 however the following 3 years dominated Le Mans by winning in 1955, 56 and 57.

Jaguar had officially retired from Motor Sport at the end of 1955,  but however, supported the winning D Type Cars and their Teams to win the chequered flag in 1956 and 1957.

In 1960 there was a possibility that Jaguar Cars may return to Motor Sports Racing with their E Type Jaguar, which had many components from both the C Type and D Type with the E Type Construction being very similar to the D Type with monocoque and engine frames with a long-nosed bonnet for stability.

American Briggs Cunningham, who had raced Jaguar’s E2A prototype in the 1960 Le Mans 24 Hours, gave the E-type its Le Mans debut in 1962. Sharing his car with Salvadori, he finished fourth, ahead of a second E-type driven by Peter Sargent and Peter Lumsden losing to Ferraris that dominated the podium that year.

One of Martin’s favorite books is Touch Wood, Duncan Hamilton’s Autobiography and the Winner of the Le Mans 1953 race in his Jaguar C Type alongside Tony Holt is a great read and he can highly recommend it to anyone who wants to feel the excitement of British Motor Racing in the 1950s by a larger than life character of Motorsport.

The first E Type Martin Lane owned was in 1978 an S2 4.2 FHC in Signal Red with a Black Interior, he has also owned many MG B’s both Roadsters and GT’s as a daily drivers along with various Classic Cars in between including Austin Healey’s, Triumph’s and a couple of C Type Replicas one which was built by Proteus and the other by Realm Engineering in the 1990s.

With his  first car being a British Racing Green – Austin Healey Frog Eyed Sprite, slowly turning his passion for E Types and Jaguars Cars into a business dedicated to this Iconic Designed British Sports Car and currently owns a Opalescence Silver Blue 1963 E Type Jaguar S1 3.8 FHC with a French Navy Interior with its original Moss gearbox and a Opalescence Green XKSS Replica with a fuel injection 3.8 XK engine and 5 speed gearbox.

Lanes Cars E Type Specialist Workshops

Lanes Cars now have completed well over 70 plus rebuilds and restoration of E Type Jaguars and fully understand the complexity of their structure as they really are based on Jaguars Motor Racing Heritage from the 1950s.

With a dedicated team of craftsmen who are able to offer clients, fabrication of unobtainable panel parts along with full body shop facilities and all aspects of proven Jaguar E Type upgrades with in-house engine builders to undertake mechanical works of the legendary Jaguar XK engine.

If you wish to discuss Lanes Cars undertaking routine servicing, maintenance or restoration of your beloved Jaguar E Type please feel free to contact Martin or a member of his E Type team for some friendly advice as we always enjoy discussing Jaguar E Types with clients by appointment at our workshops in the Heart of England in Staffordshire.

Lanes Cars Appointed – RBW Classic Electric Cars Main Agent – 2018

As we start the 21st century Lanes Cars have become a Main Agent for RBW Classic Electric Cars who with their association with Continental, Zytek Automotive Formula E Winning Champions and world-leading EV Technology with over 33 billion of their income so far this year being generated from EV business.

Zytek Engineering Services specialises in the design & manufacture of 3 phase, electric drive systems, Hyperdrive Innovation Batteries and Dee Engineering leading suspension designers these EV Classic vehicles will have a true sports car driving experience with their new recreations of Iconic British Sports Cars available in the summer of 2019.

With Tesla’s mission to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy future with Elon Musk (CEO) driving the business has really changed the worlds view of Electric Vehicles and RBW Classic Electric Cars now offering clients recreations of Iconic British Sports Cars that are electric so they can be appreciated by future generations as the combustion engines which have driven passions of motoring for the last 100 years evolve to bring the latest EV technology to new range of Classic Cars.

Lanes Cars – New Showroom at Pendine Motoring Museum of Speed – 2019

There is quite a connection with the Pendine Museum of Speed in Carmarthen with the combustion engines of the 1920s setting 3 world land speed records on the 7-mile long sandy beach and the United Kingdoms Electric Land Speed Record made in 2000.

The first person to use Pendine Sands for a world land speed record was Malcolm Campbell in 1924 who set the new world land speed record of 146.16  in his Sunbeam V12- 350hp car Blue Bird on Pendine’s 7-mile beach.

In July 1925, Malcolm Campbell once again piloted a 350-horsepower Sunbeam automobile, nicknamed Blue Bird, to a two-way average of 150.87 miles per hour at Pendine Sands in the south of Wales. In doing so, he became the first person to break the 150 MPH barrier in an automobile.

Thomas Parry who’s car Babs achieved a land speed record in 1926 of 171.02 mph, unfortunately, he suffered a major accident and died in March 1927 trying to regain his own land speed record that had been broken by Malcolm Campbell just a few weeks earlier in February of 1927 by achieving 174.22 mph.

In June 2000 Don Wales, grandson of Malcolm Campbell and nephew on Donald Campbell set the United Kingdoms land speed record at Pendine Sands in Bluebird Electric 2 achieving a speed of 137 mph. (watch this space as RBW Classic Electric Cars may be planning to take this tile with one of their Electric Iconic British Recreations in 2020 themselves ) 

Jaguar E Type in Carmarthenshire 

In 1957 over sixty years ago, in the spring of 1957, an extraordinary sports car emerged from Jaguar’s experimental department, the E1A was the prototype of the Jaguar E-type, a car which defined the spirit of the 1960s. Described by Enzo Ferrari as “the most beautiful car ever made”, the E-Type became an instant classic, driven by glitterati like Frank Sinatra and Princess Grace.

The E-Type project was top secret, but in 1957 Jaguar lent the prototype to the High Sheriff of Carmarthenshire, Lt Col Christopher Jennings a friend of Sir William Lyons, who also happened to be editor of The Motor magazine. Jennings tested cars on his favorite route between Brecon and Carmarthen; his quickest run had been in an Aston Martin-powered by a Le Mans race engine. Jaguar was curious to discover how their new model would fare.

At 7 am on a perfect May morning in 1957, Jennings set off in the Jaguar from his home in Carmarthenshire, accompanied by his wife Margaret (Allan), who was herself a champion racing driver who was one of the leading British female racing and rally drivers in the inter-war years, and one of only four women ever to earn a 120 mph badge at the Brooklands circuit. “We made a 20-mile warming-up run and then ‘had a go’,” he reported. “The result was almost fantastic. The first 20 miles from Carmarthen to Llandovery was covered at an average of just over 70mph and Brecon was reached in 43 minutes … the return journey was made at a fast touring speed by my wife but nevertheless equaled the Aston Martin record of 50 minutes. At no time did we exceed 120mph. It will be seen therefore that the new Jaguar is a potential world beater.”

Christopher Jennings was absolutely right.  Around 72,000 E-Types were built between 1961 and 1975, and the car’s sheer beauty still bewitches today: in January 2017, a rare example sold for almost £6 million.

Lanes Cars – Pendine Showroom 

As we are based at Pendine Motor Museum of Speed you may even wish to take a short break when visiting us with a new multi-million Motor Museum facility dedicated to Thomas Parry and enjoy one of the best coastal roads in the United Kingdom.

With many local historical points of interest starting from the Boat House at Laugharne of Dylan Thomas fame to Pendine to Saundersfoot to Tenby and then on to St Davids the smallest City in the United Kingdom with it’s beautiful Cathedral and beyond with numerous country pubs, restaurants along the way with boutique hotels and why not possibly treating yourself to a night or two at the Roch Castle Hotel which was built in 1195 and has been home of conquerors and courtesans and is voted one of the best Hotels in Wales at the end of your coastal drive near St Davids.

As you can tell Martin Lane is a true Classic Car Enthusiast and very passionate about Jaguar Cars who fully appreciates motoring Classic Heritage but is also excited to be at a new dawn of an EV motoring era with the latest electric technology in New Electric Classics.

Martin Lane looks forward to seeing and meeting past, present and future clients to our new showroom and head office at Pendine Motor Museum of Speed, West Wales.

Martin Lane