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 & Mercedes Benz Specialist in Birmingham Jewelry Quater before moving to premises in the Heart Of England and have recently opened a new showroom & design studio at the Motor Museum of Speed, Pendine Carmarthen.

Pendine Sands -  Land Speed Records

In the 1920s it became clear that roads and race tracks were no longer adequate venues for attempts on the world land speed records. As record-breaking speeds approached 150 mph (240 km/h), the requirements for acceleration to top speed before the measured mile and safe braking distance afterward meant that a smooth, flat, straight surface of at least 5 miles (8.0 km) in length was needed.

Malcolm Campbell was first to use Pendine Sands for his land speed record attempt on the 24th of September 1924 with his Sunbeam 350bhp Blue Bird and set a new land speed of 146.16 mph, Blue Birds 350bp Sunbeam engine no doubt he would have been assisted by Louis Coatalen chief engineer of Sunbeam Motor Company from Wolverhampton in his endeavor, who at the time was at the cutting edge of early racing engines with his Sunbeam Toodles 11 that had been born from his less successful Sunbeam Nautilus engine, Coatalen won 22 prizes in Toodles II at Brooklands in 1911 and also achieved a flying mile of 86.16 mph (138.66 km/h) to take the 16 hp Short Record.

Followed by in April 1926 by Thomas Parry with his 27- liter Liberty powered car Babs who broke the land speed record by achieving 171 mph, who lost it to Campbell’s successful second land speed record of 174.224 mph in February 1927 in his Napier Lion V12 500bhp – Campbell Blue Bird.

Parry-Thomas returned to Pendine in March 1927 with an improved Babs. Tragically, during this later attempt, Parry-Thomas lost control at speeds of over 100mph and he crashed, being killed instantly.

Babs is now on display at the Motor Museum of Speed where you can visit & discover Bab’s history.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 its C Type predecessor, its structure was radically different with 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 its recorded a 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 1956,  but however, supported the winning teams who campaigned using their Jaguar D Type Cars in its most successful season finishing 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 6th at Le Mans to win the chequered flag and 1957.

Jaguar Racing Car – XKSS For Sale to the Public 1956

An XKSS opportunity missed if only we had known

An XKSS opportunity missed if only we had known!

In 1956 Jaguar Cars offered the public the opportunity to own a road-going Jaguar racecar weighing less than 1000kg & was only available in RHD, with a 3.4 XK engine producing 263 bhp, 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds & a top speed of 144 mph, with only minor changes being made to the basic 25 D-type racecar chassis’s structure they initially used to manufacture their XKSS ( Super Sports) cars with an addition of a passenger-side door, the removal of the large fin behind the driver, the removal of the divider between passenger and driver seats.

Cosmetic changes were also made for clients comfort and road legal reasons: a full-width, chrome-surrounded windscreen was added; side screens were added to both driver and passenger doors, a rudimentary, folding, fabric roof was added for weather protection; chromed bumpers were added front and rear, XK140 rear light clusters were mounted higher on the wings, and thin chrome strips were added to the edges of the front light fairings.

On the evening of 12th February 1957, a fire broke out at the Browns Lane plant destroying nine of the twenty-five cars that had already been completed or were semi-completed and Jaguar Cars ceased production.

Most of the surviving original 16 XKSSs were sold in the US & one of the most famous owners to have owned one of these ultra-rare Jaguar cars is Steve Mcqueen who purchased XKSS chassis No. 713  in 1958  from its second owner for $5000 and Jay Leno road-tested in 2014.

The last original XKSS offered for sale at auction was by Gooding and Company in 2017.

Jaguar may return to Racing in 1960

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.

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Jaguar Cars lightweight E Type’s designed from the legendary D Type stable using an aluminium monocoque which had not been redesigned for the lower strength of the aluminium used in its construction. Jaguar simply pressed out sets of aluminium panels on the same tooling used to build the production steel bodies and added stiffening plates that were riveted into the critical areas for their racing lightweights

The 12 lightweights manufactured were all raced by privateers in the early 1960s with background support from Jaguar Cars legacy racing team and engineers, proving its self to be very competitive in its own right, with all 12 still existing and with many of them still being raced today in historic racing circuits is a testimony to their racing heritage and design, with chassis number S850667 being sold by Bonham in 2017 for $7,370,000 or £6,000,000 making it the most expensive E Type sold to date.

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Daily Mail Article on Bonhams Auction 2017

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.

Jaguar Cars created a very competitive Lightweight E Type race car using a mechanical Lucas fuel injection system with a wide-angle head that produced well in excess of 300bhp right from the start, on its official racing debut at Oulton Park in 1961 Graham Hill celebrated winning the Grand Touring class for production sports cars with privateer Race Teams such as Cunninghams, Ecurie Ecosse. Peter Linder driving their Lightweights with success in the 1960s races.

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A Briggs Cuningham Race prepared E Type at Le Mans

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Take a Coffee Break

One of Martin’s favourite 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.

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Closer to home Pembrey Race Track the home of Welsh Motor Sports which opened in 1989 and was formerly an RAF Airfield and was built during World War II to house Spitfire squadrons, and soon became home to many of World War II’s flying aces, including Wing Commander Guy Gibson of Dambusters fame, between 1941 and 1945 Pembrey was host to the RAF’s Air Gunnery School, involving Blenheim and Wellington bombers and Spitfire fighter aircraft.

Pembrey Motor Circuit

The venue was also a popular testing stop-off for British Formula 1 teams from 1989 to 1998. Ayrton Senna famously lapped here at astonishing speed in 1989 during a McLaren test, while Arrows, Benetton, Jordan, and Williams were all regular visitors during the 1990s. The final run-out by an F1 team came in 1998 with the BAR team.

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Martin Lane – Cars

Martin Lane’s first car was a British Racing Green – Austin Healey Frog Eyed Sprite and purchased his first E Type in 1978 which slowly helped to turn his passion for E Types and Jaguars Cars into a business dedicated to this Iconic Designed British Sports Car and currently owns an Opalescence Silver Blue 1963 E Type Jaguar S1 3.8 FHC with a French Navy Interior with its original Moss gearbox and an Opalescence Green XKSS Replica with a fuel injection 3.4 6 cylinder engine and 5-speed gearbox.

For the dawn of a new century of EV motoring in 2021, I am currently waiting for my latest classic cars which will be an RBW- EV MG B Recreation but with an EV drive train already for the 21st century with my all-electric EV Aluminium Lightweight E Type which I will be naming Lightning.

Lanes Cars E Type Specialist Workshops

Lanes Cars E Type Specialist

Lanes Cars now have completed well over 80 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.

Using a team of time-served craftsmen who can offer clients, fabrication of unobtainable panel parts, full-body shop facilities, and all aspects of mechanical refurbishment and engine rebuilds with known & proven upgrades for your Jaguar E Type.

Lanes Cars are the UK agents for GP Aluminium Race Bodies who handcraft aluminium Jaguar E Type Recreations of our own Sports Racer, Leightweight & Lowdrag replicas.

Our range of E Type Reimaged uses GP Aluminium E Type Bodyhsells to build bespoke & unique handcrafted E Type Recreations of fast going road cars with a choice of drivetrains for clients to designing a bespoke E Type of their own vision & specification who will cherish & enjoy driving a tribute to Jaguar Cars racing legacy.

E Type – Reimaged 

Lanes Cars offer a choice of stunning bespoke turn of the key, handcrafted re-bodied Jaguar E Type’s, using a new handcrafted aluminium Jaguar E Type bodyshells for Sport Racers, Lightweights & Lowdrag recreations.

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

RBW Electric Classic Cars

As we start the 21st century Lanes Cars have become the main Distributors and  Main Agents 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.

Contential 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 world’s 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 a new range of Classic Cars.

Lanes Cars – New Showroom & E Type – Design Studio 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 Kingdom 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 of 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 

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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 that 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 the editor of The Motor magazine. Jennings tested cars on his favourite 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 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.

Historically Important Jaguar E Type’s Rebuilt by Lanes Cars

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Lanes Cars – Pendine Showroom 

Lanes Cars E Type Specialist

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 David’s the smallest city in the United Kingdom with its 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.

Martin Lane is a true Classic Car Enthusiast and very passionate about Jaguar Cars who fully appreciate motoring Classic Heritage but is also excited to be at a new dawn of an EV Classic Cars motoring era with the latest electric technology in New Electric Classics and EV Conversions are using RBW’s latest cutting edge EV Technology for our Jaguar E Type – EV Conversions.

E Type Jaguar Conversions @ Lanes Cars 

Martin & Sam Lane look forward to meeting & seeing past, present, & future clients to our showroom & E Type design studio by appointment only at Pendine Motor Museum of Speed, West Wales.

Martin Lane.

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