Pictured above is the Jaguar XJ13 which you may have randomly seen photos of online, but chances are the photos you’ve seen were replicas. Why? Because there is only one authentic XJ13 and this is it.
The car was built in 1966 to bring Jaguar back to Le Mans to compete with Ford and Ferrari but unfortunately the car was completed too late to compete. It had a mid-mounted 5-liter V12 engine so even though it was ready to race in 1967, new ‘3-liter max’ regulations ended the car’s hopes.
During test runs, the XJ13 set new lap records and looked beautiful doing so, until 1971 when being filmed for an E-type press release, the car lost a rear tire and flipped end over end while being driven 140mph by Norman Dewis. Despite not wearing a safety belt, Dewis walked away unharmed, but the car didn’t (see last two photos). Dewis somehow managed to cut the ignition during the crash so no fire broke out.
Unlike so many race cars of the era, the car was saved, repaired, and restored two years later. Jaguar used another engine they had lying around but unfortunately they welded one of the pistons so the car could drive, but not be able to race again.
In 2002, the car fell from a curb cracking the engine block. The bold decision was made to rebuild the engine again but this time it would function the way it was intended, for speed. In 2007, the car debuted at the Goodwood Festival of Speed where it was heard and seen in all its racing glory for the first time in 35 years.