The Ex-Jim Clark, Masten Gregory, Ron Flockhart, Jock Lawrence 1959 Tojeiro-Jaguar Sports-Racing Prototype Registration no. MFF 342/ RSF 301 Chassis no. TAD 1/59 Engine no. RA 1422-9
Here we are privileged to offer one of the most distinctive, attractive and consistently competitive Historic sports cars eligible for current large-capacity Historic racing, worldwide...
Despite having two near-sister front-engined Tojeiro-Jaguars built in 1957-58, this particular 1959 variant was and remains unique. The environment within which it was built had seen the long dominance of the reliable, rapid but heavy D-Type Jaguar long since overturned by the lighter, simpler Lister-Jaguars, the little Lotus 15s and the rear-engined new Cooper Monacos. In 1958 the FIA governing body had introduced a 3-litre capacity limit upon their Sports Car World Championship competition, leaving the five-times Le Mans-winning Jaguar XK series of 3.4 and 3.8-litre 6-cylinder twin-cam engines high and dry. Diminished engine capacity limited available horsepower, and placed even greater emphasis upon reduced weight. The live rear-axled D-Type Jaguars had been superseded by faster, more nimble De Dion-axled designs from Ferrari, Maserati, Lister...and Tojeiro.
During 1958 David Murray of Ecurie Ecosse had run beside his team's remaining Jaguar D-Type and new Lister-Jaguar an early Tojeiro-Jaguar UK-registered '7 GNO'. It had demonstrated sufficient promise for him to commission Tojeiro Automotive Developments of Barkway, Royston, Hertfordshire to build his team a more advanced new car for 1959. 'Wilkie' Wilkinson was developing a new 3-litre version of the Jaguar XK engine based upon the short-block 2.4-litre production unit, while senior Ecosse mechanic Stan Sproat was seconded to TAD to help build and prepare the new car.
It was completed at Barkway and fitted with a handsome new body crafted by Williams & Pritchard of Edmonton, London. It had a neat nose line, D-Type like headrest and a vestigial tail fin, and in search of maximum speed along the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans John Tojeiro fared-in the wheels as much as seemed sensible.
The new car its brand-new unpainted aluminium bodywork sparkling - was taken to Ecurie Ecosse's famous headquarters in Merchiston Mews, Edinburgh for finishing in time for its public racing debut in that June's Le Mans 24-Hour race. It was co-driven there by the team's double-winner 1956-57, Ron Flockhart, and John 'Jock' Lawrence and it went well, running in fourth place for many laps and never lower than seventh. Unfortunately its hybrid 3-litre engine based upon the 2.4-litre XK block with 'square' dimensions of 86mm for both bore and stroke, had an extremely high compression ratio. 'Wilkie' had slightly miscalculated and after 11 reliable hours' racing the head seal failed, the unit beginning to overheat seriously as coolant was lost and the system pressurized. The failure became serious soon after a pit stop in which water had been added, and the regulations banned further addition of fluid within a minimum distance which the Flag Metallic Blue 'Toj' could plainly not achieve. It was driven until its incandescent engine finally cooked just before 3am on the Sunday morning.
Stan Sproat observed: "After it ran out of water they just drove it into the ground its insides just melted, the head distorted, the pistons fused, the bottom-end seized...it was the worst damaged engine I ever saw. Nothing was salvaged as I recall...".
Less specifically, John Tojeiro reminisced: "That 1959 car was really nice looking when first completed with what were - by the standards of the time really good wind-cheating lines. But during testing they decided it needed improved airflow to cool the brakes and more air for the radiator, and I suppose 'Wilkie', being a practical rather than theoretical kind of chap, didn't like the wheel enclosure because it could slow down their pit stops, and so they cut it all about...". After Le Mans the Tojeiro-Jaguar was modified with a large power bulge being added to the bonnet to accommodate a tall-block (reduced 3.8-litre) XK engine, and in this form the car was taken to Goodwood for the RAC Tourist Trophy race on September 5, 1959.
The car was to be co-driven there by American star Masten Gregory and by promising young newcomer Jim Clark, who would explain: "For me the race was a turning point. Every driver goes through a number of turning points in his career, I feel, for each driver builds up images within himself. Once he has cracked one image he invents another and so progresses onwards and upwards. My particular image was Masten..."
Jim Clark continued: "Here I was in a highly competitive car with a really top-line driver in direct competition with the might of the Ferrari works team, the Porsche team and of course, the Astons....any confidence I had was strained to the limit. At the same time I had this tremendous respect for Masten who, I considered, was a really great driver... During the race I found myself lapping the Tojeiro as quickly as Masten could, and in the race I realized that I might seriously compete with the idols of my schooldays. Now this may sound strange to many people, but it had a profound effect on me. I began to enjoy the race and was quite well placed (seventh)...when Masten buried the Toj in the bank at Woodcote Corner...".
Masten Gregory had either encountered steering or brake failure or perhaps had simply been trying too hard in the attempt to underline his superiority over his impressive new young co-driver? Realising he was about to ram the unyielding earth bank head-on he drew up his legs and upon impact was thrown high out of the Tojeiro-Jaguar's cockpit, being thrown clean over the Goodwood bank to land on the grass just short of the spectator fence there. He escaped with a broken shoulder and severe bruising, but the poor Ecurie Ecosse Tojeiro's chassis had folded amidships upon impact, damaged beyond immediate economic repair.
Useable salvage from the car, combined with other related spares, were sold from Ecurie Ecosse to a Dr Bothwell, a northern-based enthusiast who intended to build them into some kind of special. The doctor also purchased from John Tojeiro at Barkway the spare bonnet which had been made for a never-built second front-engined car, and it was said - a hitherto unused sister chassis frame.
These and other surviving Tojeiro-Jaguar parts were collected progressively by Tojeiro Register luminary Gil Dickson of Guildford, Surrey, during the 1970s. They were later acquired by leading Historic racing driver and Jaguar-engined sports car specialist John Harper before passing to Crosthwaite & Gardiner, the immensely respected motor engineering and restoration company based at Buxted, East Sussex. In the most comprehensive documentation file accompanying this Lot there is a letter from John Tojeiro to Dick Crosthwaite of C&G. The letter is dated February 15, 1994, and Mr Tojeiro writes:
"I am able to confirm that the chassis is my work, and that it is original. It is one of those constructed in the late fifties, and not used by us, as we went into the more complex space frames of the coupe.
"I can confirm that the rear body section is original, having recently seen it at M. Gomm's..." (Gomm Metal Developments of Old Woking, Surrey, leading contemporary body specialists) "...in its original Ecosse colour, with race numbers of the 1959 Tourist Trophy on the roundels. I would also confirm that the front section was made by Williams & Pritchard, as was the original, and was intended for the second car which was not completed, due to the change in plan and the change to the coupe configuration.
John Tojeiro continued: "The De Dion type rear axle is original and was manufactured by me (J. Tojeiro), and was purchased from Dr Bothwell, who had purchased it from me some years ago. Dr Bothwell had also purchased the other body panels from me at the time of the De Dion axle parts, and these were supplied for the rebuild".
The completed restoration emerged in public at an Aston Martin Owners' Club Goodwood sprint meeting in which it was driven by John Mayston-Taylor of the leading specialist Jaguar restoration company, Lynx Engineering. He won his class, happily driving this Ecurie Ecosse 1959-derived car to finish an event for the very first time.
The car was then acquired by Mr Dick Skipworth to join his growing Ecurie Ecosse Collection. It was impeccably prepared for Historic racing and entrusted to leading driver Barrie 'Whizzo' Williams, who promptly secured the Tojeiro-Jaguar's first ever race win, in the June, 1995,Hawthorn Memorial Race Meeting at Silverstone, coincidentally in Jaguar's 60th year. The headline to the 'Jaguar World' report read 'Tojeiro at Last It's only taken 36 years but finally the Tojeiro-Jaguar has come Good'.
Indeed it has, and this unique and extremely competitive sports-racing car has since gone on to become a regular front-runner and always potential race winner at Historic level. In Barrie Williams's capable hands it became a regular favourite amongst the Goodwood Revival Meeting's annual Sussex Trophy race entries, having competed at all sixteen editions while Dick Skipworth himself has driven the car in the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Barrie Williams has most spectacularly demonstrated the Tojeiro's front-running capability at most British and Continental circuits, and the car has featured prominently at both Le Mans and the Nurburgring. The car is presently powered by a Sigma Engineering race-prepared 3.8-litre Jaguar engine. Some useful spares are included with the Tojeiro-Jaguar including a Le Mans ratio differential, drive shafts and other sundry spares.
With its Ecurie Ecosse background, its combined Flag Metallic Blue-liveried good looks and uniquely imposing presence, this Tojeiro-Jaguar is an eminently useable and provenly competitive Historic sports-racing car with proven appeal to event promoters and organisers worldwide.
Its story links it with such charismatic names as double-Le Mans winner Ron Flockhart, the hard-charging and utterly fearless American star Masten Gregory and perhaps most significantly with the young future double-World Champion and Indianapolis-winning driver Jim Clark for whom it provided in his own words "a turning point".
This Tojeiro-Jaguar is many ways unique. And one of its many attractions is certainly the design's special cachet as a turning point, a revelation, in Jim Clark's early career. We commend it most highly to the market.