1976-77 Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12 Competition Saloon  Chassis no. BELJC002

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Lot 336
1976-77 Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12 Competition Saloon
Chassis no. BELJC002

Sold for £ 80,700 (US$ 97,405) inc. premium
1976-77 Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12 Competition Saloon
Chassis no. BELJC002


  • Here we are thrilled to be able to offer a charismatic competition coupe which combines a great motor racing tradition with terrific power, performance and truly majestic presence.

    Ralph Broad’s Southam, Warwickshire, based racing team had excelled in touring car competition since the early 1960s, running Ford Anglias, Mini-Coopers and Triumph Dolomites. Ralph Broad believed the competition potential of the Jaguar V12 engine. Leyland subsequently contracted Broadspeed to prepare a Group 2 Jaguar XJ12 to confront BMW and Ford in the European Touring Car Championship.

    The XJ12 Coupe was larger and heavier than its German rivals. An heroic development period from October 1975 saw two cars built for the 1976 racing programme, of which this is the second, chassis number ‘BELJC002’.

    The newly-constituted Broadspeed Jaguar team missed the first five rounds of the 1976 Championship series for which their big, beautiful XJ12Cs were intended, and the programme did not make its race debut until September that year, in the RAC Tourist Trophy race at Silverstone. There in qualifying, Derek Bell lapped at 1 min 36.72secs, which was nearly two seconds faster than European Champion-elect Pierre Dieudonné in the fastest BMW. Bell led the opening stages of the race until tyre wear became a factor and a puncture interrupted the car’s race. Thereafter the Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12C ran spectacularly until co-driver David Hobbs had a driveshaft break and lost a wheel.

    ‘The Big Cat’s presence at the TT had been a great spectator attraction, and a full two-car team presence in the 1977 ETC series was then planned. They were driven by John Fitzpatrick, Tim Schenken, Derek Bell and Andy Rouse. At Monza ‘Fitz’ qualified on pole position, ¾-second faster than the quickest BMW. He then led the first hour of the 4-Hour race, only for his Coupe to encounter problems thereafter.

    Salzburgring saw the Jaguars of Bell/Rouse and Schenken/Fitzpatrick qualify on pole position and 4th fastest. Both XJ12Cs led the race, but both retired with failure of the outer driving flange. At Brno, Czechoslovakia, the XJ12Cs took both places on the front row of the starting grid.

    ‘Fitz’ then qualified his XJ12C on pole position or the Nurburgring ETC round, before setting an extraordinary new lap record from a standing start on the opening lap!

    The programme’s swansong followed in the 1977 TT at Silverstone for which the two Broadspeed XJ12Cs filled the front row of the starting grid and Schenken led from Rouse at flagfall. The Rouse/Bell car eventually finished fourth.

    Principal racing modifications to the robustly-built Jaguar Coupe included provision of massive AP brakes cooled by special ducts for all four corners and specially cast suspension components to cope with racing loads. The interior, while stripped and now featuring just one bucket seat, actually retained its walnut veneer dash and electric windows, possibly unique features for a racing car! There was no doubting ‘The Big Cat’s unrivalled power, with its tuned 5.4-litre V12 engine developing some 560bhp. The car’s extrovert character was amplified by its gigantic 19-inch wheels hooded beneath bulging arches, a low front splitter and large bootlid spoiler.

    Broadspeed and Jaguar combined to pursue mechanical development together with aggressive weight saving – while major effort was applied on sump baffling to counter oil surge in the regulation wet-sump V12 engine. Only towards the end of the programme did regulation-change permit dry-sump development.

    In hindsight it was unfortunate that Leyland Cars denied the team a third season’s competition with the XJ12Cs fully developed and equipped with the legalised dry-sump engine. It seems very likely that the Coupes could have been race winners, and there is no doubt that during 1976-77 the car was very much quicker than its BMW CSL competition.

    The car offered here is number 2 of four built by Broadspeed in 1976-77. Upon Broadspeed's closure it was rebuilt by Bob Kerr and features uprated 1977-specification suspension. It formed part of Jaguar enthusiast Allen Lloyd’s private collection before being acquired by its current owner. It has run no fewer than three times in the Goodwood Festival of Speed and is also eligible for the recently created race series for 1970s/’80s touring cars. Its roof is signed by both original team drivers Derek Bell and Andy Rouse.

    The car is offered here together with a large set of spares including machine-ready bare upright and rear-axle shaft retainer castings together with numerous sump options. Complete sets of period slick and wet tyres and a variety of spare wheel halves to create different rim and track widths are also included. Modern tyre technology means that the car is now fitted with the correct-size road tyres, enhancing its handling and providing competitive times against period rivals. And there’s more. This ‘Big Cat’ is also accompanied by a fitted, embroidered cotton car cover and an extensive history file.

    Would anyone care to take the Cat out? This is a superb Jaguar – combining all the presence one could ever expect, with colossal performance, a unique competition history and wide-ranging attraction to a great variety of present-day Classic event organisers.
1976-77 Broadspeed Jaguar XJ12 Competition Saloon  Chassis no. BELJC002
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