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Record number of Jaguar XJ220s set for Silverstone Classic

Published 24 March 2017

This year’s Silverstone Classic will boast a record-breaking parade of Jaguar XJ220s. The celebration over the weekend of 28-30 July marks the mid-engined two-seater’s 25th anniversary.

When it was launched, the car was (and still is) Jaguar’s fastest ever production car. It became the fastest production car in the world when it was clocked at 212.3mph.

Jaguar made just 271 XJ220s between 1992 and 1994 in conjunction with its competition partner Tom Walkinshaw Racing with each one costing £470,000.

Such is their rarity that you’re normally lucky to see one or two at a show – but that’s all set to change at this summer’s Silverstone Classic.

Don And Justin Law Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar XJ220 specialist Don Law with his son Justin.

Working with XJ220 specialist Don Law Racing, the event organisers are hoping to bring together more than 50 examples for a circuit parade – more than double the 20 that got together for the largest UK gathering to date.

Law said, ‘We are inviting all XJ220 owners from right round the world to join us for what will be a really special celebration of an often-overlooked supercar.

‘We will be bringing along some special models including the Martini car and the MIRA crash test car, and we are also hoping to have one of the factory Le Mans cars here.’

The Jaguar XJ220 showcase will take place on the Saturday of the event, with a parade lap involving some specially invited guests who have close associations with the car’s design, development, and on-track success.

Jaguar XJ220 (2)

This summer's event will see the largest gathering of Jaguar XJ220s.

Although originally conceived to feature a V12 engine plus four-wheel-drive, the showroom XJ220 model arrived with a 3.5-litre twin-turbocharged V6 developing 542bhp, delivered to the rear transaxle via a five-speed manual gearbox.

A racing version – called the XJ220-C – was introduced in 1993 to compete in the increasingly important GT class within international sports car races.

Later that year, one of these factory-entered cars driven by David Brabham, David Coulthard and John Nielsen won the GT category at Le Mans only to be controversially excluded by the French organisers.

Brabham said, ‘When I first saw the XJ220, I must admit I thought it was a sexy-looking beast, but as soon as we started testing it transpired to be difficult to drive.

David Brabham Jaguar XJ220

David Brabham drove the XJ220 at Le Mans in 1993.

‘By the time we got to Le Mans pre-qualifying, it was pretty scary and tail-happy – not to mention slow.

‘A much bigger rear wing was fitted for the race, all of a sudden bringing the car to life – but even then, the week was far from straightforward. Despite a variety of dramas, we fought back against all odds to win our class,’ he said.

Adding, ‘And then, of course, we got disqualified...’

Early Bird Silverstone Classic tickets, which offer discounts of up to 18 per cent, are still on sale until the end of March. For prices, visit silverstoneclassic.com.

Silverstone Classic

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