Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2011 – Jaguar Featured Marque

Jaguar D-Types at Mazda Raceway Laguna SecaThe Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2011 will celebrate the racing heritage of one of Britain’s legendary motor car companies – Jaguar. Few companies are as synonymous with sports car racing as Jaguar, and the reunion will highlight the 50th anniversary of the iconic Jaguar E-Type and 60th anniversary of the remarkable Jaguar C-Type’s win in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans.

“The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion is hallowed ground for automotive racing aficionados, and thus a very meaningful place to celebrate the Jaguar E-Type’s 50th Anniversary,” said Richard Beattie, Executive Vice President Marketing and Sales Jaguar North America. “Today, as much as 50 years ago, hi-performance, racing and stunning design are integral to the Jaguar brand. At the Reunion we will give enthusiasts a chance to take a look back and forward at all three of these elements in Jaguar’s sensational cars.”

The Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, August 19-21, 2011 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, will host approximately 550 authentic and historic race cars from nearly every decade of motorsports history. The cars are divided into 17 groups according to age, engine size and must be period-correct in their presentation.

“Jaguar and their many famous drivers represent a time in motorsports where camaraderie among drivers and works teams was second only to winning,” explained Gill Campbell, CEO/general manager for Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. “We look to share Jaguar’s heritage with fans worldwide. And for the E-Type, it’s hard to argue with what Enzo Ferrari said 50 years ago upon seeing the sleek E-Type at its introduction, saying it is, ‘The most beautiful car ever made.’”

For Sir William Lyons, founder of Swallow Sidecar and Coach Building Company which evolved into Jaguar, winning Le Mans was a crucial goal to demonstrate to the world the robustness and performance of the XK120-C. Malcolm Sayer’s aerodynamic, lightweight design was based on his aviation background with wind tunnel testing. The C designation stood for “competition.”

Three factory C-Types were entered in the 1951 24 Hours of Le Mans with stunning results. A 22-year-old Stirling Moss recorded the fastest lap, and Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead won the race. It was the first of seven Le Mans victories for Jaguar.

Jaguar’s American racing roots are firmly planted on the Monterey Peninsula. It was in 1950 at the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races that Jaguar achieved its first win on American soil. A 23-year-old American named Phil Hill, who months earlier accompanied the same Jaguar XK120 aboard the Queen Mary, took the checkered flag, thereby capturing international accolades for both himself and Jaguar.

This is the third time Jaguar has been the featured marque, having been honored in 1976 and 1992 at the previously named Monterey Historic Automobile Races®.

For additional information and tickets for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion 2011, call 800-327-7322 or visit

[Source: Monterey Motorsports Reunion; photo credit: Dennis Gray]

Show Comments (6)

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  1. I’ll always remember my 1957 3.4 Liter Saloon (nee Mk. 1) an result of Jaguars “Utah” project my little saloon had what was essentially an XK-140 engine w/ a “C-type” head, bias ply tires and that wonderful Jaguar 4-speed with the fantastic Laycock de Normanville electric O/D that you could actuate with a simple flick of a dash mounted switch. I’d get a real kick as I drove it in 4th gear until it was almost “topped out” and flick the O/D switch where it would amazingly zoom up another 20 mph faster and drop down to about 1500 rpm!Great stuff although a tad short on handling and I experienced some brake fade as it had drum brakes rather than the later disc brakes of the SE models introduced later that year (1957-58)mine was essentially a early 1957….Still, I loved the all wood dash and the fat comfy front individual split bucket seats. But what made me a lifelong Jaguar aficionado was the look of the smooth aluminum DOHC Covers center mounted spark plug’s, big dual SU’s and a massive porcelain covered exhaust manifold. To me this car set the bar for years…
    Alberto Escalante
    Port Hueneme, CA 93041

  2. Mine was a 1959 XK 150S fixed-head, 3 SU’s, whose linkage would often fall apart at a stoplight, necessitating hopping out, blocking the near wheel w/ a 2×4, as the parking brake was a joke, and reattaching the linkage w/o burning myself on the hot manifold, whilst everybody behind me blew their horns in encouragement. The batteries were in the off side fenderwell, always dead in the West Virginia winter, hence impossible to “jump” so I always had to park aiming downhill to jump start her. The trashed syncros meant double-clutching both up and down. A real skill-builder. Taking her out for a spin w/ a potential sucker, sorry, I meant sales candidate, I’d turn up the radio to mask the tranny and drivetrain grinding and extoll the virtues of fine British craftmanship and classic styling. I let it go for $1000 cash in a bar, wished him good luck, took the plates off, and hitched a ride home. Nice looking, though, BRG w/ Black glossy wires.

  3. I grew up driving my Dad’s 3.8 Mk. 2 – illegally as I was 12 but he supported my enthusiasm! When I got my lic. he was on to a 3.8 S-Type and so was I. When he passed away I missed those cars terribly but family took priority and my cars were a little less interesting – though my brief ‘fling’ with a Spitfire 1500 was fun while it lasted.
    I’m now as old as my Dad when he enjoyed his Jaguars and I was able to purchase a 1997 XJR6 last year – BRG, of course –
    and I think he’d be as thrilled as I’ve been. Seems it’s Jaguar for life…