The XJ13 was a prototype racing car developed by Jaguar to challenge at Le Mans in the mid-1960s, after it became apparent that the E-type could not be developed to be beat state of the art machinery from other manufacturers such as Ferarri.
The XJ13 had mid-engine format with the 5.0 litre V12 engine mounted behind the driver, and a ZF Transaxle driving the rear wheels. The engine design was essentially two XK 6 cylinder engines on a common crankshaft with an aluminium cylinder block.
The aluminium body was designed by Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist responsible for the Jaguar C-type, D-type, E-type and subsequent XJS.
The development of the XJ13, although treated seriously by the designers, was never a priority for company management, and due to lack of development resource, the design was considered obsolete by the time the prototype was complete. The prototype was tested and then mothballed. No further examples were made.
Later, when the Series 3 E-type was about to be launched with Jaguars first production V12 engine, the XJ13 was taken out of storage to be filmed for the E-type publicity video. Unfortunately, a wheel or tyre disintegrated at speed, and the car rolled heavily and was nearly destroyed. The driver Norman Dewis was fortunately unharmed. The wreck of the car was put back into storage.
Some years later, the car was rebuilt, to a specification similar to the original, using the body jigs made for its original construction. The car is now displayed in the JDHT collection. ( 1966JAGUARXJ13.html)
Several very good replicas have been built, but are all fitted with an engine derived from the production Jaguar V12. ( xj13.htm) , ( xj13.html) , ( xj13.htm) , ( xj13a.html)