In 1966 Jaguar built a prototype XJ13 with the goal of continuing Jaguar’s success at the Le Man 24 Hours. A new 5.0-litre quad-cam 5-litre V12 engine had been specially developed for this first ever mid-engine car for Jaguar. However politics within Jaguar and a change in sporting regulations meant that this beautiful looking car was sadly never raced and was promptly mothballed and forgotten about.
What if the XJ13 had raced though? Would it have been successful in taking on and beating the likes of Ford, Ferrari and Porsche at endurance racing? Unfortunately we will never know.
The XJ13 has not been forgotten though, as fifty years later the Ecurie Ecosse LM69 is to be launched, based on the XJ13. The new car will remain true to the spirit and style of the original car, but its bodywork has an all-new design which accentuates the car’s beauty.
The strict brief was clear right from the start of the project that the LM69 must adhere to the regulations of the time and feature only design details and technology that entered motorsport no later than early 1969, and that means that the heart of the car, it’s wonderful quad-cam V12 will be the LM69’s unique signature to make it reminiscent of racing the car in 1969 at Le Mans.
It therefore goes without saying that the new LM69 will be designed for track use and at the same time, also road legal.
The LM69 will also benefit from innovations that appeared during the sixties, meaning composite materials have been used, making the new car lighter than the original, and it also boasts some experimental aerodynamic devices, wider wheels and tyres, and an updated and improved engine.
There will be a limited-edition run of just 25 cars made, which is very much in keeping with 1969 FIA homologation requirements, this also maintains the LM69’s exclusivity. Each car will be hand-built in the West Midlands by the best British craftsmen in their field.
The brand-new Ecurie Ecosse LM69 will be officially launched at next month’s International Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace on the weekend of 6th to 8th September 2019. This annual event will have over 300 cars on display, including 60 of the rarest and finest cars from around the world, dating from as far back at 1896 to the present-day supercars.
For more information on the Ecurie Ecosse LM69, please visit: www.ecuriecars.com
Simon Burrell is Editor of Our Man Behind The Wheel, a professional photographer and former saloon car racing driver.
Photographs courtesy of Ecurie Cars