Jaguar history celebration set for Rolex Monterey Reunion

James Raia

Jaguar will be the featured marque of the 2011 Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion. Few automakers 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, August 19-21 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

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’s #20 C-Type won the race. It was the first of seven Le Mans victories for Jaguar.Jaguar history celebration set for Rolex Monterey Reunion 1

Jaguar’s American racing roots are firmly planted on the Monterey Peninsula. In the inaugural Pebble Beach Road Races in 1950, Jaguar achieved its first win on American soil. American Phil Hill, 23, who months earlier accompanied the same Jaguar XK120 aboard the Queen Mary, was victorious, capturing international accolades for himself and Jaguar.

Jaguar was also the featured marque Monterey Historic Automobile Races in 1976 and 1992.

For additional information and tickets for the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion, phone: 800-327-7322 or visit www.MazdaRaceway.com.

Article Last Updated: January 20, 2011.

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