The current Mille Miglia is open to cars that competed in the original race between 1927 and 1957 as well as other examples of the same model and vintage. In addition to the Jaguars, this year's field includes the usual suspects like Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Ferrari as well as makes you've likely never heard of. Those more obscure brands include OM, Morettini (based on a Fiat) and Siata. The 2010 Mille Miglia began yesterday and runs through May 8th.
JAGUAR CELEBRATES 75TH ANNIVERSARY WITH IMPRESSIVE 2010 MILLE MIGLIA ENTRY
Jaguar is continuing the celebration of its 75th anniversary with a strong entry at the 2010 Mille Miglia revival event. The company is represented by a total of 27 vehicles from around the world, including an impressive 'works team' of classic XK120, C-type and D-type models supported by Jaguar Cars and the Jaguar Heritage Trust.
Jaguar's strong representation at the 2010 Mille Miglia builds on a long connection with the race. Back in 1950, the company fielded a four-strong team of XK120s, and a young Stirling Moss took the wheel of a works car the following year.
"The Mille Miglia is one of the world's premier driving events, and one where Jaguar has always felt very much at home," said Mike O'Driscoll, Managing Director of Jaguar Cars, who will be piloting one of the famous C-type racers in this year's competition.
"Our association stretches back to the 1950s, when XK120 and XK140s were a regular sight and C-types and even a D-type also competed. This year I am proud to see another very strong contingent of classic Jaguars." he added.
The 2010 Mille Miglia takes place over a 1000-mile course starting from Brescia in northern Italy, mirroring the classic event which became synonymous with legendary displays of driving skill and bravery between 1927 and 1957.
The current retrospective format offers an ideal opportunity to showcase some of Jaguar's most famous vehicles where they really belong: competing with other classic sports cars on the open road. This year's full representation also provides a fitting way to celebrate an important milestone for the marque. Furthermore, Jaguar is proud to be a joint sponsor of the Mille Miglia 2010 with heritage vehicle displays along the route.
"2010 marks the 75th anniversary of the Jaguar name, and 75 years of looking forward, designing and building cars that represent the very best of technical innovation, design leadership and sporting success," explained O'Driscoll.
"Since our earliest days, we have been inspired to design and develop beautiful fast cars; cars that stand out and stand apart. I can think of nowhere better to continue our 75 year celebrations than at the legendary Mille Miglia, and I look forward to experiencing the unrivalled glamour, passion and motoring heritage that the event is certain to offer all competitors and spectators again this year."
Famous Jaguars Competing in the 2010 Event
Among the six vehicles entered as the Jaguar Cars 'works team' are three particularly noteworthy historic cars from the Jaguar Heritage collection:
1950 JAGUAR XK120 OPEN TWO-SEATER (Registration NUB 120)
NUB 120 was by far the most successful of the competition XK120s which, more than any other model, was the car that established Jaguar's motor sport credentials. The vehicle was privately owned and campaigned by Ian Appleyard, with his wife Patricia (Sir William Lyons' daughter) acting as navigator. After narrowly coming second in the first event he entered, the 1950 Tulip Rally in Holland, Appleyard then strung together an impressive run of victories including the Alpine Rally in 1950 and 1951, the 1951 RAC Rally, and the 1951 Tulip Rally. Despite failing to win the Alpine Rally outright in 1952, the third consecutive run without incurring a single penalty point earned the first ever Gold Cup for the car!
1953 JAGUAR C-TYPE (Registration NDU 289)
With its handsome wind-cheating aluminium body, the C-type brought Jaguar its first victory in the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1951. Two years later, the three factory cars finished first, second and fourth, with the winning vehicle driven by Rolt and Hamilton being the first ever to average over 100mph. One of 43 C-types sold to private owners, NDU 289 was a production car built in 1953. It competed in the 1953 Mille Miglia driven by its owner, the Italian driver Tadini, but retired during the race.
1956 JAGUAR D-TYPE 'LONG NOSE' (Registration 393 RW)
This vehicle was the penultimate D-type produced by Jaguar, built in March 1956 for the works racing team. That year, it won the Reims 12-hour race, driven by Duncan Hamilton and Ivor Bueb, before encountering technical problems during the 24-hour race at Le Mans, where it ultimately finished sixth (behind the winners Flockhart and Sanderson in another D-type entered by Ecurie Ecosse). Although Jaguar withdrew from racing later that year, the vehicle lived on in America with the Cunningham/Momo team, and finished third in the 12-hour race at Sebring in 1957. This vehicle remains one of the most original D-types in preservation, and still has the 1956 Le Mans windscreen, passenger seat and door, and even sports the original trade plate registration 393 RW.