The 60th Anniversary of the Jaguar E-type was celebrated in fine style this past weekend as around 400 E-types, their owners, sixty specialist exhibitors and enthusiastic visitors gathered for E-type 60. The event, sponsored by SNG Barratt Group and Twyford Moors, was held under the sunniest skies of the year at the historic and spectacular Shelsley Walsh motorsport setting.
On the Friday preceding the event, E-type Club co-founder Philip Porter, Chairman of Worcester Civic Society Phil Douce and Motor Sport magazine editor Joe Dunn, unveiled a blue plaque in commemoration of the great Stirling Moss first competing at Shelsley Walsh in 1948.
Sir Stirling Moss’s connection to Shelsley Walsh
Stirling began his career by entering speed hillclimbs and in particular, those at Shelsley Walsh. He competed at Shelsley on 25th September 1948 (1st in Class), on the 11th June 1949 (securing the record for the fastest un-supercharged car) and again in 24th September 1949 when he took Fastest Time of Day (FTD). He regularly returned to Shelsley in more recent years until his health declined.
Stirling Moss and Jaguars
It seems fitting to unveil the plaque both at Shelsley and on the weekend of the Jaguar E-type 60 Anniversary celebrations, hosted by his friend Philip Porter, co-founder of the E-type Club.
Stirling’s first major international race victory came on the eve of his 21st birthday at the wheel of a borrowed Jaguar XK 120 in the 1950 RAC Tourist Trophy at Dundrod, and he always described this as his great break. It led William Lyons (MD of Jaguar Cars) to ask him to join the planned Jaguar Works Team.
In 1951 he raced one of three C-types at Le Mans, went on to break the lap record with an average speed of 105.1mph and ‘broke’ the opposition, leading to Jaguar taking a victory that did more to establish the brand worldwide than anything else in its entire history. He went on to win the TT six more times and continued to race for Jaguar until the end of 1954. He remained a dedicated Jaguar fan.
Apart from a glut of competition Es including celebrated Lightweights, Low-Drags, the E2A Le Mans prototype, and the first two E-types ever raced, the event also played host to an incredible reunion of the 1961 Geneva Motor Show trio – the first time these three cars have been seen together for sixty years!
The first in a series of videos from E-type 60 Filming partner, Berlinetta Films, showing E2A driving up the hillclimb course can be seen here:
A non-stop entertainment schedule included regular hillclimb action; an outstanding motoring art exhibition, engaging chats with E-type experts; hilarious reminiscing with racing legends: Hopkirk, Attwood, Fitzpatrick and Sutcliffe; a fabulously ’60’s-themed party; and a raucous tribute to The Italian Job.
Roll on E-type 70.
Check out some photos from the weekend…
Shelsley Walsh: Saturday 12th June 2021
Shelsley Walsh: Sunday 13th June 2021
- Geneva cars lineup photo by Abigail Humphries; copyright E-type Club
- Sir Stirling Moss plaque unveiling photos by Chloe Knight; copyright E-type Club
- Weekend photos by Abigail Humphries; copyright E-type Club