Jaguar’s XJ13 prototype reborn as the Ecurie Ecosse LM69

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Based on a mid-1960s Jaguar proposal, Ecurie Ecosse will unveil the LM69 at British concours in early September | Ecurie Ecosse photos

The XJ13 was a one-off Jaguar prototype developed in the mid-1960s with an eye at racing again in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Sleek and long, with a new quad-cam 5.0-liter V12 mounted midship, the car was beautiful to behold.

“Sadly, it remained unraced,” reports the modern version of the famed Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse, the original team winning twice at Le Mans in the 1950s in D-type Jaguars. “A combination of internal politics and a change in sporting regulations meant that it was banished to a corner of the Competition Department — mothballed and all but forgotten as other projects took priority.”

LM69 in final form is to be unveiled in September
The Jaguar XJ13 was restored after being damaged during a test drive

But the XJ13 was not forgotten and Ecurie Ecosse plans to launch its successor, the Ecurie Ecosse LM69, at the International Concours of Elegance scheduled for September 6-8 at Hampton Court Palace in London.

This time, instead of a single prototype, Ecurie Ecosse promises to produce 25 cars, “in keeping with the 1969 FIA homologation requirements and to maintain its exclusivity,” it says, adding, “Each one will be individually hand-built in the West Midlands by the best British craftsmen in their field.”

Though designed with mid-‘60s racing in mind, the cars are being built to be road legal.

V12 engine shows through the rear window

“Fifty years on, the spectacular LM69 is to be launched,” Ecurie Ecosse says in its news release. “While remaining true in spirit and sympathetic to the style of the fabulous XJ13, its bodywork has been developed into an all-new design that has its own purposeful beauty.

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“The quad-cam V12 is the heart of the car, a unique signature that has been designed to evoke the experience of driving at Le Mans in 1969. And not only is the LM69 suitable for track use, it’s fully road-legal.

“A strict brief was established from the start: the design and engineering team would have to adhere to the regulations of the time, and feature only design details and technology that entered motorsport no later than early 1969.

“As the XJ13 would have done had it been prepared for serious competition use, the LM69 benefits from innovations that appeared during that exciting era. Composite materials have been used, it’s lighter than the original car, and it boasts experimental aerodynamic devices, wider wheels and tires, and a much-improved engine.”

 

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A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the Web and becoming the author of more than 15 books. In addition to being Editorial Director at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times, writes a weekly automotive feature for The Detroit News and is an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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