This XJR-5 epitomizes everything that is best about American racing design, construction and preparation combined with the best of British international racing heritage and pedigree from Jaguar. It was campaigned in IMSA Championship by the best drivers such as Brian Redman and built by Bob Tullius’ Group 44 racing.
Bob Tullius had been a long time enthusiast for the British marque when he formed the Group 44 racing team in the early 1960s with partner Brian Feurstenau. He loyally campaigned Jaguar E-Types – in addition to MGs and Triumph TR8s – in the USA for the following two decades. He had also found time to be deeply involved with the ground-breaking Howmet gas turbine-engined Le Mans car project of 1968 and his experience of racing that car at Le Mans – in the world-famous 24-Hour race which Jaguar had won five times through the 1950s – determined him to return there one day in a car of his own construction. The result was the Jaguar XJR-5, which was built essentially with the IMSA race organization’s premier GTP class in mind. Bob Tullius persuaded Mike Dale of Jaguar Cars Inc, New Jersey, to fund the project, and he engaged former GM and Ford designer Lee Dykstra to design an up-to-date car for him, to accept the Jaguar V12 racing engine as already prepared by Group 44 for their Championship-winning E-Type variant.
By January 1982 drawings and clay models of the Lee Dykstra-designed ground-effect aerodynamics Coupe contender were released for public consumption. Dykstra’s design was for a sheet aluminum monocoque chassis with honeycomb floor section and tubular-reinforced steel bulkheads. Long underfloor aerodynamic venture tunnels extended from behind the flat-bottomed cockpit area alongside the fully-stressed V12 engine block, curving inwards towards the rear to exit beneath the full-width rear wing. The graceful and beautifully-proportioned bodywork was fashioned in carbon fiber and Kevlar composite and the first 5.3-liter V12-engined XJR prototype was tested at Summit Point as early as June 1982.
In late-August it made its racing debut at Road America, where Bob Tullius and Bill Adam co-drove to a third-place finish behind two of the familiar Porsche 935s. They were the first GTP crew home – a most promising debut.
1983 Jaguar XJR-5 Gallery
Lee Dykstra embarked upon a lengthy development programme to improve his new car’s competitiveness, and this program would – by the summer of 1985 – have seen a claimed “99.9 per cent” of the Group 44 design’s original components being re-drawn. The engine grew from 5.3-liters to fully 6-liters by 1984, and the V12 units were fitted with Lucas/Micos engine management systems. Bob Tullius/Bill Adams had won their first race outright at Road Atlanta in 1983 and further victories followed, at Lime Rock, Mosport and Pocono where Doc Bundy co-drove with Tullius, who finished second only to Porsche’s Al Holbert in that year’s IMSA Drivers’ Championship.
Multiple Le Mans-winning driver Derek Bell meanwhile tested one of the Group 44 team’s XJR-5 cars at Silverstone in mid-1983 and his very favorable report attracted the final green light from Jaguar for Group 44 to enter Le Mans 1984. The two-car Group 44 team was unlucky there, but the white and two-tone green liveried Coupes made a superb impression.
Chasss & Sales
XJR-5/009-This particular car was retained at home in the USA as a major team contender from 1984 and 1985. It was prodominately driven by Brian Redman and Hurley Haywood, fetching a first in Atlanta in 1985. It was restored by Group 44 in September 1987, and eventually sold to renowned German collector Peter Kaus for his Rosso Bianco Collection at Aschaffenburg. After that collection was bought by Evert Louwman, Bonhams and Brooks auctioned the car at theit 2006 Important Sale of Collectors’ Motorcars auction for $238,000 inclusive of Buyer’s Premium.
1982 Jaguar XJR-5 GTP – did not sell for $475,000 Serial Number 001, the very first XJR-5 constructed. The XJR-5 was instantly victorious with initial outing 3rd place at Road America driven by Bob Tullius and Bill Adams. This one owner vehicle was the subject of a massive restoration. Rebuilt suspension, brakes, air jack, cooling and oiling system. Engine rebuilt by marquee specialist Ed Pink and dyno tested at 625 HP. Auction Source: The Daytime Auction in Monterey by Mecum
1984-85 Group 44 Jaguar XJR-5 IMSA Racing Coupe XJR-5/009 – sold for $238,000 The car was restored by Group 44 in September 1987, and on March 3, 1988 was sold via David J. Bate of Weston, Connecticut, and Jaguar Deutschland Gmbh to renowned German collector Peter Kaus for his Rosso Bianco Collection at Aschaffenburg. This mouth-wateringly handsome American/British co-creation has been lovingly preserved within the collection ever since and it is offered today as a car restored by its manufacturer but which has seen … read more Auction Source: 2006 Monterey Preview
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