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London Concours to celebrate V12 engines and Jaguar’s pinnacle sports cars

Words: Nathan Chadwick | Photography: London Concours/Jaguar Classic/Max Eary/Charlie B/Tim Scott

The might of the V12 engine, as well as two opposite takes on the very best of Jaguar, are to be celebrated at this year’s London Concours, which takes place between June 4-6, 2024 at the Honourable Artillery Company near Old Street, London.

More than 80 cars will be on display – and here are some early highlights. V12s from several eras and marques will appear, but the three-day event will also feature two infamous Jaguars – one that changed the face of British motoring, the other which is perhaps the greatest-ever ‘one that got away’ concept car.

The might of the V12 engine, as well as two opposite takes on the very best of Jaguar, are to be celebrated at this year's London Concours

The might of the V12 engine, as well as two opposite takes on the very best of Jaguar, are to be celebrated at this year's London Concours

The V12 celebration will be spearheaded by the one-off Jaguar XJ13 prototype, which was conceived to take the fight to Ferrari and the other established names at Le Mans in the mid-1960s. Its 5.0-litre V12 motor, incorporated into the chassis as a stressed member, produced 502bhp at 7600rpm. By the time the prototype had been completed in 1966, Jaguar’s merger with BMC meant top-level motor sport wasn’t a priority ,and the XJ13 never raced.

Other V12 highlights at the London Concours include John Dodd’s The Beast, which is powered by a 27-litre Merlin engine and is also known as the Super Rolls. Rumoured to have between 750bhp and 1000bhp at its disposal, it was listed in The Guinness Book of Records as the ‘the world’s most powerful car’ in 1977. Examples of the Aston Martin Vanquish and Vantage V12, as well as the Lamborghini Diablo, will also be on show.

The second day of the London Concours, Wednesday June 5, will pay tribute to the Jaguar E-type, with a selection of cars telling the story of the model in track and road form. Supported by Jaguar itself, ten significant cars sourced from across the Jaguar Classic private collection will be on display, alongside cars built by Jaguar Classic. The E-type ZP Editions will line up with all facets of the E-type story, from early flat-floor Series 1 cars to the later V12 models and the ‘lightweight’ specials.

A Jaguar from another age is set to be the star of the Hypercar display, presented in partnership with Apollo Capital. The Jaguar C-X75 shocked the world when it was unveiled in 2011 – an all-wheel-drive, plug-in hybrid machine powered by a Formula 1-inspired, all-aluminium, 1.6-litre, turbo- and supercharged four-cylinder motor that produced a remarkable 502bhp at a stratospheric 10,000rpm. With two electric motors added, the combined total was 850bhp and 738lb/ft of torque – enough to propel the C-X75 from 0-60mph in less than three seconds, 0-100mph in less than six seconds and on to a top speed of 220mph. 

Sadly, a downturn in the world economy meant that production wasn’t on the cards, but the car became an icon via its appearance in the James Bond movie Spectre. The C-X75 on display will be one of these film stunt machines – and the only one made legal for the road, thanks to the efforts of the CALLUM design and engineering consultancy, headed up by Ian Callum, the man who designed the Jaguar.

Other hypercar highlights at the London Concours include a Bugatti Veyron, McLaren P1, Koenigsegg CCXR, Pagani Zonda Revolución and Zenvo TSR-S.

Iconic Auctioneers will be attending the event, bringing a selection of ten cars and high-end luxury items. The auction kicks off on Wednesday, June 5 at 5:30pm, and is led by the above 1970 Aston Martin DB6 Mk2 Volante. One of 38 Mk2 Volantes built, this particular car – chassis no. DBMK2/VC/3774/R – was originally finished in Aquamarine with black Connolly trim and a black Everflex hood. It was first registered to a Mr F Griffiths of Plastics and Veneers Ltd in Liverpool, who optioned the DB6 with an automatic gearbox, two front seatbelts, Fiamm air-horns… and seven pints of antifreeze.

Subsequent owners were James Roddick from the Wirral in 1978, Philip Hale from Liverpool in 1989, Stephen Pilkington from Ormskirk in 1991 and, later that year, Maurice Jones from Walsall. In the early 1980s, it had been returned to the Works, and the original engine upgraded to factory Vantage specification, with the automatic transmission being replaced by a five-speed manual gearbox.

In 1997, stewardship passed to the Hopton family of Hopton Tyres in Uttoxeter; by this time the car was painted Dubonnet Rosso with beige trim. It remained with the family until 2005. It was then acquired by the Warfield House Establishment, who commissioned marque specialist RS Williams to carry out restoration work, which included new sills, a suspension rebuild and associated mechanical work, and a repaint in Old English White with a red leather interior and a new black hood.

In 2007, the car was sourced by Aston Works, which later bought the car back in 2018. It was then used as Aston Works’  first reversible EV powertrain concept. The original running gear was kept at the factory while the EV DB6 toured European events in 2019. It was then returned to original condition, and in 2022 it took a class win at that year’s AMOC Concours d’Elegance. More recently, it’s had fresh suspension bushes, a new engine damper, a major service and an MoT. It’s estimated at between £550k and £650k.

For more details on the London Concours, head here, while to find out more about the Iconic Auctioneers sale, head here.

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