1962 Jaguar MkII 3.8 Factory Competition Car - one of the most original factory Jaguar race cars in existence
Ray Archibald is a true legend in New Zealand. He was a decorated fighter pilot in the Pacific in WW2, a successful businessman, family man, and a fabulously talented racing driver. His performances in Jaguars on road circuits and race tracks in his homeland brought him real star status on the motor sport scene, and he was one of the greatest drivers of his generation.
His family Jaguar Dealership (Archibalds Garage Ltd, Christchurch) led him to build a great relationship with William Lyons and Lofty England at Jaguar in Coventry, and having been a loaned an XK140 Roadster for his honeymoon in Europe, he was asked to stay and race for the works team. As a man who always put family and business first, Archibald amazingly declined the exciting and tempting offer… but the offer was enough to persuade him that it was now time to start racing Jaguars at home! That came in the form of a two-year-old BRG XK120 which he prepared for the first New Zealand Grand Prix in 1954 on the Ardmore Airfield circuit. He qualified on the 4th row of the grid among a field of single-seaters headed by Ken Wharton in the howling V16 1500cc BRM. Only a holed radiator stopped Archibald’s progress amongst the Grand Prix machinery.
Following great success and support from the Jaguar factory in his XK120 and Mk1 Jaguars, for the 1963 season Archibald finally got his hands on a car that would win him outright national championships. Jaguar Cars in the UK sent him a beautiful new, factory-prepared competition Mk2 3.8 – one of only eight examples ever produced by the Works Dept. Equipped with a high compression engine (9:1 ratio), gas-flowed head, twin 2-inch SU carburettors, special works crankshaft and bearings, competition exhaust system, close-ratio gearbox, high-ratio steering, brake cooling ducts, relocated battery, competition wire wheels, stiffened suspension, competition shock absorbers, strengthened body mounts and racing seats, Archibald now had the most competitive saloon car money could buy – and it was a combination that would win the New Zealand Saloon Car Championship two years on the trot in 1962 and 1963 - the front of the car always beautifully clothed in masking tape to protect the paintwork! Archibald and the Jag would also win the Wills 6-hour race at Pukekohe in 1962 and '63 sharing with Tony Shelly, only losing victory in 1964 when a wheel came loose and damaged the hub, sharing with Ernie Sprague. The ’62 and ’63 seasons were dominated by Archibald and the works Jag, the crack team even going as far as to move one of the top Jaguar factory mechanics, Cyril Bunn, to New Zealand to prepare the car. So maybe one could argue he did almost end up racing for the works after all!
Archibald raced the car until July 1966 at which point he sold it to M.J Allen of Waimarama, who used it as a road car, before Archibald bought his old faithful Jag back in March 1974. It was then used sparingly by Archibald as a road car for the remainder of his life.
Recently returned to the UK where the car was born, this is a truly unique opportunity to acquire one of the rarest and most original genuine factory competition Jaguars. Totally original in every way – paint, mechanicals, interior, even stickers. The car is also supplied with the original 1963 registration document from its arrival in New Zealand.
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