Wally Hassan, who died in July aged 91. was one of the significant figures in the histories of Bentley and Jaguar, and British motor racing over many decades. He started out at Bentley in 1920, and made a name with Brooklands specials such as the Barnato-Hassan and Pacey-Hassan, then working on John Cobb’s Land Speed Record Railton and the ERA project.
Joining SS/Jaguar in 1938, he worked with Sir William Lyons on the immortal XK engine which powered Jaguars for over 40 years, and was directly involved with the five Le Mans victories in the 1950s. There was Grand Prix success too; he re-engineered the Coventry-Climax pump engine into a World Championship winner in Cooper chassis. The V12 engine which made the XJ12 arguably the best saloon in the world was his last technical achievement, as Chief Engineer, Power Units, before he retired from Jaguar in 1972.