This shows the convincing superiority of the 2-litre V12 Ferrari „. amongst current sports-ears. All who were at Silverstone for the Daily Express meeting were impressed by the performance and road holding of the two which ran there.
But the showing of the XI: 120 Jaguar, a vastly less expensive, more easily serviced car With quiet town-manners, is scarcely less convincing. Mr. Lyons can feel very proud of this truly great British car, which is so well placed in spite of Leslie Johnson’s wretched illfortune at Le Mans, where clutch trouble retired his XI: 120 when it looked a reasonably probable ‘winner. The LugoTalbot proves its worth by coming third, although running only at Le Mans —and as this represents sixteen T.T. races packed into one round of the clock, that is a truly meritorious show. Alfa-Romeo has rather surprisingly fallen front grace. Aston-Martin, perhaps because of high gearing which spiiiis acceleration of the kind needed on most road circuits, isn’t as highly placed as one hoped at the beginning of the season, although gaining much glory at Le Mans and certainly not to be classed, as the Frazer-Nash, Allard, Healey and the Continued on page 502
others must be, as ” also-runs.” Of course, in a classification of this sort the Frazer-Nash is handicapped by having an engine capacity of only 2 litres and certainly its convincing performance at the recent Shelsley Walsh Hill-Climb, where a team of these cars was faster than the N.K 120 Jaguar. Allards and Aston-Martins, isn’t likely to be forgotten. The Allard, perhaps, lacks reliability for races of this kind, in the transmission, and sometimes in the engine when overhead valves cannot be used. be Mans proved the potency of the Cadillac version. The Healey ” Silverstone ” hasn’t. the speed of its rivals which may have hampered it in its first season of serious racing, but its showing at Le Mans in Anglo-American guise was certainly creditable. There is no doubt about it, amongst British cars the XI: 120 Jaguar has more
than maintained the promise its shortdistance local records at Spa in 1949 heralded. The Ferrari has it beaten, true, but dare we suggest that there is a bigger potential market across the world for ears of the Jaguar type than there is for those like the Ferrari, Utopianpossession that the latter is for those with a fortune or a fully-equipped workshop ? Add to its second place on aggregate in the general classification of live of the greatest sports-car contests attracting the pick of the world’s ears, its outright win in this year’s tough Alpine flatly, and the XI( 120 joins the immortals amongst sports-ears of any era. It seems to have got over its transmission weaknesses and if it has a tender spot at all, it is its brakes, that have a lob to keep cool behind those disc wheels and shapely wings when caned 011 to Slow this beautiful car from 120 m.p.h. to a crawl. For probably the same reason tyres can constitute a problem in a race of more than
an hour’s duration on a dry course. But, in a world where nothing quite attains perfection and so many cars fall very far short of it, the NE 120 twinearn Jaguar made under the Union Jack in bomb-searred Coventry has proved its worth in the sports-car races of 1950. It has also assisted materially in putting this country very high in the matter of aggregate plaeings, a pleasing state of affairs, remembering our Bentley-heritage. Applying the aforementioned ‘making to nationalities we get Owings as under.— V. 13. Italy … 50 44