OKV 3 again


Congratulations on the excellent series on number plates. Last month’s feature about OKV 3 was of especial interest to we as a long-time • admirer of the car and the was in which it is raced and kept in such original trim by Martin Morris. It still bears its old XKC404 chassis plate, overstarnped XKD404 to confirm Jaguar’s change of mind over thy designation. A particularly interesting point about this car is that the square section alloy tubing used for the engine’s space frame extends thmugh the front bulkhead right back to the rear bulkhead, which takes the back suspension. This makes the 1954 cars that little bit stronger than thc D types which famed because the later round steel tubing frames holm] direct to the front bulkhead ti, make construction and maintenance easier. It also means that the early niodels gave their drivers a little less elbow-room and makes it difficult to think of them as true monocoque racing cars.

At the time of its return from South Africa, OK V 3 had already been rolled once, necessitating the first complete factory rebuild. By the time it had met a similar misfertune with Martin at the wheel, this type of reconstruction was beyond the scope of the factory — hut the strength of the early car was such that the religging needed was minimal and could be done “at home”.

The scope of the number plates feature seems almost endless, particularly with the sports cars of the 19596, which have survived in such numbers In race in historic events: one of the most amusing that springs to mind is VPP 9, the number which has turned up on so many “works” Lister-Jaguars ja so many different countries. London to CHRIS HARVEY