The telephone rang in Shell-Mex House, London, at 4 o’clock on a Tuesday afternoon. A voice from the Montlhery track, nearly 400 miles away, near Paris, announced that the bronze XK120 Jaguar coupe had completed its seven-day and seven-night run at an average speed of 100.31 m.p.h.
During this run, in which 16,851.73 miles were covered, the Jaguar and its team of drivers, headed by Leslie Johnson, and assisted by Stirling Moss, Jack Fairman, and Bert Hadley, captured four world records and five international Class C records (subject to confirmation). Special arrangements made by the Communications Department of Shell-Mex and B.P. Ltd. provided a “news-room” service throughout the endurance test. Fixed-time calls were booked to the Montlhery track at 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. each day. Each telephone conversation was recorded on plastic tape by the Inter-recorder system, so that a permanent record was available for checking.
Mr. Nevil Lloyd. Press Secretary, British Racing Drivers’ Club, flashed each bulletin to the Press Association. A total of 150 papers and periodicals were also fed by stencilled Press releases. Bulletins were also transmitted over the country-wide teleprinter network of Shell-Mex aInd B.P. Ltd. to the headquarters of each of the company’s ten provincial divisions. These in turn broadcast the progress of the Jaguar test to the newspapers in their areas