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There will be few (if any) Motor Sport readers who don’t recognise the initials TWR as short-hand for Tom Walkinshaw Racing, the team that put Jaguar back on the competition map when it contested the 1982 European Touring Car Championship with the very Motul-sponsored XJS coupé that’s pictured here – TWR XJS chassis number one.

It all started after Walkinshaw, who died in 2010, put forward the suggestion that the XJS might be the car to take Jaguar successfully back to the track.

CEO John Egan gave the idea his blessing on the basis that the factory would supply two cars and parts back-up for the project,  but would only be forthcoming with cash in the event of podium placings, offering Walkinshaw £30,000 for each win, £20,000 for second places and £10,000 for thirds.

The hulking 5.3-litre V12 powerplant and production-derived interior

Starting with a standard, road-legal XJS V12 in Damson Red, Walkinshaw and his small team developed ‘TWR001’ to the homologation requirements of Group A regulations, unveiling the car – and announcing the ETCC campaign – in March 1982, just before the first race at Monza. He and co-driver Chuck Nicholson (aka gentleman driver Charles Nickerson) were forced to retire in Italy, after damaging the underside on a chicane kerb.

By the end of the season, however, the team had clocked up wins at Brno, the Nürburgring, Silverstone and Zolder, with the sister car also taking second place in the two latter events.

The success led to Jaguar making an official and formal return to the ETCC in 1983, with TWR running the marque’s famous green and white cars on behalf of the factory and sowing the seeds for the team to develop further Jaguars that contested the WSCC and IMSA GT Championship – and also went on to win at Le Mans and Daytona.

The Lovett/Dieudonné and Walkinshaw/Nicholson Jags lead at Silverstone in ’82

But the car that started it all – this one – was rather ignominiously retired and put to one side with the intention of being used as a development mule or cannibalised for parts before, 30 years later, being acquired by leading historic racer Chris Scragg.

By then its true significance had been lost in time, so Scragg had it prepared to race specification by renowned Jaguar specialist M & C Wilkinson (the engineering side of the Sayer Collection, from whom it is now available), acquired its FIA papers and was about to sell it as simply a race-ready XJS – before a chance encounter with a former TWR employee revealed it was chassis one.

It was restored by Wilkinson to the exact specification and livery in which it won at Silverstone in 1982 (the first Jaguar TT victory since 1951) and is now offered in race-ready condition.

It is the final car from Scragg’s collection of half-a-dozen competition Jaguars, put up for sale following his retirement from historic racing in 2014. And make no mistake – this is also a genuine and highly significant piece of racing history.

1982 TWR Jaguar XJS. Chassis number one. On offer at The Sayer Selection, Everton, South Yorkshire. c£500,000, sayerselection.com


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