It is achingly beautiful, yet with the menace and purposefulness that you would expect of a car designed to win the greatest race on earth! The team shared the design concept with legendary race driver Jackie Oliver who, along with Le Mans legend Jacky Ickx, won the race in 1969 in their Ford GT40. Jackie was very impressed and guided Ecurie Ecosse on the key aerodynamic debate that was happening at the time, including the foibles of the mighty Porsche 917 that was introduced in 1969, before it was tamed by the aero genius of John Horsman and the John Wyer team who showed the Stuttgart team how to turn the 917 into a competitive car. Jackie said ‘’it would have been interesting to have had another British competitor at the race, not least as the GT40 won the race against the faster Porsches through better reliability and great teamwork. It would have been a mouth-watering prospect!‘’
Powered by a unique quad-cam V12 engine “of the period”, albeit incorporating some of the best design practices. It’s being designed to be both powerful and a reliably fast race/road engine which is inspired by the basic architecture of those engines which powered cars to victory in the late 1960s. The engine will be available in typical 1960s condition with traditional distributors and mechanical fuel injection, but clients will be offered the option of fully programmable fuel injection & ignition due to the much-improved efficiency and tuneability. The engine is of course normally aspirated, and customers will gain the full visceral experience of a howling V12 race engine inches from the back of their heads. The intention is to offer the engine in two capacities – the “standard” 1966 5.0 – 5.3 litre version, and Neville’s own 7.3 litre version that uses the same basic architecture, but bored and stroked.
ECURIE ECOSSE LM69 – THE CAR THAT COULD HAVE WON AT LE MANS…
It’s a question that has dominated the history of the XJ13, a prototype built by Jaguar in 1966 in a quest to continue the marque’s legendary run of success in the Le Mans 24 Hours.
Powered by a new quad-cam, 5-litre V12, the XJ13 was Jaguar’s first mid-engined car – and without doubt one of the most beautiful automotive designs of all time.
Sadly, it remained unraced. A combination of internal politics and a change in sporting regulations meant that it was banished to a corner of the Competition Department – mothballed and all but forgotten as other projects took priority.
But what if the XJ13 had been developed and raced? What if this car’s immense potential had been realised?
Picture the scene: one day in late 1967, members of Ecurie Ecosse – the famous Scottish race team that twice won Le Mans in the 1950s with Jaguar D-types – travel to the Browns Lane factory to discuss repeating that success. During their visit, they spot the XJ13, covered up and tucked away. But as soon as the covers come off, they know that they’ve got a potential winner on their hands.
The deal is done, and work begins on a two-year project to develop and build a car in order for Ecurie Ecosse to take on the might of Ford, Ferrari and Porsche at the 1969 Le Mans 24 Hours.
This alternate reality could have been one of motor racing’s greatest stories – just imagine if the money, not to say courage and ambition, had been invested into it. Now a team of designers and engineers have done just that…
The birth of the Ecurie Ecosse LM69
Fifty years on, the spectacular LM69 is to be launched. While remaining true in spirit and sympathetic to the style of the fabulous XJ13, its bodywork has been developed into an all-new design that has its own purposeful beauty.
The quad-cam V12 is the heart of the car, a unique signature that has been designed to evoke the experience of driving at Le Mans in 1969. And not only is the LM69 suitable for track use, it’s fully road-legal.
A strict brief was established from the start: the design and engineering team would have to adhere to the regulations of the time, and feature only design details and technology that entered motorsport no later than early 1969.
As the XJ13 would have done had it been prepared for serious competition use, the LM69 benefits from innovations that appeared during that exciting era. Composite materials have been used, it’s lighter than the original car, and it boasts experimental aerodynamic devices, wider wheels and tyres, and a much-improved engine.
Only 25 will be produced, in keeping with the 1969 FIA homologation requirements and to maintain its exclusivity. Each one will be individually hand-built in the West Midlands by the best British craftsmen in their field.
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