Jaguar MK2: Recalling Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique 2019
It's time for a fresh 'Vehicle of the Month' story, and this September we have a really special entry from Andy and his Jaguar MK2. His memory of the 2019 Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique alongside his car's history makes us want to 'Get Set and Ready' for the next upcoming rally!
Enjoy Guys! And keep an eye out for the 'Co-Driver's Office'.
"I purchased a Jaguar Mk2 3.8 from New Zealand which arrived into the UK in June 2018. The car was built in Coventry and first registered in Christchurch, where it was owned by the same family for more than 30 years.
Much work has been completed improving the reliability of this predominantly original car including working our way through the cooling, braking, electrical, fuel and ignition systems replacing worn consumables as we went. The cooling system has rarely been used and the thermostat fell apart as we removed it. A number of cooling hoses and clips were also replaced along with all of the brake hoses which were replaced with braided equivalents. The car has been rewired over its lifetime and is wired as negative earth, however a number of dubious electrical connectors were used in the engine bay and to the headlights which were all replaced with modern connectors which were shrink wrapped in the front wings where the headlamp wiring is exposed.
Snow tyres and uprated green brake pads were fitted in preparation for the 22nd Monte Carlo Historique 2019 and the snow in the French Alps. The lighting system was also upgraded. A modern H4 bulb headlight conversion is available for the Mk2 and we temporarily removed the front over-riders to allow spot lights to be fitted which would be removed later. The car had been refurbished 20 years ago to be used as a daily driver in modern traffic. The car has been fully undersealed for use in a damp climate, and has had a number of useful modifications making it ideal for the rally: a five speed Toyota Supra gearbox had been installed along with power steering which were ideal for the numerous hairpins in the alps; a 1-2-3 ignition system was useful particularly in the cold weather; and air conditioning which came with a much-needed functional heater.
The car was allowed to continue to follow the route and take the finishers ramp in Monte Carlo which was a very special and privileged feeling. This was actually the only failure we had in the whole journey. The car is basic, simply to work on, and with good preparation and a sensible supply of spare parts in our support car there is no reason why one of these old classics cannot complete this journey.
On the subject of support, this rally can be completed without support however for a first attempt I wouldn’t recommend it. The driving and navigating involves long hours in the car and is both tiring and rewarding in equal measures".
"In November 2018 we received confirmation that, along with my uncle, our Jaguar had been confirmed as car 292 in the rally starting from Glasgow, one of seven starting points from across Europe and the furthest start away from Monaco.
324 cars were entered into the event in total and ours was the only Mk2 to take part in the event this year. At 6pm we were one of six Historique cars to leave the start ramp for the start of our concentration run to Valance, France heading for our first overnight halt at Barnby Moor in North Nottinghamshire".
"The route is based on the original Monte Carlo rallies of 1955-1980 including this overnight halt at Barnby Moor where we made the front page of the local paper".
"The following morning was our run down to Dover for the ferry to Calais with a brief and well organised stop in Banbury to show off the cars".
"The next part of our journey was tough. We left Calais at 9am on Friday morning to drive down to Reims where the cars were displayed along with the Reims starting cars. Our car departure time from Reims was 8.40pm as all cars were started 1 minute apart, driving overnight down to Valence on French D roads which had spectators out in each of the villages through this Champagne region of France in the early hours which spurred us on (along with the Champagne and numerous gifts we were handed through the car window!).
Overnight we met up with the cars from Bad Homburg, Germany and on arrival into Valence we completed the first of two special stages in the snow before our welcome dinner followed by bed - 38 hours after our last sleep in Calais! There would be 15 special stages on narrow public roads each climbing over a different French Col before completing the rally in Monte Carlo".
"Rally dinner in Valence and time for sleep after leaving Calais 38 hours ago!"
"Special stage start - an average of 44km/h sounds easy... now throw in a series of tight hairpins and several inches of snow and it becomes much more challenging!"
"This is where the snow tyres came in very handy. The Vredestein Snow Track tyres (still fitted) didn't take long for us to gain confidence in the snow and soon we were pushing hard".
"The drive between the special stages was generally lower and clear of snow".
"Our car had other ideas about completing the rally however, as having just checked into the time control at St Agrève 1052m above sea level and just below one of the ski resorts, a spark plug was ejected from the cylinder head stripping the thread and we thought our rally was over. We drove the car slowly down the mountain to get it back to Valence for the evening. The local people in Valence were very helpful and after many phone calls a local motor engineer with years of Saab rally experience came to our rescue to helicoil a new thread in our engine - we were running again! Unfortunately we were 30 minutes too late to take the time control in Valence so we were technically out of the rally although nothing was going to stop us from completing the event. Next stop Monte Carlo!"
"The straight six was running sweetly as we drove into Monte Carlo in the sun".
"Of course we had to complete a lap of the Formula 1 track before we took the finish ramp and parked in Parc Ferme at the marina".
"In Monaco we stayed in the Fairmont hotel on the Lowes hairpin and on the final evening we attended a black-tie gala dinner and prize giving for 1500 people at Sporting Monte Carlo - a very special occasion".
"Our final day consisted of driving the full length of France with a short overnight stop in Calais before making the Eurotunnel crossing to come home to Gloucester".
"The Jaguar ran faultlessly on snow tyres at 130km/h on the French AutoRoutes slowing to 30km/h to wait for our eToll to register and open the barriers. With an effective range of 400 kilometres on a tank of fuel, this provided us with numerous opportunities to stop for a drink for both us and the car".
"Safely home in Gloucester, and on show here in Coventry for Jaguar Super Saturday, our Jaguar covered 5500km in just 10 days which would not have been possible without our excellent support crew. Would we do this again.........oh yes!
"September 2019 to April 2020 saw the bare metal bodywork restoration undertaken by Jan Polite www.politeautobodyshop.center".
"A fresh coat of British Racing Green to finish".
"The restoration took 6 months in total requiring some bodywork repairs and replacing all of the rubber seals with new. Underneath the car is solid and will last for many years to come. A stainless steel exhaust finished off the car. I would recommend these guys for your restoration".