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Little Classics News: 23 May 2015

Jaguar Celebrates Nine Finishes at Mille Miglia

Jaguar XK at Mille Miglia

Jaguar is celebrating an excellent team performance in the 2015 Mille Miglia with all nine classic cars finishing the 1,000-mile endurance rally across Italy.

In the year that Jaguar celebrates its 80th anniversary, Jaguar Heritage headed to the start in Brescia with three C-types, three D-types, two XK120s and an XK140 driven by famous faces from the world of motorsport, TV and music.

Jaguar C-Type

In total, well over 400 classic cars took part in the punishing four-day event, which started in Brescia, headed to Rimini on the east coast, before dropping down to Rome, back up to Parma – taking in historic Siena and Pisa on the way – before finishing back in Brescia.

It was ‘NDU 289’, the Jaguar C-type of Jaguar Vehicle Integrity Chief Engineer Mike Cross, with Telegraph journalist Mikey Harvey, which came out on top for the Jaguar team, finishing in 153rd place – a great performance given that the top 100 places are filled with regularity time trial experts.

Jaguar C-Type at Mille Miglia

Finishing not far behind them in 171st place were model and TV presenter, Jodie Kidd and model David Gandy, driving ‘OOF 748’, a Jaguar XK120 roadster. This was the second time Kidd had driven the Mille Miglia in this car, affectionately nicknamed ‘Betsey’: “It was just so much fun to be reunited with Betsey again,” she said. “I’ve really learned how to drive her and get the best out of her. As ever, the roads and the crowds were just sensational. I’d like to say a huge thank you to the Jaguar support team who put in some Herculean efforts to keep everyone motivated and moving.”

Jaguar Heritage at Mille Miglia 2015

Rapper and musician Elliot Gleave, aka Example, drove with his father, Michael Gleave. This was the second time Elliot had driven the Mille Miglia. This time he drove in ‘TAC 740’, an XK140 roadster. “This year was even better than the first time. I really got to grips with the car, the route books and the timing challenges. It has been a totally brilliant experience.”

D-Type Jaguar at Mille Miglia

Driving his own Jaguar C-type, ‘PUG 676’, was Royal Automobile Club Motoring Committee Chairman, Ben Cussons, partnered by journalist Alex Goy.

The event certainly left a profound effect on TV chef, James Martin, who drove ‘393 RW’, a long-nose D-type. Martin’s co-driver, adventurer Charley Boorman, was just as in awe of the experience: “I didn’t really know quite what to expect. When I did the Dakar, there was the similar feeling of the unknown. But James and I just had a laugh from beginning to end. We were like two children in a sweet shop at Monza on the banking!”

Jaguar D-Type

Driving ‘RSF 303’, the priceless Jaguar D-type ‘Long Nose’ Ecurie Ecosse racer of businessman and classic car enthusiast Clive Beecham, was Jaguar Design Director, Ian Callum: “This was my third Mille Miglia,” he said. “I was offered the chance to do this year’s event in a D-type, and an Ecurie Ecosse D-type at that. I couldn’t turn it down, especially as I remember that car being driven at Ingliston race track in Scotland when I was about seven or eight years old.

Jaguar XK

The team was completed by finishes from endurance racing legend, Derek Bell and art collector Adam Lindemann, who drove ‘KSF 182’, a C-type, Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr Ralf Speth and Tony O’Keeffe in ‘280 BPE’, an XK120 roadster, and classic car expert and owner of D-type ‘NVC 260’, Simon Kidston with journalist Jason Barlow.


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