JAGUAR: A RACING HISTORY IN NEW ZEALAND. PART 6 1959
1959 – Keeping the Jaguar flag flying with the XK120, XK150, D-Type, Tojeiro, and ‘Mk1’ saloon
Ardmore 10 Jan 59 – The 1959 NZIGP meeting was held at Ardmore on 10 Jan 59. Following an opening race for motor cycle machines up to 350cc, Event 2 on the programme was a Saloon Car Race over 10 laps from a handicap start. The programme listed 48 entries in six classes in this race: Up to 1000cc, 1001-1600cc, 1601-2000cc, 2001-2600cc, 2601-3500cc, and, over 3500cc. In the 2601cc-3500cc class there were three Jaguars – a late entry from Gavin Quirk in his #72 Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3.4, R. J. (Ray) Archibald in his #95 Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3.4, and R. Wong’s #102 XK150 Coupe 3.4 driven by F. [Roly?] Crowther. Results for the race were Archibald 1st, Quirk 2nd, and Crowther 3rd. A newspaper report on the race said, “The saloon car race at Ardmore today was a straightforward affair – a runaway win in the speed section for J.R. Archibald’s Jaguar with the XK150 motor. Archibald was timed over the flying quarter-mile at 100mph [160Kph], and shot through the Clover Leaf [corner] like a Grand Prix driver. Though Gavin Quirk, in a similar car, could match Archibald on the straight, he steadily lost ground in cornering and finally toured home half a lap behind.”
Event 3 was the 25-lap Ardmore Sports Car Trophy Race with a handicap start, and in the ‘over 3000cc class’ Jaguar entries were Frank Cantwell #6 Tojeiro Jaguar, Alf Bell #71 Jaguar XK120 3442cc, G.D. (Gavin) Quirk #72 XK120, J.G. (Garth) Forsyth #80 XK120, and K.S. Sandbrook #145 XK120. Forsyth said in Brian Watson’s book that his XK120 overheated in practice so he did not race. Cantwell’s Tojeiro Jaguar was scratched from the race, and Quirk’s entry was actually a Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3.4 Saloon car, so he raced in the earlier Saloon Car race. The Sports Car race was won by Ken Harris in the ex-Ken Wharton Ferrari 750 Monza, from George Lawton in his Cooper T39 ‘Bobtail’ Climax. Bell retired his XK120 on lap 18, and Sandbrook retired his XK120 on lap 5. So, of the 5 cars entered, only 2 raced, and both retired.
Heat 1 f or the Grand Prix was raced over 15 laps and saw Frank Cantwell on the grid in the rebuilt Tojeiro Jaguar. Frank retired on lap 7 with mechanical failure in a race won by Jack Brabham from Bruce McLaren, both in Cooper T45 Climaxes, with Jo Bonnier 3rd in a Maserati 250F (chassis 2529). Heat 2 was won by Ron Flockhart in a ‘works’ BRM P25, from Carroll Shelby in a Temple Buell entered Maserati 250F (chassis 2534), and Ross Jensen in his Maserati 250F (chassis 2509/2504) was 3rd. There were no Jaguars in the NZIGP, won by Stirling Moss, with Jack Brabham 2nd, and Bruce McLaren 3rd – all driving Cooper T45 Climax cars.
There were no Jaguars entered in Event 7, the ‘Ultimate Ekco Race Car Feature’ over 15 laps. This race was for those with racing and sports racing cars that did not race in the NZIGP.
Levin 17 Jan 59 – The 1959 Summer Meeting at Levin was held on 17 Jan 59 and Angus Hyslop was back with the #5 Jaguar D–Type, as was Frank Cantwell with the #6 Tojeiro Jaguar. Angus won the over 3000cc class of Races 3 and 11 for Sports Cars, and was 4th in Race 20 Invitation Sports Car race. As there was no mention in the results of Frank Cantwell’s Tojeiro Jaguar, so it is thought perhaps he did not compete at Levin after the ’mechanical failure’ the previous weekend at Ardmore ?
Wigram 24 Jan 59 – The 1959 Lady Wigram Trophy Race meeting held at Wigram on 24 Jan 59. The first event of the day was a 12 lap ‘Open Car Handicap Race’ over 25 miles/40.23km and notwithstanding his handicap of 8min 23sec behind the first car to start, Angus Hyslop in his Jaguar D-Type won the first event of the day in a race time of 19m 29.4s. In 2nd place was #3 Ron Rutherford on his 260M Zephyr Special 2382cc starting off a 7m 2s handicap , and B. Brown in his Buckler 1172cc was 3rd (7m 10s handicap). Other Jaguars entered were #2 Alf Bell’s XK120 (but he scratched from the race), and Ron Roycroft in his RJR Jaguar.
Frank Cantwell in his #6 Tojeiro Jaguar 3.8 won the third event of the day, the 24 lap 50.784 mile/80.72km Sports Car race with a Le Mans start in a race time of 38m 15.4s. In 2nd place was #9 Ken Harris in his Ferrari 750 Monza, while #54 George Lawton was 3rd in his Cooper T39 ‘Bobtail’ Climax and #21 Angus Hyslop was 4th in the D-Type. Other Jaguars entered in the race were #2 Alf Bell in his XK120, and #9 David Young in his C-Type.
For the Lady Wigram Trophy race, Frank Cantwell qualified the Tojeiro Jaguar 15th of 21 cars on the grid. Angus Hyslop qualified 16th in his Jaguar D-Type, but he did not race. The 71 lap race over 150 miles/241.4-km was won by #1 Ron Flockhart in the BRM P25 in a time of 1hr 41min 4sec. In 2nd place was #4 Jack Brabham in his Cooper T45 Climax 2200cc on 1h 41m 6.7s, ahead of #47 Bruce McLaren’s Cooper T45 1960cc who completed 69 laps, and #26 Syd Jensen was 4th in his 1475cc Cooper T45 Climax on 68 laps . Frank Cantwell retired the Tojeiro Jaguar on Lap 35 with brake problems. David Young had entered his #12 Jaguar C-Type, but he did not qualify for the race.
In the 12 lap Saloon Car handicap race over 25.39miles/40.23km, Ray Archibald took 1st place in his #12 Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3442cc in a race time of 22m 19.8s. Ernie Sprague in his #4 Ford Zephyr Mk2 2662cc was 2nd in 23m 22.5s, and Bob Blackburn was 3rd in his Mistral in 23m 34s.
Waimate 31 Jan 59 – The first of what became an annual motor racing event (until 1966) was held on the streets of Waimate township, South Canterbury, on 31 Jan 59. The first event on the 1.3 mile/2.09km track was a race for Sports Car over 15 laps; there were two race classes – up to 1500cc, and, 1501cc and over. In the over 1500cc class, Graham Pierce won in his ex-Ross Jensen #71 Austin Healey 100S 2660cc with a race time of 19m 58.9s, and in 2nd place was Angus Hyslop in the #61 Jaguar D-Type (race time 20m 10.5s), and David Young was 3rd in his #1 Jaguar C-Type (20m 34.5s).
In a 15 lap Sports and Racing Car handicap race, George Lawton won in his #54 Cooper T39 Climax 1500cc with a race time of 20m 53.6s. In 2nd place was Roly Levis in his #36 RAL Special 1172cc, and #37 Merv Neil was 3rd in his Cooper T45 Climax 1960cc. David Young was 7th in his Jaguar C-Type, and #61 Angus Hyslop was 9th in the Jaguar D-Type.
Ray Archibald in his #95 Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3.4 was 4th in a 10 lap Saloon Car Handicap race, won by A. Irving in #63 VW, from R.K. Crawford in his #52 an Austin 947cc, and E. Tucker in a Morris 1000. Ray in his Jaguar set the second fastest race time in 15m 47s, just 8 seconds slower than M.B. Mills in a Humber 80 at 15m 39s.
There were no Jaguars racing in the very wet 1959 ‘Waimate 50’ race, won by Bruce McLaren in his Cooper T45 Climax, from Ross Jensen’s Maserati 250F, and Syd Jensen in his Cooper T45 Climax.
A 10 lap ‘Saloon and NZ Specials Car Handicap’ race saw Ray Archibald finish 11th in his Jaguar ‘Mk1’ in a mixed field of 21 cars.
Teretonga 7 Feb 59 – The Teretonga International was held on 7 Feb 59. Event 2 on the programme was the ‘First Heat’ of the main race and held over 8 laps. Jack Brabham won the Heat in his #4 Cooper T45 Climax 2200cc, from Ross Jensen in his #18 Maserati 250F 2490cc and Merv Neil was 3rd in his #37 Cooper T45 Climax 1750cc. Frank Cantwell’s #6 Tojeiro Jaguar appears to have been scratched from the race.
Event 3 was the ‘Second Heat’, won by Bruce McLaren in his Cooper T45 Climax 1960cc, from Ron Flockhart in the ‘works’ BRM P25 2500cc, and Tom Clark was 3rd in his Ferrari T555 Super Squalo 3500cc. David Young had entered his #23 Jaguar C-Type, but it is not known if he raced.
Event 5 was a Sports Car race over 10 laps with a Le Mans start. Jaguar entries were Frank Cantwell in the Tojeiro Jaguar (but perhaps he scratched from the meeting?), David Young in his Jaguar C-Type, and Alf Bell in his Jaguar XK120. George Lawton won the race in his #54 Cooper T39 Bobtail, and David Young was 3rd in his C-Type. In his book, at page 194, Brian Watson said that Angus Hyslop in his D-Type was 2nd in the over 1500cc class of this race.
Event 7 was the ‘The Teretonga International’ held over 40 laps for a race distance of 60miles/96.56km. Although he had entered, Frank Cantwell did not drive his Tojeiro Jaguar in this race, won by Bruce McLaren in his Cooper T45, from Ron Flockhart in the BRM P25, Jack Brabham’s Cooper T45 – in 4th and 5th places were the two Maserati 250Fs of Ross Jensen and John Mansel.
The final race on the programme was Event 8 for ‘Sports and Racing Cars’ over 8 laps with a handicap start. The Jaguar C-Type of David Young, and the Jaguar XK120 of Alf Bell, were both listed as entries. The race was won by #54 George Lawton in his Cooper T39 Climax 1497cc, from #39 Noel Herrick in his Herrick Austin A40 Special 3995cc, and #67 R.I Billington in his Elfo Ford Special 1172cc.
The book ‘Teretonga 25’ lists an entry for #88 Ron Roycroft RJR Special, but as his name was not in the race programme, as well as there being no mention of this race in the book ‘Up to Speed – the Roycroft Years ’, it could be that he did not travel south for the meeting.
Ohakea 28 Feb 59 – The 1959 Ohakea Trophy Race meeting was held on 28 Feb 59 on the runways and taxiways at RNZAF Station Ohakea. In Event 4, a 7-lap Saloon Car Scratch race, Gavin Quirk in his Jaguar ‘Mk1’ 3.4 took 1st place overall in a time of 12min 47sec, as well as 1st place in the ‘3001cc and over’ class. Ted Dougherty’s Ford V8 Coupe was 2nd, and D.A. McLeod’s Ford Ranch Wagon (!!) was 3rd. Quirk raced again in Event 8, a Saloon Car Handicap over 7 laps, and again in Event 12 for Clubman’s Open Sports and Saloon Car Handicap, but he did not finish in the money in either race. Prize money was 30 pounds ($60) for first, 20 pounds/$40 for 2nd, 15/$30 for 3rd, 10/$20 for 4th and 5/$10 for 5th.
Event 6 was a Sports and Racing Car Scratch Race, also over 7 laps. In the ‘3001cc and over’ class, Angus Hyslop in his Jaguar D-Type was 3rd behind Tom Clark in his Ferrari Tipo 555 Super Squalo in 1st, and Allen Freeman in his now quite aged Lago T26C-Talbot. Ross Jensen in his Maserati 250F (chassis 2509/2504) took 1st place overall in a time of 9min 54sec; Ross was also 1st in the ‘1501 to 3000cc’ class ahead of Merv Neil’s Cooper T45-Climax, and Johnny Mansel’s Maserati 250F (chassis 2508).
Event 10 was the 25 lap Ohakea Trophy Race, the winner of which was awarded the Molesworth Challenge Trophy. Both Angus Hyslop in his Jaguar D-Type and Frank Cantwell in the Tojeiro Jaguar were entrants, and they started in the front row comprising 12 cars spread across the multiple concrete hexagonal-block runway. Bruce McLaren had an easy win in his Cooper T45 Climax 1960cc in a time of 34min 3.4sec, from Syd Jensen’s Cooper T45 Climax 1475cc, with Tom Clark’s Ferrari T555 Super Squalo in 3rd. Johnny Mansel was 4th in his Maserati 250F 2.5 litre, and Pat Hoare 5th in his Ferrari 625. No results are known for Hyslop or Cantwell.
From right to left – Ross Jensen Maserati 250F, Bruce McLaren Cooper T45, (between and behind McLaren and the next car is Jim Palmer Lotus 11), Syd Jensen Cooper T45, Tom Clark Ferrari 555, Pat Hoare Ferrari 625 (behind/beyond Hoare is Eric Avery HWM-Cadillac), Merv Neil Cooper T45, (beyond Neil is Johnny Mansel Maserati 250F), Ken Harris Ferrari 750 Monza, Frank Cantwell Tojeiro Jaguar (beyond Cantwell is Allen Freeman Lago-Talbot), Len Gilbert Cooper T23-Bristol, Gavin Quirk Maserati 250F, Tony Shelly Cooper T41, Angus Hyslop Jaguar D-Type.
Photo by Steele Therkelson in Jim Barclay Collection
Event 14 was a ‘Racing and F.I.A. Sports Handicap’ over 7 laps for the Jenkins Trophy and this race closed out the day’s racing at Ohakea. Hyslop, and perhaps Cantwell, entered the race, won by John Mansel’s Maserati 250F, from Syd Jensen’s Cooper and Allen Freeman’s Lago T26C-Talbot.
Levin 28 Mar 59 – At the 1959 Levin Championship meeting held on 28 Mar 59, Angus Hyslop entered the Jaguar D–Type in Sports Car and Formula Libre races. I.W. (Ian) Dow from South Canterbury entered his Jaguar 2.4 ‘Mk1’ saloon, as did Gavin Quirk his Jaguar 3.4 ‘Mk1’ saloon. Quirk took a win in Race 9, a Saloon Handicap race over 6 laps, while Dow was 4th in the same race. Dow was also 2nd in Race 12, a Saloon Handicap race. Hyslop took the D-Type to an ‘over-3000cc Sports Car’ class win in Race 15, and an outright win in Race 19 for the 10 fastest sports cars, ahead of Jim Palmer’s Lotus 11 Climax, Roly Levis in his RAL, and Eric Avery in the HWM-Cadillac.
Bathurst, Australia, 30 Mar 59 – Frank Cantwell raced his Tojeiro Jaguar at Bathurst in March 1959
1958/59 Summer Season Championship Results – Bruce McLaren won the 1958/59 NZ Gold Star Championship driving his Cooper T45 Climax. In second place was Syd Jensen in his Cooper T45 Climax, and Ross Jensen was third in his Maserati 250F (chassis 2509/2504). As the championship for Sports cars, and another for saloon cars, was still a year away from inception, no Jaguars featured in 1958/59 NZ Championship results.
Napier 21 Nov 59 – The second Napier Road Race meeting was held on a street circuit at Ahuriri, Napier, on 21 Nov 59. Gavin Quirk entered his Jaguar 3.4 ‘Mk1’ saloon, and local Hawkes Bay driver Angus Hyslop entered his Jaguar D-Type. Quirk was 1st in Race 1, a Saloon Car Scratch over 4 laps in a time of 5 min 42.1 sec.
In Race 4, Angus Hyslop was 1st in the Jaguar D-Type in a race time of 7min 43.8sec for the 6 lap race for ‘Sports Cars Scratch’ over 1500cc. Next were Peter Elford’s #25 Morgan Plus 4, and J. Lust’s #18 Triumph TR2.
Angus Hyslop in his D-Type was 4th in Race 5, a Formula Libre Scratch over 10 laps behind George Lawton and Denny Hulme in their Cooper T45 Climaxes, and Len Gilbert in his Cooper T23-Bristol Mk2.
In Race 6, was a Sports Car Handicap race over 6 laps where Angus Hyslop in his D-Type was 4th behind Doug Lawrence in his Mistral-TR2, Des McDonagh’s Marshall, and T. Fox in his MGA.
In Race 7, a Formula Libre Scratch over 10 laps, Hyslop in his D-Type was 4th behind Hulme, Lawton and Gilbert, with Angus’s race time being 12min 8.6sec, a little less than 1min behind Hulme’s 11min 20sec. Quirk was 5th in Race 8 Invitation Saloon Handicap in his 3.4 saloon
In the main event, Race 9 Formula Libre Final over 12 laps, Hyslop in his D-Type was 3rd behind Hulme and Gilbert. Race 10, an Invitation Allcomers Handicap over 6 laps, saw Doug Lawrence win in his Mistral-TR2 sports from Lust’s TR2, with Doc Langley’s Simca saloon 3rd ; Quirk’s Jaguar 3.4 ‘Mk1’ saloon finished 9th of the 13 starters. The final event of the day, Race 11 Formula Libre Handicap over 6 laps, saw Brian Prescott win in his Cooper T20 Bristol Mk1, just one second ahead of Hyslop’s D-Type.
Levin 28 Nov 59 – Angus Hyslop was back at Levin for the 1959 Fred Zambucka Memorial meeting held on 28 Nov 59. In his Jaguar D-Type, Angus recorded a 2nd place in Race 4, a Sports Cars Scratch over 6 laps with a Le Mans start, to Malcolm Gill in the Lycoming Special. Angus was 1st in Race 9, a Sports Cars Handicap, ahead of Miss Ivy Stephenson’s Buckler Le Mans; and he was 2nd in Race 14 Sports Cars Scratch race behind John Windleburn’s Lotus 11 Climax. In Race 18, a Handicap race, Angus was 2nd behind Duncan McKenzie’s Triumph TR2; and he was 2nd behind John Windleburn’s Lotus 11 Climax 1100c in Race 22 Invitation over 8 laps for the 10 Fastest Sports Cars.