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1951 Works Jaguar MK VII 'LHP 5'
This historic racing Jaguar MK VII 'LHP 5' is the only known survivor of the three Works cars entered by Jaguar for the Daily Express International Trophy at Silverstone, in 1954. 'LHP 5' was driven by Le Mans winning driver Capt Tony Rolt, while Stirling Moss and Ian Appleyard drove the other two cars. It finished second and also broke the lap record. Earlier this year it completed the Mille Miglia as one of the official Jaguar team entries and may be a contender for next year's Goodwood. It is also the subject of a major editorial feature in the November issue of Octane.
Returning to motorsports after the war Rolt soon came to the attention of Jaguar who offered him the position of reserve driver for the Hundred race in Ireland. When the works driver retired early in the race, Rolt took over to break the lap record and raise the car's position from seventh to fourth, winning him a permanent place in the Jaguar team.
In 1953 Rolt and Duncan Hamilton in a C-type Jaguar faced competition from every leading European sports car manufacturer at Le Mans. They won the race with an average speed of more than 100 mph, Rolt having raised their game by five seconds per lap to beat the Jaguar of Stirling Moss and Peter Walker into second place, four laps behind. He and Hamilton were jointly awarded the Malcolm Campbell Memorial Trophy. The following year, when Jaguar introduced their D-type, Rolt and Duncan Hamilton finished second at Le Mans, only oil filter pit stops costing them first place to Ferrari.
Rolt retired from racing in 1955, the year after he broke the Silverstone lap record in LHP 5, at 77.48 mph. He died in 2008 aged 89.
'What a fabulous car', Sir Stirling Moss has since said. 'I have the warmest affection for the old Mark VII because...' despite appearances to the contrary '... it was actually very well-balanced and light to drive'.
Following long term ownership, and later for many years part of a significant collection, this year the current owners completed the 2011 Mille Millie in LHP 5 effortlessly and without incident. The car is now ready to be campaigned again and could perhaps, subject as always to an invitation, provide the new owner with an entry to Goodwood, as next year's event celebrates the saloon cars of the 50s.