A Jaguar XJ220 Racing Series is Proof Racing is Insane
Jaguar made less than 300 XJ220s. But that was enough to give the car its own racing series.
There’s a lot of crazy racing in the world. Seriously, if has wheels and a motor, there’s some maniac out there that’ll race it — there’s even sidecar motocross racing. That said, this Jaguar XJ220 racing series is totally bonkers.
Given that less than 300 of these hypercars — 271 to be exact — were produced, it seems almost criminal to subject a pack of them to the brutality of motorsport. But that’s exactly what happened back in 1993 during Fast Masters series. And since ESPN didn’t think putting a bunch of uber-rare, 750k machines on to the track was insane enough, it was decided that the gird should be composed of retired racing drivers who’d all reached the half-century mark.
Of course, when you have legends like Parnelli Jones, Dick Trickle, Bob Bondurant, and Bobby Unser behind the wheel, age really ain’t nothing but a number.
The first of the six races took place at Indianapolis Raceway Park on a modified oval, and resulted in some big crashes which significantly culled the field. By the end of the series, only six cars remained in the competition. So for those who had a poster of the XJ220 on their walls as a kid — or, you know, still have one up — the crash during the opening round can be particularly painful to watch. But given how many exotic cars which only emerge from their hyperbolic chambers to get rubbed with a diaper a few times a year, it’s pretty awesome to see all this precious metal get driven in anger.
Now, it’s worth noting that the XJ220 was regarded as something of a “failure” upon its debut. Many of the well-heeled buyers who plunked down a hefty deposit even plucked it back when they learned the promised 12-cylinder mill would be replaced by a turbo six-pot. The joke was on them, though, as even with the smaller mill, the vicious cat was able to attain the title of fastest production car, and it seems crazy to think that an example Hemmings Daily described as “museum-fresh” went for 357k just last year.
Something tells us those prices won’t last. Do you remember the Fast Masters series with the XJ220? Share you memories in the forum!