Get Some Video Track Instruction in a 1963 Jaguar XKE
Jim Pace wrings this Jaguar out at Virginia International Raceway.
Jaguar’s legendary XKE was built, like most non-saloon Jags, from true racing pedigree. Like the XK120 that kicked off Jaguar’s sports car provenance, the later E-Type could hang with the best of its contemporaries. While most E-Types have become garage queens and collector items, Jim Pace shows in this Historic Sportscar Racing video that you can still grab a classic Jaguar by its scruff and shake it with vigor.
Pace has raced sports cars and vintage sports cars for decades, including a start at the 1996 24 Hours of Le Mans. He knows his way around any racetrack. After watching this video, he clearly knows his way around Virginia International Raceway. He talks through two laps of VIR while slamming gears and letting the ‘63 Jaguar straight-six sing.
Not only is this a great demonstration of car and track, but Pace offers useful advice for novice drivers. “Shift when the car is stable” might be common knowledge if you’ve done track days or racing, but Pace’s reminder might keep a veteran from making a mistake. Pace carries his enthusiasm through the instruction without getting excited. When he says “beautiful car,” you know he means it about the E-Type.
As a Series I, Pace’s ‘63 Jaguar features the 3.8-liter inline-six with dual overhead cams and around 265 horsepower at 5,500 rpm. That might not sound like much today, but with a dry weight of 2,460 pounds, the E-Type had plenty of power. Jaguar had innovated with the XK120C and disc brakes. With the E-Type, the disc brakes moved inboard on the rear axle, mounted adjacent to the differential, with independent rear suspension.
Briggs Cunningham, one of America’s pioneers at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, finished 9th place overall at Le Mans in 1963 with his similarly equipped XKE. That result came despite a brake failure that resulted in a mid-race rebuild of the front end.