TWR Jaguar XJR14

by Ian Edwards


Ross Brawn...what does that name mean to us??? Ferrari, Schumacher, Benetton, Designer, Arrows, TWR.
Before his worldwide fame of being interviewed on a Sunday afternoon, talking about how he and Schumacher beat the opposition, even before his relationship with Schumacher started at Benetton, he worked for TWR and designed the fastest sportscar of all time, the Jaguar XJR14.

He designed the car to suit the new GRP.C rules [almost a year behind Peugeot and Mercedes] and made what has to be the closest there has been to a fully bodied F1 car. The power plant was a slightly detuned Ford HB V8 F1 motor [offered to TWR after Ford took control of Jaguar]. The car was a aerodynamic masterpiece, but the key feature was the two tier rear wing, rival designers believed that FISA would not allow this because it would be looked upon as an extension of the rear bodywork, but this turned out to be not a problem.

John and XJR-14.jpg (63976 bytes)

At the first round of the 91 season at Suzuka FISA made TWR drop the top tier by 7cm, but this made hardly any difference to the lap times. The gearbox was a unique TWR designed six speed unit and had a very interesting linkage set up that passed through the tunnel giving the drivers a left hand gearchange [very unusual in a racing car] several engines were over-revved in the early races due to missed shifts, but the gate was widened later in the season and this seemed to rectify the problem. The front suspension was another innovating step by Brawn, he chose to use a torsion bar set up; this was very compact and also transverse in layout thus saving space. The car was too light from the outset and had to use ballast, obviously a good thing when you can put weight where you want it.
I witnessed the car at Silverstone in 1991 and have never seen a car so totally dominant, almost unfairly quicker. Jaguar took the win and Brundle finished 3rd after a broken throttle linkage at the start, his drive through the field was absolutely stunning, watching him through bridge has been a conversation point of mine to this day.


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Photos sent by Luis Cassanovas.  XJR-14 photos where took from Worlds Sports Car Racing book, by  Gustav Büsing and Ulrich Upietz.


During the season Peugeot introduced there new car [we called it the white Jag it was so similar in design] but in fairness it was a match for the Jaguar and sometimes more than a match, but Jag had done enough in the first half of the season and took the manufactures title and the drivers title with Teo Fabi.

A few years ago I started to research the history of TWR GRP.C and IMSA sportscars and have extensive notes on the subject. With regards to chassis numbers I have to be careful what I say so all I will tell you is that there is Jaguar XJR14 chassis no591 as a complete rolling chassis. The engines were returned to Cosworth and are apparently still there. This car is the only one that might come to life again, but I have my doubts as time goes on.
You can imagine my joy to learn that Marsh Models were re-releasing the XJR14 so I hastily ordered a kit from Peter at Merrymeet Models. My kit arrived by the paperboy! He found a package on the pavement at the other end of the road, so kindly delivered it to me. It arrived before the postman, who's response to the aforementioned story was "Oh Right" and then walked away. Marsh Models supply an example of the base colour of pinky-purple on a chip. The only way you to get this colour is by visiting your local automotive paint supplier and asking them to mix it if possible, I had a very helpful lady who went out of her way to get it right. They were also able to create an aerosol with my mix in it at the cost of £9.99, the match is perfect. The aerosol service is common practice now in most paint shops.
I have recently completed the kit and it looks absolutely stunning. a great addition to any set. The Marsh Models kit is a quality kit and can be built to Silverstone 1991 or Monza 1991.

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1/43 model by Marsh Models