How magnificent can things be? This time last week I was standing in front of magnificent Inveraray Castle, on the shores of Loch Fyne, when the crunching of gravel and the burble of a classic straight six engine announces the arrival of a magnificent Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar Long-nose D-type.
The ‘Long Nose’ D-type is the very same car that was runner-up in the 1957 Le Mans 24 Hour race, won by another of Ecurie Ecosse’s cars – and helping cement the Scottish team’s place in history.
This was just one of the cars taking part in Jaguar’s Mini Miglia, a one-day, 100-mile event to give the Jaguar Heritage team a chance to prepare for the famous Mille Miglia which starts from May 14 to 17 in Italy.
Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type with Jaguar Director of Design Ian Callum in the navigator’s seat
Taking in some of the finest roads the country has to offer, the ‘Mini Miglia’ gave the Jaguar Heritage team drivers a chance to perfect their time trial skills and to familiarise themselves with their cars – some of the most important sports and touring models from Jaguar’s heritage collection.
Reading the maps as the D-Type arrived at our control was Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum, although he had switched to the driving seat as the cars left on the regularity section.
“Driving these cars in this situation is just the most wonderful thing in the world,” Ian Callum enthused. “It is one of the highest highs I can possibly imagine.”
Jaguar Mark VII
Other “names” on the entry list included chef James Martin, adventurer Charlie Boorman and model David Gandy. But, in reality, the cars were the stars of the show with Jaguar C-Types, a brace of D-Types, two XK120s an XK140 and a solitary Jaguar Mark VII.
The D-type driven for the first time in anger by James Martin was awarded first place in the ‘Mini Miglia’ regularity trial, followed by the Mk VII of Charley Boorman. The cars and drivers will next meet on the start line in Brescia on May 14th, ready to tackle 1,000-miles through Italy on the 2015 Mille Migla.
If you want to keep up with Jaguar’s progress on the Mille Miglia follow the team on Facebook or Twitter for regular updates.