The Ecurie Cars LM69 Is an XJ13 Racer That Never Was
Despite appearances, this svelte and supremely swoopy shape is not a real car. Well, it’s real insofar as it physically exists on this slice of the multiverse, and if the purveyors at Ecurie Cars are to be believed, it runs and drives as sharp as a real Ford GT40 or Lola T70. Conceptually, Ecurie Car’s LM69 is a manifestation in the cosmic game of “what if,” specifically as applied to the stillborn 1966 Jaguar XJ13 prototype and what the XJ13 program might have looked like had it continued development through the 1969 race season.
First, some clarification; despite carrying augmented Jaguar mechanicals and taking direct inspiration from one of Jaguar’s greatest designs, this project isn’t officially affiliated with the great British marque. As the name implies, this wild project falls entirely under the purview of Ecurie Cars, who in turn carries the spiritual torch of the defunct Ecurie Ecosse racing team. French for “Scottish Stable,” Ecurie Ecosse’s signature dark blue cars were a mainstay on the international racing stage in the late 1950s and 1960s, with the team’s crowning achievements being the overall win at the 1956 and 1957 runnings of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Ecurie Ecosse established itself as a fan of fast Jags, fielding a lineup of C- and D-Types across the globe with all-star drivers that at different times included team founder and principal David Murray, Ian Stewart, Jackie Stewart, Masten Gregory, Roy Salvadori, and Jim Clark. Despite Ecurie Ecosse’s many successes in the 1950s and 1960s, motorsports as a whole are fickle; after a spate of unsuccessful seasons and mounting financial issues, the team disbanded in 1971. Over the ensuing decades, a handful of revivals saw moderate success under the Ecurie Ecosse name, but nothing stuck around for the long-term, and the name remains unused in motorsport competition today.
That’s to say nothing of the Ecurie Cars behind the LM69 project. With the team’s penchant for Jaguars, it’s a reasonable assumption that if the XJ13 hadn’t been hamstrung by changing regulations and rendered immediately obsolete shortly before its racing debut, Ecurie Ecosse would have campaigned a pair of XJ13 in its signature blue-and-white livery.
So, following this alternate timeline, the LM69 is this hypothetical Ecosse’d XJ13 prototype, only evolved to match the later FIA regulations for the 1969 season. According to Ecurie Cars, the LM69 utilizes only technology available in that era and is designed to comply with the FIA’s requirements to an exacting degree that would—in theory—qualify the car for a position on the starting grid at Le Mans in 1969.
This means 25 examples of the LM69 will be built to meet these obsolete requirements, each with a starting price of around $1.5 million. The fabulously LM69’s curvaceous and genuinely authentic-looking bodywork is shaped from aluminum and “composite” materials, hiding a quad-cam V-12 that arrives in either 5.0- or 5.3-liter displacement, with an option to bore it out to 7.3 liters that is reportedly capable of producing more than 700 hp, allowing the LM69 to crack from 0-60 mph in just 3.2 seconds, and on to a top speed of 203 mph. Hoping for a dual-clutch? Shame on you. This is 1969 we’re talking about, so the LM69 only offers a five-speed manual transmission.
We haven’t even got to the best part yet. While most antiquated racing prototypes are still tethered to the boundaries of the racing circuit, the LM69 will be completely street legal, provided you live in England. That’s not to say you couldn’t cajole Alabama or Montana to strap a license plate to the back of your new prehistorical hypercar, but you might want to check with Ecurie Cars on the subject of road legality before placing an order.
While the LM69 first bowed earlier in 2019, the first production LM69 is either on its way or is already in its owner’s hands after a debut at last year’s Concours d’Elegance at Hampton Court Palace in London. If you’ve got a few million kicking around your slush fund, get in touch with the fine folk at Ecurie Cars—we’re sure they’d be more than happy to make you one of the lucky 25.
Source: Read Full Article