Bert Govan has raced the same 3.8 Jaguar Mk2 in South Island classic racing events since the mid-1980s, having originally purchased the car when he was just 13 years old. In that time he has seen the Mk2 evolve its status from that of a good-looking English sports and racing saloon to full-blown classic.

Bert’s car started life in the hands of Sir Henry Wigley from the Mt Cook Company, who purchased it from the Archibald group (the principal being Ray Archibald, the man who played a large part in helping the Jaguar Mk2 become part of racing folklore in New Zealand).

In addition to racing his Mk2, Bert’s love of the Jaguar also involves a collection of cars that includes a V12 roadster once owned by Sybil Lupp – well known for her racing exploits around the country during the 1960s – although the E-Type roadster that Bert owns was never part of her racing stable.

Mixing it with a good assortment of cars at the SKOPE Classic at Ruapuna

Mk2 Racing Origins

Much has been written about the Jaguar racing history in NZ Classic Driver over the years; however, it is pertinent to remind ourselves what part the Mk2 has played in the wonderful tapestry of saloon car racing.

Jaguar founder Sir William Lyons once described his cars as having “grace, space and pace”, and there is no doubt the Mk2 fitted this description even though the current young generation are being taught that E‑Types best illustrate that old saying.

The 3.8-litre Mk2 quickly became a regular fixture at British racing circuits, and between 1960 and 1963 it won more saloon car races in Great Britain than any other, although never winning the British saloon car championship. Drivers in these early years included Roy Salvadori, Graham Hill, Mike Parkes and Stirling Moss, who had a one-off drive in a Mk2 at Silverstone finishing second to Salvadori. In 1966 at a rain-drenched Brands Hatch with Salvadori and Denny Hulme first across the line in a six-hour race only to be disqualified because their Mk2 had over-sized inlet valves.

In the wet at Queenstown fending off Ian Begg in the ex Hulme/Moss VW Golf

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