1955 HWM Jaguar

HWM was a famous racing name in the fifties; a British privateer operation, headed up by George Abecassis and John Heath. Following success in single seater formulas, HWM became the first proper marque to create a Jaguar-engined sports racing car. From 1953 to 1957, the team was involved in sports car racing both in Britain and on the continent, sometimes beating their Jaguar and Aston Martin Works competitors.

The first of the two late cars, 52106, took on the wonderful registration, HWM 1 that was reassigned by the works from an earlier HWM. Taken to the Mille Miglia as a factory entry in 1956 (car #545), HWM 1 unfortunately did not finish the race due to a grave accident with HWM marque owner, John Heath at the wheel. Following a works rebuild, the same chassis was used although replacement chassis rails were added, as was usual in this era of sports car racing. When the HWM was back to full fettle, it was driven down to Brighton by Noel Cunningham-Reid for the Speed Trials, which acted as a shakedown exercise. It was entered at Goodwood in September for Dick Protheroe to pilot and Cunningham-Reid won a race with it at the final Snetterton meeting of the year.

In 1957 HWM 1 was run as a works entry for a variety of drivers. The first official outing was at the Easter Monday Goodwood race meeting, driven by British race driver, Peter Blond. Blond went on to campaign HWM 1 on numerous occasions that year with Jack Fairman and Les Leston also having a turn. The car’s period driver list reads like a ‘who’s who’ of fifties British Sports Car racers!

HWM 1 was sold at the end of the ’57 season to ‘Team Speedwell’; a quartet of enthusiastic drivers based in Middlesex in the UK. Of these four, it was John Bekaert who largely drove the HWM, at a huge and packed programme of club races with much success. He apparently drove it to each meeting, relishing its performance on the road. It appears he relished this rather too much, as he recalled being caught on his way to Silverstone by the police at exactly 100mph over the speed limit! There are numerous photographs of the HWM in period copies of Autosportduring this season, capturing its active track programme.

The HWM passed between a handful of custodians before ending up with well-known historic racer, Kirk Rylands, who kept 52106 for a staggering 34 years and maintained it in excellent health. Rylands raced and rallied the HWM, working with the legendary preparer, Arthur Mallock to improve the handling and subsequent track prowess. He finally parted ways with HWM 1 in 2008 to Alfa guru, Paul Grist who carried out a total rebuild, including a change of the front bodywork to its original configuration and returning it to British Racing Green.

Recently, the current owner has enjoyed the HWM in historic racing and it has been a regular sight at the Goodwood Revival in the Freddie March Trophy race. This Mille Miglia eligiblesports racing car is offered complete with HTP papers, a full and interesting history file and provides a front-running entry at all of the prestigious historic motoring events.

Year: 1955
Make: Jaguar
Dealer: Fiskens
The foremost specialist in fine historic automobiles, where the best cars in the world come to be sold. Their reputation is built on three, rock-solid principles: knowledge, trust and discretion; for the most important vintage, classic or competition cars, the only match for their own passion is that of their customers. The market for these iconic automobiles can be perplexing. Buyers and sellers are right to be wary of mediocre restoration or suspect provenance; public auctions come with their own risks and extraordinary costs. So when they founded their business, they decided their customers – buyers and sellers alike – must always be able to rely on integrity, impeccable attention to detail, and unparalleled expertise. They separate fact from fiction, the best from the merely adequate, and they always represent their clients’ cars correctly. The central London showrooms and headquarters are famous fixtures of the collector’s car landscape. Yet Fiskens is not about ‘front’. They develop close relationships with discerning collectors – they share their well-informed enthusiasm for spectacular cars of all eras. They have a talent for taking the hassle out of deals, however many cars are involved; they simplify issues of complex international ownership, ensuring satisfaction for both buyer and seller alike. Many of their customers become firm friends, choosing to come back time and again. The belief at Fiskens is that buying and selling old cars should be fun. Owning them should satisfy; driving them should thrill. Gregor Fisken Starting off his motoring apprenticeship on the back seat of his parent’s vintage Bentley, Gregor has always been at the very heart of the British historic car movement. As a teenager, Gregor was mentored by the legendary Bunty Scott-Moncrieff, a hugely respected restorer and authoritative author, giving Gregor the opportunity to obsessively build his extensive knowledge. Working for a respected London auction house established an international reputation that soon allowed him to open his own premises in the famous central London Queens Gate Place Mews they are in now. Not believing historic cars should be consigned to a museum, Gregor has piloted some of the greatest historic racing cars at circuits all over the world, as well as competing in modern motorsport at the highest level including the Le Mans 24 hour race four times. One of the most well known and recognised individuals within the industry, Gregor continues to build the market leading reputation of Fiskens.
Back to top
Translate »