Ole #19 E-type Jaguar

Love the recollections by Terry, Paul, Dick and others of Ol #19 racing e-type. I think it should deserve a new post of all things Grand Turismo Jaguar, Lou Fidanza, Roger Bighouse, Freddie Baker, etc.

I entered an occasional autocross with my E-type in the 1970’s and found the rear end pretty loose in transition. I saw that GTJ sold modified rear radius arms. I talked to Lou and he wrote a letter confirming my thought that they should tie into the rear bulkhead inline with the rear suspension pivot point. I never got to install them but found Lou very knowledgeable with great patience explaining his products.

Yeah coupe’s handle differently from o.t.s., specifically they oversteer more. I’ve tracked and autocrossed both and the OTS is definitely better balanced.

Wow. Crickets. Much information is available online, but I guess few people had attended the SCCA championship or have insight into this famous race car or people behind it.

This is the first I’ve ever heard of this. Would this tie in to the relative stiffness of the bodies?

Think about the geometry of the rear axle. The lower control arm rotates inwards. The trailing arm rotates forwards. If the flex joints were solid, there would be no movement at all. The GTJ mod corrects this by creating a rigid, triangular lower arm, with no trailing arms at all. This mod has come along in several forms and fashions through the years. Here’s a write up by Gary Hagopian about a similar mod:



For those who haven’t seen it:


The coupes weigh more than the ots and all that additional weight, consisting of a steel roof, chrome window trim, glass windows, and a hatch with glass are located high over the rear wheels. Not good particularly on a car with a narrow track. You defiantly notice it racing or auto crossing as compared to the ots. It leads to oversteer. I had to take out 150 pounds from the rear of my race car to eliminate the oversteer. At Goodwood revivals the coupes are just not competitive.

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I read somewhere that #19 was in the showroom at Fidanza Corp. Maybe no longer after the business was sold. The car was up for sale with no takers. Has anyone seen it recently?

It’s at Lou’s house. I have a bunch of photos somewhere, I’ll try to find them.

It would be fantastic if it could be run again in the way that Donovan campaigns his cars.
Since #19 ran in C Production and GT1 (before getting a 200lb weight penalty) it should be very competitive!

Thanks, I forgot about the heavy hatch and glass. I should have sourced an aluminum hatch to go with the aluminum bonnet for my car when I had the chance, but I couldn’t go as far as replacing the glass with plexi for a street car, imo.

One of my son’s close friends growing up was Justin Bighouse. Roger’s son. This pic from him.

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On the street, I prefer the looks of the coupe, but as a race car, nothing is better than the OTS!

And… TorqueFlites…:heart::heart::heart:

Fantastic picture of car’s early development.


Given I don’t race my car ( at least on a track) I’m very partial to the coupe …… but they are very cramped when you’re working inside them ….I’m no longer as flexible as I was!


I sent Justin Bighouse a link to this thread and he replied with quite a few photographs. Like this one from his father’s tee shirt:

And he replied with this, “Thank you so much for sharing that forum thread with Chad to reach out to me. It’s always great to see people talking about anything to do with my dad’s racing career. I’ve been in touch with Lou Fidanza. He sent me a dvd with a bunch of race footage of my dad in Ol 19. I’ll try to upload it to YouTube and send it over for you to share in the forum, if you’d like.”

If he gets the dvd on YouTube, I’ll post a link on this thread. Meanwhile, give this a gander.

Figure you’d get a kick out of some of these photos.

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Thanks Scott - neat to see these after all these years. Wonder if there are any photos from underneath or of the engine?

Not very good photos, but blame the photographer. I took these when No 19 was still at the old GTJ building.


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This is great. Hope the videos happen!