Jaguar’s Ferrari

Ferrari, Mike Hawthorn, Goodwood, klemcoll

This view is of the grid at Goodwood for an over 2 liter sports car race on September 25, 1954. The Ferrari seen here on pole with Mike Hawthorn at the wheel would normally be called a Ferrari 750 Monza, but in reality it was an earlier model, a 750 Sport. It was the first customer car of that small series which used the earlier Mondial chassis and with a 3 liter motor derived from that of the 2 liter Mondial. This Ferrari had purportedly been sold to the Irish car trader Joe Kelly from Dublin. It was painted dark green with an orange stripe along each side. Kelly and Northern Irishman Desmond Titterington had first driven it in the Tourist Trophy at the challenging Dundrod circuit in Northern Ireland two weeks before, but not finishing due to gearbox failure.

Ferrari, Mike Hawthorn, Goodwood, klemcollA similar fate would befall Hawthorn at Goodwood, seen at left, probably due to a less than adequate repair after Dundrod.

All three of these drivers, Kelly, Titterington and Hawthorn had close ties to Jaguar and it is possible that Jaguar had a hand in Kelly’s purchase, as well as being sure that Hawthorn got a drive in the car. Supporting that unusual thesis is the fact that following its Goodwood appearance the Ferrari went directly to Jaguar in Coventry where it would stay for several months being totally disassembled, carefully measured and fully tested so that Jaguar could assess why they were being beaten in short races by these four cylinder 3 liter Ferraris. Jaguar prepared a full internal report on the Ferrari. The motor reportedly showeing 284 hp at 7500 rpm.

After its complete analysis at Jaguar the Ferrari spent a number of years in racing in the hands of various owners in Australia. It was ultimately converted to road use in the early 1960s and also received a newer motor and five-speed transaxle which had been removed from a later 3.5 liter Ferrari 857 Sport in America as the result of the 857 getting a Chevrolet “heart transplant.” This Joe Kelly/Jaguar Ferrari has since been fully restored and used in historic racing in Europe.

Photos by Alan R, Smith and Louis Klemantaski ©The klemantaski Collection –

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