The United Kingdom was the largest car manufacturer in Europe in the period from 1932 to 1955. Some of the most celebrated and iconic models by renowned companies were produced in those years. Beyond this first tier of car legends, however, there is a host of remarkable obscurities. The Jowett company and its Jupiter Mk1 are perfect examples.
The head of design, Reg Korner, developed a peculiar aluminium drophead coupe without external access to the boot, the bonnet of which opened up along with the fins. This is how the Jowett Jupiter Mk1 was born, premiering at the New York British Motor and Engineering Show in April 1950.
The Jupiter had been born to race, and when there were just three units in existence, Charles Grandfield, the head engineer at Jowett, took charge of all the logistics to make sure it would soon premiere in high level competition – the 1950 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The chosen car had plate number GKW 111. It differed from the regular models in that it featured individual seats and a smaller windshield, and had no bumper, in order to reduce overall weight.
Tom Wisdom – who had had some success driving a Javelin – and Tommy Wise were the chosen drivers. In reference to their last names, this specific Jupiter was called Sagacious II, as the inscription on its bonnet read.
Louis Rosier, former La Résistance fighter, was the absolute winner, driving his Talbot almost on his own. Against all odds, the Jupiter was the winner in the 1101-1500 cm3 class, setting a new record of 220 laps in the said class, and coming in sixteenth in the general classification. This unexpected success brought international renown to the Jupiter, and it proved very useful for its launch campaign.
Ángel Jiménez, extract from the CJ-52 booklet.
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