The man who brewed up Jaguar’s lost V-12 — Petersen Automotive Museum
Swale says he spent the next six years researching the car in detail, working with the Sayer family, exhausting the Jaguar archive, and enlisting Mike Kimberley’s help. “There were no plans, some of the information I came across were just pieces of paper with numbers for X, Y, Z coordinates.”
Once completed, finally, the car was completed and shown to the public. It earned a spot as one of the finalists in the 2016 International Historic Motoring Awards.
Although Swales only ever planned to build one car, the response was such that soon he was working on a second. “This gentleman in California started pestering me and turned out he was a multi-billionaire. I kept pushing him back and said, I’m not interested in selling these cars, but he pestered me and he pestered me and eventually I built a car for him. And it sort of grew from that.”
Swales and his engineers took the quad-cam V-12 concept and developed it further. Much further. Available in 6.1- and 6.8-liter capacities with a choice of Lucas mechanical or electronic fuel injection the Tera now produces between 350 and 650 horsepower—far more than Jaguar could ever have imagined. What’s more, it can do it on renewable fuels as well as regular pump gas.
It not only powers the 1966 Le Mans Prototype inspired by the XJ13 but can be installed in Building the Legend’s E-Types, of which just 24 will be built. Each is tailored to the buyer’s specific desires, with a wide range of restomod features available, such as speed sensitive power steering to air conditioning, electric windows, electric parking brake and even parking sensors, USB sockets and satellite navigation. The chassis is uprated with modern suspension and brakes, bigger 16-inch wheels are installed and there’s a choice of bodywork, while interior trim is, of course, totally personalized. Finally, there’s a choice of roadster, coupe or low-drag bodies in hand-formed aluminum. It takes eight to 12 months to build each one and costs in the region of $500,000, depending on the donor car and specification.
We’ve yet to drive one, but having seen these cars on display it looks like Swales has certainly brewed up something very special indeed.