77 RW, Richard Neergaard, 4 July 2021
In 2021 to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the launch of the E-type in Geneva in 1961, we commissioned artist Richard Neergaard to create a representation of our very own 1961 Jaguar E-type, which was used at Geneva – 77 RW.
Having already seen some of his work, the original request was for a side-on view as this shows the car in the best light as long, low, sleek and curved, with covered in headlamps, rising rear haunches and minimalist rear lights.
Richard works from photographs so he came to Gaydon and our in-house photographer / photo archivist took a whole series of photographs for him. When he started working on the commission he was so taken by the front view of the car that he decided to produce two views – both left side and front end. He incorporates parts of actual cars into his artworks and for the two views the decision was made to use a wheel spinner on the rear wheel and the chrome bonnet ‘Motif Bar’. However, as 77 RW is such a historically important car we could not use parts from the car itself and sourced the items elsewhere. We supplied him with a previously used spinner complete with hammer marks where it had been hit to loosen and tighten it on another of our cars. Not having a spare bonnet motif bar we had to order a new one from our usual parts supplier.
These were unveiled on Sunday 4 July 2021 at the Summer Jaguar Festival at Bicester Heritage organised by the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club. The following week they were mounted on the ‘Mesh Wall’ in the Collections Centre at Gaydon where they are permanently on display.
Richard’s work is displayed at the British Motor Museum in Gaydon and the Automobile Driving Museum in Los Angeles. He has also exhibited at the Royal Automobile Club in London and was commissioned by McLaren F1, Alfa Romeo F1 and Williams F1.
Richard’s passion has always been cars, including building a car to race and enjoying track days. After studying at the University of the Arts in London, Central Saint Martins and The Art Academy, Richard combined his artistic side with his passion for sports cars to create pieces using original exotic, race or classic car parts.
Watch the below video for an interview with Richard:
Our Jaguar E-type 77 RW was built in February 1961 as the first production open two-seater.
At the launch of the E-type at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1961, demand for demonstration drives was so high that Sir William Lyons phoned the factory and told Norman Dewis, then Jaguar’s Test and Development Engineer, to drive 77 RW to Geneva which he did in a dramatic 17 hour overnight run.
77 RW was later used by The Motor for their road test, published 22 March 1961 and it is now the oldest surviving open E-type.
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77 RW was part of our ‘E-type Evolution Exhibition’ at the British Motor museum which commemorated the 60th anniversary of the launch of the E-Type in 2021.
It told the story of the evolution of the E-Type from the racing C and D-types of the 1950s, to its launch at Geneva on 15 March 1961 and finished with a couple of very successful Racing V12s from the 1970s including the Group 44 E-type from our own Collection.
Click the below button to view this exhibition online: