Castrol Jaguar XJR 12 – 1990 Daytona 24 Hours, Michael Turner, 1990
This is one of six paintings by artist Michael Turner in the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust’s Collection and is a recent acquisition, bought from a Bonhams auction in March 2022, of items from the Patrick Collection in Birmingham. Bonhams had mis-described the painting as being ‘Castrol Jaguar XJR 9 – 1988 Daytona 24 Hours’ , which we thought was odd as car XJR9 #61 did not finish the 1988 race.
It does in fact commemorate Jaguar’s success at the 1990 Daytona 24 hour race on 3 – 4 February and depicts Jaguar XJR12-D, car #61, (chassis TWR-J12C-388) driven by Davy Jones US, Jan Lammers NL and Andy Wallace GB, being pursued by the Nissan GTP ZX-T car #83. The painting has a real sense of speed about it, with the driver still leaning to the left having just exited the oval onto the straight. The tall Florida palm trees, safety fencing, and building in the background add a sense of height rarely seen in racing scenes.
Car #61 won the race completing 761 laps, covering 4359.970 kms, with Jaguar XJ12-D car #60 (chassis TWR-J12C-288) driven by Price Cobb, John Nielsen and Martin Brundle coming second.
Car #83, the Nissan GTP ZX-T, driven by Bob Earl, Chip Robinson, Geoff Brabham and Derek Daly retired with engine failure after 327 laps.
The painting is not currently on public display but is mounted on the JDHT office’s wall in the Collections Centre at Gaydon.
Michael Turner was born in Harrow, Middlesex, in 1934. Raised in the suburbs of London during the Second World War, he was inspired by the exploits of the R.A.F. and developed an early talent for aircraft recognition, drawing aeroplanes in his school exercise books to the chagrin of his teachers. This enthusiasm for aviation found a parallel passion in the thrill of motor racing after a holiday visit to the Isle of Man in 1947, where he chanced to see the first post war revival of the British Empire Trophy Race. From that moment, with the indulgence of his parents until he reached driving age, he attended as many motor sport events as possible, including the first ever meetings at Silverstone and Goodwood and the Jersey Road Races.
After completing his formal education, he spent a year at Art College followed by two years National Service with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. Three years in advertising studios in London provided valuable experience and in 1957 he went freelance. With a strong belief that there is no substitute for first hand involvement in order to portray such demanding subjects with authority and feeling, he travelled to the world’s major race tracks to satisfy his need for authenticity, and he continues to visit several Grand Prix each year.
His interest in aircraft led him to become a founder member of The Guild of Aviation Artists, of which he has twice been Chairman and is now President, and an Honorary Fellow of the Guild of Motoring Artists. His clients include many racing drivers, teams, sponsors, pilots, motor and aircraft manufacturers, R.A.F. and Army messes, museums and private collections worldwide. He held one man exhibitions in London, New York, Australia and the U.S.A., and participated in specialist shows in the U.K. and Europe. He had six books of his paintings published covering aircraft of the Royal Air Force and Luftwaffe, Formula One Motor Racing, Aviation Art, Monaco Grand Prix and Motor Sport Art.