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Mysterious car

The Malcolm Sayer Mysteries

By Philip Porter

I am currently working on a completely new edition of a book I wrote for a massive publisher by the name of Orion, some 20 or so years ago about my E-type, with the obnoxious title, The Most Famous Car in the World. No-one knew this title was forced on me and people in the Jaguar world thought I was boasting. Did me enormous harm. The new edition will definitely have a new title, and probably just the registration 9600 HP.

The book has a lengthy chapter on the brilliant, and rather mysterious, Malcolm Sayer, a long-time hero of mine. Tragically he died far too young in 1970.

I have been very friendly with his family, particularly his two daughters, and one grandson, Sam, who has very kindly raided the family archives and found masses of fascinating material. There is so much, we are thinking of having a section at the back of the book devoted entirely to Sayer. I have a pretty extensive archive myself and this is the opportunity to liberate designs I have been sitting on for years.

Here are a few, rather more obscure images to test your little grey cells. Or to put it another way - help! What on earth are they? 

very strange saloon

The image of the two, very strange saloon cars has me completely stumped. Not quite my field. Can anyone identify them and tell us their country of origin?

Sayer stated in his CV that he designed Grand Prix bodies for Rob Walker, Brabham and Cooper. Rob Walker could not recall this and, annoyingly, I had not yet discovered this when I had dinner with ‘Black Jack’.

Brabham in wind tunnel


Brabham in wind tunnel

However, here we see a Brabham in the wind tunnel being given Sayer’s trademark wooltuft treatment.

Malcolm Sayer car

I believe Jaguar borrowed this Testa Rossa Ferrari. Three reasons come to mind: firstly, this photo was in Sayer’s possession, secondly I have seen another photo of him standing by the car with Norman Dewis and thirdly, that looks suspiciously like the Jaguar playing fields. Whose Testa Rossa was it, I am wondering?

Image courtesy of Sam Sayer

Finally a very obscure one. What on earth is this? Looks like a Continental body shop rather than a British one, or is it? The shape is definitely Sayeresque. Could it be something to do with his involvement with Gordano or is it later than that? Tricky.   

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