A new series on pen drawings of famous engines… The Jaguar D-type

After having made a pencil drawing of the Jaguar XK engine, we got more and more carried away so to speak, and decided to start with a series of famous racing engines, which made automotive history. Of course, we continued first with the D-type theme, as we felt it deserved further attention.

So here it is…

Jaguar D type motor en cockpit

Engine capacity of this XK engine in this racing version is still the original 3442 cc, with also the original bore and stroke dimensions of 83 x 106 mm.

With triple Weber carburetors and a 1:9 compression ratio it developed 253 PS or 186 kW at 6000 rpm. Torque was very impressive for a normally aspirated engine, being 328 Nm at 4000 rpm.

It had dry sump lubrication, as the superb roadholding  of the D-type triggered G forces which would let the engine starve for oil had the original sump been retained. It also allowed a larger oil quantity, lowering oil temperature on the grueling long Mulsanne straight at Le Mans, where the D-type would run at speeds in excess of 170 mph, or 270 km/h. There was also another practical reason, which might have been even more important: the D-type is very low, so to reduce the engine height, a dry sump layout was chosen.

The D-type itself was structurally designed by Jaguar’s William Heynes Technical Director and Chief Engineer. It applied aeronautical technology. The cockpit section was of monocoque construction, mostly comprising sheets of aluminum alloy. It was about five years later that John Cooper started to use the same concept for his Formula 1 cars…

The aerodynamic bodywork was largely the work of Malcolm Sayer, who had joined Jaguar following a stint with the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the Second World War and later worked on the C-Type. The D-Type required a minimal frontal area. To further reduce the XK engine’s height, the engine was canted at 8½° from the vertical, which made the typical offset bonnet bulge necessary.  It might also have been needed, according to Philip Porter, in his book Jaguar Sports Racing Cars, to provide extra space for the ram pipes feeding the three twin-choke Weber carburetors….

You can see clearly in the drawing the rampipes of the Webers, and the fact that the engine is canted…

Just enjoy the drawing. The next one will be the famous Auto Union V16 engine…

Hans Knol ten Bensel


DS X E-TENSE: a designer’s dream to drive in 2035…

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DS designers were asked what their dream car would look like within 17 years. New forms, new materials, new technologies. The team came up with a truly stunning result: The fruit of their collective fantasy and out of the box thinking is DS X E-TENSE, a car with stylish refinement and very bold solutions indeed…

Just look at the photos and read further, and be amazed…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “DS X E-TENSE: a designer’s dream to drive in 2035…”

The Mercedes-Maybach star shines in Peking…


Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018 Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018
Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury, Auto China 2018

The “Auto China 2018” in Beijing is a special showcase for the top manufacturers of this world. The brand with the iconic star presents here something truly unique: the Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury.

A stunning crossover, based on an exclusive high-end saloon and an SUV. The show car combines the comfort and typical strengths of both body styles. These include the raised seating position and the athletic looks. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach Ultimate Luxury is conceived as an electric vehicle with four compact permanent-magnet synchronous motors and fully variable all-wheel drive.

As our love for iconic and trendsetting automobiles is boundless, we tell you’re here more about it…just read on!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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Citroën sells 41% more in China, and launches in Beijing a new C4 Aircross SUV…


A new C4 Aircross for the Chinese market…

Car lovers like me vividly remember the publicity photos where little red painted AX Citroëns drove on the Chinese wall, amply showing that the brand with the double chevron always had a heart for the Chinese market. It seems this love does not remain unanswered: Citroën chalked up an impressive sales gain in this continent, and China is now its second biggest market, after France(!).

Citroen AX op muur

Just read on…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

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BMW Group Classic and its new Centre…


Of course, BMW also has a magnificent museum, but here we focus first on their new Centre, which was opened in 2016. We present you here some factory photos; needless to say that we are keen to visit the centre, and bring you then an extensive report with own interviews and images, but in the meantime, we shouldn’t already keep this from you…


The company archive and the vehicle collection, the workshop and the customer centre together with the parts service for classic automobiles and motorcycles are now located together in an ensemble of buildings in the district of Milbertshofen in Munich.


The site at Moosacher Straße 66 measuring around 13,000 square meters includes one of the first production buildings of what was at that time still a fledgling company.


In this building, magnificent BMW motorcycles are also displayed, what to think of this iconic and timeless boxer? 

It was preserved during the restoration work, as was the heritage gatehouse, which is today a listed building, and now forms the entrance to the history of the BMW Group.


The new location for BMW Group Classic also provides a touch point for owners and fans of classic vehicles of the brands BMW, MINI und Rolls-Royce with information and services relating to the preservation and care of their automobiles and motorcycles.


Vehicles and numerous other exhibits from the comprehensive collection of BMW Group Classic are presented in the historic production hall, like their fantastic aircraft engines. (see photo above). The facilities and event spaces created there can also be booked for events. Guided tours are offered to give participants an overview of the new venue and provide information about the history of the company.


Café “Mo 66” is open to visitors and gives them a vantage point looking directly into the glass covered vehicle workshop of the BMW Group Classic Centre.


At its new location, BMW Group Classic has now better facilities for staging activities relating to the history of the company and its three brands BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce. Questions about the history of the company, brands and products are answered by using the vast BMW Group Archives. The teams responsible for communication with the media and for marketing now also carry out their work in the new centre alongside the specialists involved in organizing events and exhibitions.


The staff of the BMW Group Classic Centre have a long track record of experience, expertise and passion. They work on the preservation and restoration of historic automobiles and motorcycles, and offer support for purchasing or selling a classic vehicle. We are keen to meet them and present you then an in depth report about their work. The offering of BMW Group Classic also includes the loan of classic vehicles and the parts shop. The range of parts offered comprises more than 55 000 items and it is continuously growing. Of course, the happy owners of collectables on four wheels and two will benefit from this supply of original spare parts…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

A new series on Car Museums and Classic Heritage Centers…


Soon we will start here with a new series on the heritage activities of car manufacturers, as the interest in preserving their heritage in historic sites, buildings and cars is ever growing. The same can be said for the increasing love and interest for vintage and classic cars by the greater public, and therefore a comprehensive series on the subject is long overdue.


Besides the plethora of museums, there are also the services which manufacturers with a keen interest in their mobile heritage are offering to their customers, in the form of Classic Cars Service Centers.


We will first start off with two main German pioneers in the latter concept, Daimler and BMW. But of course there is more to come, just think of Porsche, and not to forget the British museums and heritage centers

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and their activities like the Land Rover Series I Reborn programme executed in their Classic Works.Indeed, there is Jaguar Land Rover Classic… And a lot more.

Just stay posted!

Hans Knol ten Bensel

The star and the four rings: a marriage which happened 60 years ago…and led to the post-war renaissance of Audi

Prototyp eines kompakten Mercedes-Benz Personenwagens (W 119), 1962. Exterieur, Sicht von rechts vorne. Zu einer Serienfertigung kommt es nicht. 955 Mille Miglia: Mercedes-Benz senior engineer Ludwig Kraus (far left) with Rudolf Uhlenhaut, Denis Jenkinson, Stirling Moss and Dr. Hans Scherenberg (left to right).
Prototype of a compact Mercedes-Benz Passenger car(W 119), 1962. It will not make it into series production. 

In the spring of 1958, decisive motor history was written: In april of that year, the then Daimler-Benz AG acquired a majority in Auto Union GmbH. All the remaining shares followed on 31 December 1959.

By 1960, Auto Union was therefore a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler-Benz. This meant that all the brands of Auto Union, which included Audi, now could be revived.

And so Daimler did, to let the public forget the two stroke image of Auto Union and DKW. Of course, they had one small car adventure with the two stroke engined DKW Junior, wich actually proved quite popular.

But Mercedes rather more loved the four cylinder engines and the nobler Audi image, which would fit perfectly. So they made efforts – which we will explain here further – to bring a revolutionary four srtoke engine into the existing Auto Union/DKW  F103, and started work on the development of an all new Audi.

Daimer strategy changed however, and so they sold on 1 January 1965 the majority of the shares of Auto Union to Volkswagen, and offered  them Audi on a plate…in the form of a already extensively developed Audi four dour model, and they even sold the engineer who developed this car with it!

Das Mercedes-Benz Werk Düsseldorf ist das größte Transporterwerk der Daimler AG. Rund 6.600 Mitarbeiter produzieren dort heute den Mercedes-Benz Sprinter. Historisches Foto der Montage des Transporters T1 aus den 1980er-Jahren. The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf is the largest van plant of Daimler AG. Around 6,600 employees produce the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the plant. Historical photo of T1 van assembly in the 1980s.

The Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf is the largest van plant of Daimler AG. Around 6,600 employees produce the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter at the plant. Historical photo of T1 van assembly in the 1980s.

In the meantime, from 1961 onwards, the major Mercedes-Benz plant in Düsseldorf was constructed on a site previously operated by Auto Union. With a workforce of some 6600 and an annual output of around 150,000 vans, Düsseldorf is now Daimler AG’s main factory for vans. All the closed variants of the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter – i.e. panel vans and crewbuses – roll off the production line there. Just read further…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Continue reading “The star and the four rings: a marriage which happened 60 years ago…and led to the post-war renaissance of Audi”

Jaguars will race again at the Le Mans Classic 2018…


The spectacular Le Mans Classic event features on the international 2018 Jaguar Classic Challenge calendar for pre-1966 Jaguar cars, and that is good news for all the Jag enthusiasts.

This Jaguar Classic Challenge returns for its fourth consecutive season, giving owners of pre-1966 race-prepared Jaguar C-types, D-types, E-types, XKs and saloons the opportunity to compete in five 55-60-minute races at prestigious race weekends across the UK and Europe.

Jaguar Le Mans Classic 2016 7th-10th July 2016 World Copyright: Nick Dungan/Patrick Gosling/Beadyeye Ref: JAGUAR-LEMANS-CLASSIC-2016-PG-1295.CR2
Jaguar Le Mans Classic 2016
7th-10th July 2016

The biennial Le Mans Classic event, held on the iconic Circuit de la Sarthe in France – which is where Jaguar scored seven 24-hour race wins between 1951 and 1990 – joins the calendar for 2018, alongside the UK-based Donington Historic Festival, Silverstone International Trophy and Oulton Park Gold Cup, plus the Spa Six Hours in Belgium.

The return to Le Mans Classic on 6-8 July is especially poignant as 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the Jaguar XJR-9 LM’s win at the 24-hour race. Current Jaguar Classic Chief Test Driver Andy Wallace took victory in 1988 alongside Jan Lammers and Johnny Dumfries.


A look at the Jaguar Classic Challenge calendar shows the following dates: 4-6 May: Donington Historic Festival, Leicestershire, 16-17 June: HSCC Silverstone International Trophy, Northamptonshire,


6-8 July: Le Mans Classic, Circuit de la Sarthe, France, 25-27 August: The HSCC Oulton Park Gold Cup, Cheshire and last but not least 14-16 September: Spa Six Hours, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium.

Hans Knol ten Bensel

When I fell in love with Jaguar…


This is where it all began: as a teenager, I stood eye to eye with the Jaguar D Type at the speed trials in Brecht… 

The announcement of this years’ presence again of Jaguar Classic at the Le Mans Classic 2018 – just read soon our following report in these columns – made me think back to the time when I grew fond of these feline cars. As a teenager, I devoured the British car magazines, and read everything about the powerful post war Jaguars with their fantastic XK six cylinder engine. I still adore this classic, double overhead cam six, with hemispheric combustion chambers and of course crossflow cylinder head.

With my father, I attended in those days the flying – or standing – I do not remember exactly anymore – kilometer speed trials in Brecht, near Antwerp. I stood there eye to eye – as the photo shows – with a D Type. Here, the growling XK was fed by a battery of three double Webers and had dry sump lubrication.

The styling, the shape, the curves, the sound, the speed, it was all fantastic to me and I felt this was all “just right”.

Also the road holding and overall handling was just fantastic, and that this car had the latest technical miracle, disk brakes. Looking at the chassis and suspension, this D type was so much ahead of its time, sporting an ideal weight distribution and aerodynamics. But what seduced me also greatly was the fact that the engine, gearbox, the very heart of the car, stemmed from the series production Jaguars, with that XK engine, with its typical beautiful growl, mated with the very same Moss gearbox which was also found in the Jaguar sports and saloon cars of the day, with the typical whine of the long first gear when they accelerated away.

XK Jaguar engine drawing

I added my drawing here of the Jaguar XK engine, seen from the rear and the right hand side, with one of the big SU carburetors just being visible…

That was and is Jaguar to me, and still is for me today, as a happy owner of the Mk II Type S, which has the Jaguar E type independent rear suspension and the rear styling reminiscent of the fantastic Mark 10. This was actually the first car I bought when I started to earn money professionally.

I recently rediscovered the Ektachrome slide which my father took of me with his 2.8 Rolleiflex. At the time when I first fell in love with these cars, and rest assured, I am still bitten today…

Hans Knol ten Bensel

Lexus design event at the 2018 Milan Design Week: focusing on limitless co-existence



The rays representing each individual form a magnificent “together”, underlining the philosophy of limitless “co”existence…

The Milan Design week, held until 22nd of April, holds also a remarkable event from Lexus, in the framework of their annual Lexus Design Award in Milan. The venue is at CAVALLERIZZE, the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e dellaTecnologia Leonardo da Vinci Via Olona, 6, 20123 Milano MI, Italy.


The exhibits are “CO-” created by featured designers, actually the 12 finalist designs of the Lexus Design Award 2018 (4 prototypes and 8 panel displays). The visitor is taken on a unique experience trip through the building to evoke “Co”togetherness and community…

Just read further…

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