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Iconic Jaguars tackle Mille Miglia

Jaguar Heritage Racing - the company's newly-established historic division - is running a six-car team in the 2012 Mille Miglia, starting today on its classic thousand-mile (1600km) route from Brescia in northern Italy to Rome and back.

This year Jaguar is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the first car with disc brakes to enter the Mille Miglia - the experimental 1952 C-Type, chassis number XKC 005, driven by Stirling Moss, with Norman Dewis, then Jaguar's chief development engineer, as navigator.

Former Jaguar chief development engineer Norman Dewis, now 91 years old, and Sir Stirling Moss, now 82, are re-united with the Jaguar C-Type they drove in the 1952 Mille Miglia.

Later in 1952, Moss drove the car to victory in a sports-car race at Riems in France - the first time that a disc-braked car had won a race anywhere in the world.

That same car, with now Sir Stirling and Dewis - now 82 and 91 years of age respectively - aboard, will lead the works contingent away from the start this evening.

SEVEN DAYS AND SEVEN NIGHTS

They'll be followed by two more C-types (XKC 018, first owned by Juan Manuel Fangio, and XKC 045), a Mk VII sedan, and two XK120's, an open two-seater and the famous fixed-head coupé LWK707.

This is the almost-standard XK120, in which Moss, Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and Bert Hadley lapped the banked Montlhery track near Paris continuously for seven days and seven nights, also in 1952, without stopping except for fuel and driver changes, at an average speed of more than 160km/h, covering almost 27 000km in a week!

There are also another 26 private Jaguar entries - a record for the Mille Miglia, which is open to sports cars made between 1927 and 1957.

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