Jaguar Enthusiasts Club

Lofty England

From Apprentice to Chairman and Chief Executive

Lofty England

August 24, 1911 - May 30, 1995

Frank Raymond Wilton "Lofty" England was an engineer and manager of Jaguar Cars Ltd. Born in Finchley, a suburb of North London, Frank England moved to Edgware at the age of 14 and demonstrated talent in motor building while studying at Christ's College. In the pre-war period, England managed to work at Daimler, and later collaborated with many well-known racing teams (Birkin's Blower Bentley, American Whitney Straight's and several others). In 1938 he became a process engineer for the Alvis company. During the war, from 1943, he flew as a pilot in an Avro Lancasters bomber. After Lofty's demobilization in 1945, England briefly returned to Alvis, but was heavily affected by wartime bombing and, on the recommendation of a close friend, Walter Hassan, moved to Jaguar Cars in early September 1946. He first joined Jaguar in the same role he held at Alvis, service manager. At this stage, the company had no plans for motorsport, later after a number of victories for private racers on the new Jaguar XK120, William Lyons proposed to Lofty England to create a racing team. He rose to prominence as the manager of the Jaguar Cars sports racing team in the 1950s, during which time Jaguars won the prestigious 24 Hours of Le Mans five consecutive years. Following Jaguar's withdrawal from the Lofty race, England was taken over by Jaguar Cars. At the end of 1967, following the retirement of Sir William Lyons, Lofty England was named Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Jaguar Cars. After development in the company V12 engine and the start of production of cars under the Daimler brand, it was England who proposed that the V12 version of Daimler should be called Double-Six, in memory of the past victories of these cars in the 1930s. Lofty England retired in 1974 and died in 1995 at the age of 83.

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