BRITISH V8 SUPERCAR SERIES PROTOTYPE EMERGES

This Jaguar SCV8 prototype is for sale: Pic: Supplied

THE prototype car built for a failed British V8 Supercar Series has emerged for sale nearly 20 years after its manufacture.

Although unaffiliated with the Australian category, the proposed ‘SCV8 Supercar Championship’ took clear inspiration from the class when it was launched in 2003.

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Conceived at a time when the British Touring Car Championship was struggling to rebuild after the death of Super Touring, SCV8 promised loud and spectacular rear-wheel-drive, V8 action.

Its technical regulations were in some ways ahead of Australia’s series.

At its core was a control spaceframe chassis to which manufacturer bodies would be fitted; a concept V8 Supercars eventually moved to with Car of the Future in 2013.

The British series chased permission from manufacturers to use their body shapes rather than full factory support; a model Australia has pivoted to since the demise of the Falcon and Commodore.

All SCV8s were to be fitted with a 3.2-liter Nicholson McLaren V8 making approximately 550bhp and revving to 9,500rpm.

Jaguar (X-Type), Peugeot (407), Honda (Accord) and Vauxhall (Vectra) all signed up for the series, along with teams including Matt Neal’s Team Dynamics and former BTCC champs Vic Lee Racing.

Other cars mooted as eligible included the Alfa Romeo 166, Audi A6, Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6, MG ZT, Renault Laguna, Saab 9-3, Volvo S60 and VW Passat.

The series was due to kick off in 2004 but, after being postponed for a season, was ultimately abandoned and the company’s assets sold.

This Jaguar bodied prototype was built by one of the main supporters of the series, BTCC legend Andy Rouse, and is the only SCV8 in existence.

It’s being offered for sale by former Rouse employee Alan Strachan, either as a rolling chassis or with a Lotus V8 engine fitted.

“It’s a fantastic car, superbly built and specified with the best parts,” says Strachan of the Jaguar, which was also the last race car built by Rouse’s famous team.

“We can offer it as it is or ready to race. It would be eminently suitable for Thundersaloons and a host of other series as well as a special car for Jaguar collectors.”

The video below features the car with its original engine being tested by then Jaguar Formula 1 driver Justin Wilson.