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Monday 13th November 2023

1950-1974: Reynolds Supplies 531 to Jaguar Cars

As part of our celebration of Reynolds’ 125th Anniversary, we are looking back at some notable parts of the company’s history.


Reynolds has for the most part been associated with bicycles but this is not the only things the company has made tubing for. In the 1950s and 60s Reynolds supplied 531 to Jaguar Cars. Initially it was part of the space frame chassis for the D-type. The D-type took 1st place at Le Mans in 1955, 1957 and 1958. 1958 was the D types most successful campaign with the privateer Ecurie Ecosse cars taking the top 4 places.

Reynolds D-Type Chassis

The D-type followed the success of the C-type racing car, which itself had an aerospace-inspired space frame. The use of Reynolds 531 would have enabled the Jaguar engineers to take out weight and improve stiffness over the C-type chassis.

Reynolds continued with Jaguar supplying the tubing for the engine frame in the E-Type from 1961 until 1974. The E-type needs no introduction. It was hailed as the most beautiful car in the world. The low sleek lines require a stiff structure to hold the powerful 6 and 12-cylinder engines and give the front suspension the rigidity for fine handling.

Reynolds E-Type Chassis

How did Reynolds get involved with Jaguar Cars?

It is lost in the mists of time, but Reynolds were supplying wing spars for Supermarine Spitfires in the Second World War. The Castle Bromwich plant was one of the main Spitfire assembly plants and then made bodies for Jaguar when it transitioned to civilian production. Jaguar development engineers Norman Dewis and Lofty England had both been in the RAF in the war, so we can join the dots together.

Reynolds reprised the supply of tubing to Jaguar for a small run of E-type engine frames in 2016.

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