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Sunday, June 9, 2024

Speed and Style: Tojeiro EE-Ford and the Ecurie Ecosse Legacy

Racing Legends - In the world of classic racing cars, there's a gem that often doesn't get the spotlight it deserves—the Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe. This beauty from the early 1960s holds a special place in the heart of racing enthusiasts, especially those familiar with the legacy of Ecurie Ecosse, the Scottish racing team founded by David Murray and Wilkie Wilkinson.
The Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe, meticulously crafted for the Ecurie Ecosse fleet, bore the hallmark expertise of John Tojeiro, a revered specialist in 1960s competition car construction. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
When David Murray decided to add another racing marvel to the Ecurie Ecosse fleet, he turned to the expertise of John Tojeiro, a renowned specialist in competition car construction. The result? A masterpiece built on the foundation of Tojeiro's Formula Junior chassis, tailored and reinforced to create a formidable rear-engined coupe. The car made its debut on the racing scene in 1962, destined for the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race.
The Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe made its debut on the racing scene in 1962, destined for the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours race. (Picture from: ClassicDriver)
Under the distinctive Ecurie Ecosse colors, two of these beauties were primed for Le Mans glory. However, fate had different plans for each. While one was equipped with a Coventry Climax engine and a Cooper Monaco transmission, its sibling boasted an aluminum 3.5-liter Buick V8 paired with a Corvair transaxle, later upgraded to a powerful 289 Ford engine. These cars weren't just about raw power; they were a blend of artistry and engineering finesse.
The Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe was constructed on the basis of Tojeiro's Formula Junior chassis, meticulously tailored and reinforced to birth a formidable rear-engined coupe. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
The journey to Le Mans wasn't without its challenges. With meticulous attention to detail, Stan Sproat, Ecurie Ecosse's best senior mechanic, worked tirelessly to ensure both cars were race-ready. The clock ticked ominously as the transporter embarked on its journey, carrying unpainted cars and a mission fueled by passion and determination.
The interior of the Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe exudes a cool vibe but feels somewhat claustrophobic, with modern fire suppression being the only known upgrade amidst a realm of mysteries. (Picture from: BringATrailer)
Despite the last-minute rush, the Tojeiro EE-Ford made its mark at Le Mans, showcasing impressive speed and agility until an unfortunate gearbox issue halted its progress. The season wasn't over yet; the car found itself on the Monza circuit, chasing speed records with Jack Fairman behind the wheel. Although mechanical woes cut the attempt short, the car's potential was evident, hitting a record-breaking 152 mph.
Only two cars were ever built, intended to compete in the 24 hours of Le Mans 1962 under Ecurie Ecosse's colors, yet their destinies took divergent paths. (Picture from: ClassicDriver)
As the seasons unfolded, the Tojeiro EE-Ford continued to mesmerize on the racing circuits. From Jackie Stewart's triumphs to Doug Graham's valiant efforts, each race added a chapter to its storied history. Even a transformation into a spyder variant couldn't dull its shine, as Bill Stein's skillful handling proved at Silverstone and Brands Hatch, surviving a harrowing crash with resilience that mirrored the car's enduring spirit.
The Tojeiro EE-Ford Endurance Racing Coupe was subsequently fully dismantled and entrusted to restoration specialists Crosthwaite & Gardiner, who meticulously rebuilt and reinforced the multi-tubular chassis and integrated its original roof into the overall reconstruction. (Picture from: ClassicDriver)
Today, with the skilled hands of restoration experts such as Crosthwaite & Gardiner, this racing icon continues its legacy. Painstakingly disassembled and rebuilt, retaining its original roof, the Tojeiro EE-Ford stands as a testament to an era where passion and innovation forged legends.
Enthusiasts, beholding this restored marvel, aren't just seeing a car; they're immersed in a narrative of speed, ambition, and the tireless quest for racing supremacy. This essence reverberates in the retro-styled supercar, Ecurie Ecosse LM69, embodying a timeless spirit of automotive excellence. *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES | BONHAM | BRINGATRAILER | PISTONSANDWHEELS | CLASSICDRIVER ]
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