REISSORG..COM Relivering vintage Scaleys


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Lou Sr and the D-type, 3rd Pomona (CA) Running Road Races, 1957 (finished at the 5th place overall, 1st in CM class))
(Photo :

If you intend to reliver your Jaguar D-Type, then I'd suggest to change from the traditional British Racing Green and to choose an original and stunning "never seen before on a sport car" colour scheme, the one applied to the Lou Brero's D-Type during the 1956-57 seasons.

French-born Louis-Eugène Brero (1908-1957), a lumberman from Arcata, CA (his parents came to San Francisco when Lou was three), was a very experienced and well-known West Coast-based road racer, racing with as famous drivers as Carroll Shelby, Phil Hill, John fitch, Walt Hansgen, Richie Ginther, Bob Bondurant et al. Lou Sr was noted for having a rather heavy accelerator foot and superb control of his car, and was prominent in West Coast racing in the mid-1950s. His son, Lou Jr, helped prepare and run the cars, and both were known for their driving skills and highly competitive spirits. Before racing the D-Type, Lou had had signed reknown exploits at the wheel of a Kurtis-Cadillac, a Jaguar C-Type, a pair of distinctive sports-racing Ferraris and even a ... 500cc single-cylinder Cooper-Norton Formula 3 car !

In 1956, Al Browne asked Lou Sr to drive his new Jaguar D-Type (*) in the forthcoming 1956 Sebring 12-Hour race, and the experienced Franco-Californian driver accepted. When the car appeared at Sebring, its original British Racing Green had been replaced with an astonishing and somewhat shocking new livery of mat dark blue stripes over white, unlike anything seen on a D-type before. The story behind this unique livery is that Al Browne's business partner wanted the car to be painted in American racing livery of white and blue, and Lou Brero Jr was asked by Al Browne to design its new color scheme. Lou Jr, a bit reluctantly, came up with a new paint scheme that he wanted to make the car more visible in the night sections of the Sebring 12-hour race ! Lou Sr co-drove it with Sam Weiss in the Sebring 12-Hours (racing number 15), their race ending after 68 laps due to clutch failure. After Sebring, Lou Sr regularly drove XKD 509 in 1956 events. Tragically, he died from burns suffered at a Dillingham Airfield race in Hawaii in 1957, at the wheel of a borrowed car. His D-Type suffering an engine failure during practice, Lou had accepted a substitute drive in an elderly Chevrolet engined Maserati A6GCM.

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Photos of Lou Brero driving the A.A. Browne's D-Jag are rather rare and not easy to find.
1 : Eagle Mountain 1956 : Lou between two other D-types. Photo by Tom Burnside (American Racing).
2 : Sebring 1956. Superb photo by Gene Bussian, well capturing the "American Racing" spirit. Thanks Gene.
3 : Elkhart Lake 1956. Photo by Tom Burnside (American Racing). 4 : Lou relaxing at the wheel
5 : A rare picture found in the september-october 1956 issue of the Sports Car Club of America magazine.
Elkhart Lake 1956 : Lou chasing behind Carroll Shelby's Ferrari, they will finish in this order.

Lou Brero Jr kept his father’s Jaguar until it was acquired in 1975 by Nigel Moores, the well-known racing driver and founding member of Competitive Historic Motor Racing. Back to the UK, the car was magnificently restored to raceworthy order and became part of the Moores collection. XKD 509 is widely acknowledged as being one of the most original D-types in existence.

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(*) XKD 509 is the very first "production" D off the line in 1955. It was supplied new to New York distributor Chuck Hornburg, who sold it to Albert R. Browne of Menlo Park. After unsuccessfully approaching Phil Hill and Carroll Shelby to drive it, Browne turned to French-born veteran Lou Brero. Following Nigel Moore's death, XKD 509 stayed with the family - some 33 years in all - before being offered for sale at Bonhams at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in July 2008.

Chassis no. XKD 509
Engine no. E2015-9, 3.4 litres
Body no. H2009


The Scalextric model well restitutes the egg-shaped shell of the early D-type version, born in 1954 : short nose, curved windshield, no vertical stabiliser fin on the driver side yet, thus perfectly corresponding to XKD 509. So let's go !

The photos of the Lou Brero's D-Jag are quite rare on the internet, and some more documentation is needed. In order to avoid you tedious searches on the web, I've come up with a four view profile, based on my personal car books and reviews, available here. The version represented is the car such as entered at the 1956 Elkhart Lake's National Road America races, organised by the Sports Car club of America (SCCA) on June 20-24. A very original indeed ! In addition, the racing numbering system with indication of the SCCA class the car belongs to (CM stands for class C - Modified) is quite typical and well restitute the atmosphere of American road racing in the fifties.

To answer a quite legitimate question you may have on that race, let's mention that Lou Sr ran with his usual determination on his D-Jag #152 and came up at the second place, behind the Ferrari driven by Carroll shelby. A definitely good result. A last point concerning the color of his helmet. It was white painted but always a bit grimy. Remember, Lou was a lumberman, and wearing an helmet as immaculate as the Sir Stirling's Herbert-Johnson was not his primary concern.

Replicating Lou Brero's car requires essentially the white / dark blue paint job and decaling. The paint job is an easy one for those of you with good model building skills (definitely not my case). After respraying the body in white, I brush painted the dark blue manually, using masking tape, following the Lou Brero Jr's colour scheme.

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Anyway, here is an original and authentical D-type racing livery, never seen on European circuits and rarely seen on slot racing tracks, a nice idea when you decide to restore one of your vintage D-Jags. Curiosity success at your next races is guaranted.

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As usual, don't hesitate to contact me for any question or comment.

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