Featured: This Is The Story Of Jaguar's Awesome Group 44 XJS

This Is The Story Of Jaguar’s Awesome Group 44 XJS

By Michael Banovsky
February 2, 2016

The name Bob Tullius may not be familiar to younger readers, at least not yet. Ahead of his appearance this year as the grand marshall for the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association’s 2016 Spring Vintage Classic in Sebring, Florida, I thought it would be a good idea to dig up some period footage to hopefully spark some interest in Tullius’ Group 44 race cars.

Scoring hundreds of victories as both team owner and driver across Trans-Am, SCCA, IMSA, and Le Mans, Tullius’ race team Group 44 literally wrote the book on how to operate a race team as a business. From gleaming facilities to crisp uniforms and flawless preparation, Group 44 is still held as an example of how to run a successful racing operation.

In 1978, however, a film crew descended on Brock Yates’ look at Group 44 and Jaguar, calling the mini-documentary Two Of A Kind. The result is an epic less-than-25 minute look at how one of the world’s best race teams at the time went about its business. As you’d expect, Yates and Tullius are fun to watch onscreen as well—so what are you waiting for?


Image Source: jaguarheritage.comjaguarclub.com24h-lemans.comgtc-collection-cars.comhemmings.com

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David EllmaurerGlenn ChiouGuitar SlingerChristopher Gay Recent comment authors
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[…] quickly showed the new boy had chops by supporting the now-famous “Group 44” Trans-Am XJS racing team. While the car did not dominate the series in 1977 and 1978, Jaguar quickly proved the cars’ […]

David Ellmaurer
David Ellmaurer

Met Bob at Road America for the VSCDA vintage races. Very nice man with wonderful story’s. Even signed my radiator on my MG! THANKS BOB!!!

Glenn Chiou
Glenn Chiou

Iconic cars and livery. It is great that so many of their cars survive and are raced in vintage events today. Here is a photo of my 1970 SCCA Trans-Am / C-Production 240Z behind the XJS.

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger

Group 44 . Ahh the memories . Ahhh but then there’s the sadness of the uninformed youth out there that missed out not only the team … but the events they won in as well . As por moi ? Heck …. I remember seeing the Group 44 bunch back in their TR4/TR6TR7/TR8 days …. never mind the onslaught of Group 44 Jaguars … right up to to the demise [ sniff ] of IMSA .. the REAL IMSA … not the organization currently posing as IMSA And that Group 44 XJS . Probably the only XJS’s racing or otherwise… Read more »

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I was there in 1986 when Robinson got tangled by St. James and Doc Bundy and all three cars were written off. Everyone was OK, but from up on the hill on Turn 6, I could see the cars go airborne… WAY up in the air. It was surreal. My father was just going in the tunnel when it happened. To see the underside of a racing car(s) is a surreal and scary sight. Respect. I was 15 or 16 years old and was learning to drive a manual transmission in the parking lot that day. Group 44!

Christopher Gay
Christopher Gay

I saw the first two generations of GTP cars roll out at Laguna and Riverside back in the day. I think it was Hurley Haywood and Chip Robinson behind the wheel back then. Good times. The cars were beautiful and extreme in those days. A true heyday of motorsport.