JOWETT CARS LIMITED of Idle, Bradford, manufactured a 2-3 seater sports coupe, the Jupiter, from 1950 to 1954. Based on the highly successful Javelin saloon, Britain’s first completely new post-war car, the Jupiter retained the horizontally-opposed engine, torsion bar suspension and much of the running gear derived from the Javelin, all housed in a completely new aluminium body which was designed in Jowett’s own factory by their Chief Bodywork Designer, Reg Korner. The Jupiter’s chassis, made of chrome-molybdenum steel tube, had been designed by Eberan von Eberhorst, then at ERA, but the car they had conceived did not go into production.
The first Jupiter was unveiled in March 1950, and won the approval of the motoring press and customers. It had notable competition successes, perhaps the most famous being the three class-wins in the Le Mans 24-hour races of the years 1950, 1951 and 1952. A small number of chassis were given special bodies by a dozen or so coachbuilders, some more successfully than others, and many of these survive today.
There followed a period when the Jupiter was an attractive and fast means of transport which performed well in club races and rallies, albeit with the small boot capacity which befits a sports car. For convenience, Jowett produced a second model, the Mk1a or SC, which has an external opening boot of larger capacity as well as several minor engineering changes. A total of some 900 Jupiters were built.
In 1953, when the factory was experiencing hardships, a completely new model, the 100 mph R4 was designed, but it was never put into production and only three were built. In 1954 all production of Jowetts ceased with the last Mk 1a Jupiter registered on 17 September.
Further information and bibliography
For more information on the Jowett Jupiter please see the definitive website maintained by Edmund Nankivell at www.jowettjupiter.co.uk
Also: Jowett.net – the website portal for all things related to Jowett cars including the JowettTalk forum, JowettGallery archive and services for all those interested in Jowetts worldwide.