Loose Cannon

Raymond J Halls

Dear Sirs/Madam I have a 1976 Jaguar XJS that has a plaque attached to the glove box, stating that the car was an entrant in the ‘94 Cannonball Run (ex-Darwin). I managed to locate a list of entrants that shows two XJSs entered in the field.

Are you able to confirm or deny this information, any information you can supply or recommend would be most welcome. Is there any literature on the race/event available?

Ray – we count three XJSs starting the race. Car #62 was a 1993 Jaguar XJRS, #152 was a 1977 XJS, and #236 was a 1980 XJS 6.0-litre. Try hitting up the Facebook community called ‘Cannonball Run NT 1994’ which has a bunch of participants and pictures from the race.

The event is, unfortunately, mostly remembered for the horror crash of Japanese dentist Akihiro Kabe. At around 09h30 on Tuesday, 24 May 1994 near Alice Springs, Kabe’s Ferrari F40 #27 lost control approaching a checkpoint.

The car crashed into Keith Pritchard and Tim Linklater, the two officials who were manning the point, killing them both almost instantly. Kabe and his co-driver Takeshi Okano also lost their lives at the scene. As a result, the event, although tentatively scheduled for 1996 and 2007, was never repeated.