The story behind Bridgestone’s decision to develop new tires for the Jaguar XJ220

There’s a company based in the United Kingdom by the name of Don Law Racing that specializes in replacement parts for the Jaguar XJ220.

Late last year, the company teamed up with Bridgestone to develop a new set of tires for the car using all the advancements that have been made in tire technology since the XJ220 bowed out of production more than two decades ago.

Bridgestone worked with the original Jaguar engineers and test drivers responsible for the XJ220, and it used a pre-production chassis—chassis #004, to be exact—for testing purposes. Here we have the story of how the deal came to be and what it entailed.

The resulting tires measure 255/45ZR17 for the front and a massive 345/55/ZR18 out back. Unfortunately, we don’t have any performance numbers so can’t tell you if the new tires have helped make the XJ220 any quicker.

Son-and-father Justin and Don Law

Son-and-father Justin and Don Law

Interestingly, for a car from the 1990s whose production numbered less than 300 units, it’s surprising that Bridgestone isn’t the only company that’s developed new tires for the XJ220.

Last year we also saw Jaguar’s own classic car department Jaguar Classic team up with Pirelli to develop a tire for the car. We’re sure the few hundred owners out there will be happy with having a choice next time they require some new rubber.

Speaking of those owners, a whole bunch of them will be gathering at the 2017 Silverstone Classic in the U.K. in late July. They’ll be there to mark this year’s 25th anniversary of the car.

Working closely with Don Law Racing, Silverstone Classic organizers are aiming to bring together more than 50 examples. Since the car is so rare, there’s never been more than 20 together at any one time.

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