Jowett Jupiter
Manufacturer Jowett Cars Ltd
Production 1950–1954. 900 made [1]
Class Sports car
Body style(s) Convertible
Engine(s) Jowett flat four, 1486 cc
Transmission(s) 4-speed manual
Wheelbase 93 in (2,400 mm) [2]
Length Series 1 163 in (4,100 mm)
Series 1a 168 in (4,300 mm) [2]
Width 62 in (1,600 mm) [2]
Height 56 in (1,400 mm) [3]
Curb weight 2,100 lb (953 kg) [2]

The Jowett Jupiter was a British car made by Jowett Cars Ltd of Idle, near Bradford from 1950 to 1954. Following the launch of the all new Jowett Javelin the company decided to use its power train in a sports car, the only one the company ever made.

Design featuresEdit

For the chassis design Jowett approached ERA to design one and they came up with a tubular steel fabrication based on a design by Professor Eberan von Eberhorst who had been with Auto Union. [1] The suspension used torsion bars front and rear and was independent at the front. On this frame Jowett built a steel and aluminium open body with a bench seat for three people. There was no external access to the boot (trunk) and the bonnet (hood) was rear hinged and opened complete with the wings.

The Mk 1a came out in late 1952 with a little more power (63 bhp) and an opening lid to a boot of larger capacity. As well as the 731 Mk1 and 94 Mk1a made by the factory, a further 75 chassis were supplied to external coachbuilders such as Stabilimenti Farina, Ghia Suisse and Abbott of Farnham.


The flat four overhead valve engine of 1486 cc was more highly tuned than in the Javelin and had its compression ratio raised from 7.2:1 to 8.0:1 developing 60 bhp (45 kW) at 4500 rpm giving the car a maximum speed of 85 mph (137 km/h) and a 0-50 mph time of 11.7 seconds. [2] Two Zenith carburettors were fitted. A four speed gearbox with column change was used.

Rally successEdit

The Jupiter was an instant success with a record-breaking class win at Le Mans in 1950, a class 1-2 in the 1951 Monte Carlo International Rally, the outright win of the 1951 Lisbon International Rally, and a class 1-2 at Dundrod in a gruelling 4-hr sports car race on public roads in September 1951 in Northern Ireland. This was a resurrection of the famous Ulster Tourist Trophy Race of 1928-1936 previously run on the 13.7-mile (22.0 km) Ards circuit. Le Mans was again class-won in 1951 and 1952, and lesser events were taken in 1952 but by 1953 newer faster cars were proving a match for the Jupiter which was after all a well-appointed touring car first and foremost.


A car tested by the British magazine The Motor in 1950 had a top speed of 86.1 mph (138.6 km/h) and could accelerate from 0-60 mph (97 km/h) in 18.0 seconds. A fuel consumption of 25.1 miles per imperial gallon (11.3 L/100 km/20.9 mpg-US) was recorded. The test car cost £1086 including taxes.[3]

Jupiter R1Edit

A racing derivative of the Jupiter, the R1, was entered in the 1951 1500 cc sports car race at Watkins Glen, driven to first place by George Weaver. In the Le Mans 24 hour race in 1952 another example won its class at 13th overall, driven by Marcel Becquart and Gordon Wilkins. Three examples of the R1 were made - one survives.

Jupiter R4Edit

The original Jupiter was a somewhat heavy car and this handicapped its performance. An intended successor, the R4, was made with fibreglass body and a new lighter chassis and showed the potential of being a genuine 100 mph (161 km/h) car but Jowett closed before the car could reach production. Three prototypes were made of which two survive. [1]


Template:PML Jowett Jupiter


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robson, G (2006). A-Z of British Cars 1945-1980. Devon, UK: Herridge. ISBN 0-9541063-9-3. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Culshaw; Horrobin (1974). Complete Catalogue of British Cars. London: Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-16689-2. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "The Javelin Jupiter", The Motor. November 22 1950. 


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