Emil Frey Racing - History

The Emil Frey racing division was established at the end of the 1960s and continued into the 1980s. It started out by tuning the MINI Cooper DS and later took on the task of tuning Toyota touring and racing cars. It entered the Constructors’ World Championship with a Chevron 21 as well as a Formula 3 and a Formula 2 car. Emil Frey Racing also succeeded in winning the Swiss Championship title on several occasions with a Triumph Dolomite and Toyota Celica, among others, and achieved further good results in international motorsport events.

The connection between Emil Frey and Sir William Lyons

When Emil Frey and Sir William Lyons first made each other’s acquaintance in London in 1926, their meeting marked the start of a business relationship that was probably unique throughout the world. They lived through Black Friday, a World War, seven Le Mans triumphs, countless successes in rallies and other racing competitions, nationalisation, a major oil crisis, reprivatisation and two further changes of ownership. And both emerged unscathed. From the moment they met, the two men discovered a shared passion for motorbikes. Both of them drove in races and both were successful – one in England and the other in Switzerland and Germany. Sir William Lyons, the younger of the two, was two years ahead of his later partner. In 1922 he founded the Swallow Sidecar Company in Blackpool with just £2. Emil Frey was 26 when he opened a repair workshop on Zurich’s Schwingerstrasse in 1924. In 1926, Frey embarked on his first journey abroad in search of suppliers to expand his importing business. On the last day of his trip, he met Sir William Lyons at a motorcycle exhibition in London. The two men recognised this as the opportunity of a lifetime, and the deal was sealed before an hour had gone by. Sir William Lyons had made the leap abroad and Emil Frey was his general agent – nine years before the first Jaguar left the workshop, making the company the oldest Jaguar importer in the world.

JAGUAR successes in motorsport

  • 1951, 53, 55, 56, 57, 88 and 90: victories in the 24 Hours of Le Mans race
  • 1956: also victory in the Monte Carlo Rally
  • 1963 and 1984: European Touring Car Champion
  • 1987 and 1988: World Sports Car Champion
  • 1988, 1990 and 1992: victories at the 24 Hours of Daytona race

The Emil Frey Racing team

It was not until the end of 2010 that the decision was made to give the once legendary Emil Frey Racing team a new lease of life.

The aim of reviving the team is to pick up from where the old team left off, emulating Walter Frey’s triumphs in the 1960s and 70s.

One of the key objectives of the Swiss racing team will be to successfully reintroduce Jaguar to the sport of GT racing with the XK model.

The Emil Frey Racing Team is resourced from within the wider Emil Frey Group. Management, mechanics and support staff work alongside experienced motorsport professionals to deliver the best results.