Prior to the 1952 event, the main opposition to Jaguar, the previous year's winner, was thought to be the newly developed Mercedes-Benz 300 SL. On the Mille Miglia, Stirling Moss had reported that he could not keep up with the Mercedes.
Le Mans was only a few weeks after the MM, and a hasty decision was made to try for more "Mulsanne" speed by fitting a more aerodynamic body with longer nose and tail.
There was obviously little time to test before the race, which became a total disaster for the Jaguar team, all 3 cars retiring with overheating problems.
This car, No.19, was driven by Ian Stewart , who lasted a mere 16 laps, followed by Moss, who retired after 24, and Rolt went out a short time after.