Monday, July 20, 2015

Ligier JS2 (1971-75)

Ligier is a French automobile maker created by former racing driver and rugby player Guy Ligier. At the Paris Motorshow in September 1969 Guy Ligier unveiled the competition car JS1 (photos below), named after his late friend Jo Schlesser who was killed in the 1968 French Grand Prix while driving for Honda. The JS1 was a true European car, with a British engine, French chassis and Italian designed body. Inspired by the Lotus Europa, the new Ligier featured an aluminium backbone chassis, which was suspended by double wishbones front and back. Power came from a mid mounted Cosworth FVA Formula 2 engine, displacing close to 1.6L. The package was completed with a Pietro Frua penned fiberglass body.

In 1970, the firm entered the automobile business with the Ligier JS2, a mid-engined sports car for the road initially powered by a Ford V6, and from 1971 by the same Maserati 2.7L V6 engine as the Citroën SM. With two overhead camshafts on each cylinder bank it could develop 170 hp at 5500 rev/ min to 230 Nm at 4000 r/ min. Only the competition JS2s receive a cylinder head with four valves per cylinder. The competition JS2 featured an aluminium version of road-going chassis. The engine was developed to produce a hefty 330 bhp. 

The road version JS2 is thinner and without grille, incorporating a rubber bumper end and a new air intake on the hood. For the first models, the four round headlights are under Plexiglas bubbles, the Ligier brand badge across the width of the trunk and the massive slanted, and later, rectangular rear lights were taken from the Peugeot 504 Coupe. The dashboard may be the weakness of this GT because it lacks charm and a good finish. However the bucket seats are comfortable and has a good and perfect driving position. By the end of 1972, only 48 copies of the Ligier JS2 were sold. In 1973, the JS2 received a new version of the V6 used in the Maserati Merak where the capacity was increased to 3.0L. It now develops 195 hp. However, the 1973 energy crisis caused such a decline in the market for the JS2. In 1975, the JS2 had a redesigned front with retractable headlights. But it was already too late to revive sales. By the time production ended, only a total of 125 Ligier JS2 had been built.

The JS2 was considered by many as a well-designed car with a very good power-to-weight ratio. From 1984 the Ligier company changed its focus to microcars. (wikipedia & automobile-sportive.com)

1971-73 model JS2


1971-73 JS2s has four round headlights under Plexiglas bubbles, the Ligier brand badge across the width of the trunk and the massive slanted rear lights were taken from the pre-1974 Peugeot 504 Coupe.






















1974 model JS2


The 1974 model JS2 still has the round headlights under Plexiglas bubbles, the Ligier brand badge across the width of the trunk, but the new rectangular rear lights were taken from the post-1974 Peugeot 504 Coupe.

























1975 model JS2


In 1975, the JS2 had a redesigned front with retractable headlights. 






















1971 Ligier JS2 Race Car





1969 Ligier JS1 Race Car



(Photos from commons.wikimedia.org, flickr.com, 
voitures-anciennes.over-blog.com, caradisiac.com & scorpiocars.net)



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