Latest in growing line of classics reborn
C-type brought home Jag’s first two Le Mans wins
Jaguar is adding another classic to the family, ready to create a new continuation series of the C-Type. The classic sports car that twice won at Le Mans back in the 1950s will be rebuilt, slightly reimagined, and available in extremely limited numbers.
The Jaguar C-Type (originally badged XK120-C) was built from 1951 through 1953, penned by aerodynamicist and stylist Malcolm Sayer. In 1951 it took the first of Jaguar’s now seven wins at the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race, with Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead behind the wheel. For its second year, Dunlop disc brakes were fitted and the sensuous shape became the first so-equipped car to win an international sports car race, though it did not win Le Mans that year. Instead, the car took its second win there in 1953 and had extensive success with private owners as well.
53 were originally built, 43 of those sold to private owners, but all production cars were fitted with drum brakes and twin SU carbs for the 3.4L inline-six meaning 200 hp.
Jaguar will build eight continuation cars, all with the triple Webers of the 1953 model and disc brakes, making 220 hp. They’ve been built using original Jaguar drawings taken from the compan y archives, which, acknowledging the gulf between production intent and racing reality of the time, have been cross-referenced with a scan of an original C-type, all rendered with modern computer-aided design.
For the first time on one of its continuation cars, Jaguar is letting buyers configure their car (and you can do the same) online, comparing colour and trim options and trying out different graphics packs.
Jag wants these cars to actually be used, so while they aren’t road legal, they will offer FIA-approved retention systems (and the option of rollover protection) so they can be run in historic racing and on track.