Jaguar Classic has announced that it is celebrating 70 years of the groundbreaking C-type by creating new hand-built examples of the legendary 1950s sports racer. The strictly limited production run of the new C-type Continuation cars will be hand built at Jaguar’s Classic Works facility in Coventry.
The exciting addition to the continuation programme will allow Jaguar customers to purchase a new factory-built example of the ultimate 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours-winning C-type for the very first time. They will be fully-authentic disc-braked Jaguar C-types works racers, which will be built by Jaguar Classic experts.
The C-type, which was originally made between 1951-53, was famed for its exceptionally fluid shape by Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist and artist Malcolm Sayer. The C-type won the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours on its debut in 1951, scoring the first of Jaguar’s seven outright wins at the French endurance race.
From 1952, the C-type pioneered the adoption of innovative disc brake technology in motorsport, with a revolutionary system developed by Jaguar and Dunlop scoring the first win for a disc-braked car with Stirling Moss at the Reims Grand Prix in France and contesting the 1000-mile Mille Miglia in Italy.
The C-type won the Le Mans 24 Hours again in 1953, another first for disc brakes, and also enjoyed success in the hands of private owners, which contributed to Jaguar finishing vice-champion in the inaugural World Sportscar Championship.
Of the 53 Jaguar C-types built in the 1950s, 43 were sold to private owners, but the production C-type specification was limited to drum-braked cars with twin SU carburettors and 200bhp, in the style of the 1951 works cars.
Eight new C-type Continuation cars will be built ahead of a racing-inspired celebration event for their owners in 2022. Each example will reflect the 1953 Le Mans-winning works team car specification, including 3.4-litre straight-six engine with triple Weber 40DCO3 carburettors for 220bhp and disc brakes.
Building on the experience gained with previous Jaguar Classic Continuation programmes for Lightweight E-type, XKSS and D-type, Jaguar Classic engineers have consulted Jaguar’s archives and cross-referenced scan data taken from an original C-type in conjunction with the latest computer aided design technology to create the most authentic new C-type possible.
Exclusive access to original engineering drawings and company records created by the original C-type development team – including Malcolm Sayer, competitions manager Lofty England, and engineers William Heynes, Bob Knight and Norman Dewis – ensure the authentic 1953 specifications are accurately maintained.
Taking that engineering CAD data a stage further, for the first time ever Jaguar Classic is also able to give customers the opportunity to visualise their C-type Continuation virtually using a specially designed online configurator. This new tool at classicvisualiser.jaguar.com allows users to compare colour and trim options from the 12 authentic exterior colours and eight interior colours available, and apply optional racing roundels, steering wheel badge and bonnet badging.
Additional options available to C-type Continuation customers include an FIA-approved Harness Retention System or rollover protection. Not just for show, these authentic new C-types will be eligible for historic racing, track and closed-road use.
Dan Pink, Director, Jaguar Classic, said: “Driven by some of the most-admired racing drivers in history, the C-type laid the foundations for Jaguar’s success in endurance racing and is synonymous with design and engineering innovation. Seventy years on, Jaguar Classic is proud to be able to utilise the latest innovations in manufacturing technology – alongside traditional skills and unrivalled expertise – to reintroduce this legendary car for a new generation of enthusiasts to enjoy.”