Jaguar Classic is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the C-type sports racer by creating a strictly limited production run of new C-type Continuation cars, which will be hand-built at the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works facility in Coventry, U.K. The C-type Continuation program will allow historic motorsports enthusiasts to purchase a factory-built example of the ultimate 1953 disc-brake-equipped ‘works’ C-type directly from Jaguar, for the first time.
“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,” said Dan Pink, Director, Jaguar Classic. “Seventy years on, Jaguar Classic is proud to be able to utilize the latest innovations in manufacturing technology – alongside traditional skills and unrivaled expertise – to reintroduce this legendary car for a new generation of enthusiasts to enjoy.”
Eight 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 a 220hp 3.4-liter inline-six engine with triple Weber 40DCO3 carburetors and disc brakes. Additional options available to C-type Continuation customers include an FIA-approved Harness Retention System. Not just for show, these vehicles will be eligible for historic racing, track and closed-road use.
Building on the experience gained with previous Jaguar Classic Continuation programs for Lightweight E-type, XKSS and D-type, Jaguar Classic engineers consulted the Jaguar archives and cross-referenced scan data taken from an original C-type in conjunction with the latest computer-aided design (CAD) 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 1953 specifications are accurately maintained.
Taking that engineering CAD data a stage further, Jaguar Classic is also launching a specially designed online configurator to allow enthusiasts to visualize their C-type Continuation virtually. This tool allows users to compare color and trim options from the 12 exterior colors and eight interior colors available, and apply optional racing roundels, steering wheel badge and hood badging.
The C-type, which was originally produced between 1951 and 1953, was famed for its exceptionally fluid shape by Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist and artist Malcolm Sayer. The C-type won the 24 Hours of Le Mans at its debut in 1951, scoring the first of seven outright wins for Jaguar at the endurance race.
From 1952, the C-type pioneered the adoption of disc brake technology in motorsports, with a system developed by Jaguar and Dunlop. The C-type scored the first win for a disc brake-equipped car with Stirling Moss at the Reims Grand Prix in France and contesting the Mille Miglia in Italy. The C-type won the 24 Hours of Le Mans again in 1953, 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-type sports cars built in the 1950s, 43 were sold to private owners. The production C-type specification was limited to drum-brake-equipped cars with twin SU carburetors and 200hp, in the style of the 1951 works cars.