Jaguar Classics Breathes Life Into Le-mans Winning C-Type

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Jaguar Classic is celebrating the 70th anniversary of the legendary C-type sports racer by creating a strictly limited production run of new C-type Continuation cars, which will be hand-built at Jaguar’s world-class Classic Works facility in Coventry. The C-type Continuation programme will allow historic motor racing enthusiasts to purchase a new factory-built example of the ultimate 1953 disc-braked ‘works’ C-type direct from Jaguar for the first time.

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The C-type, which was originally made between 1951-53, was famed for its fluid shape by Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist and artist Malcolm Sayer.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 world-famous French endurance race.

Jaguar Classic Ctype 2

From 1952, the C-type was at the forefront of adoption of disc brake technology in motorsport, with a revolutionary system developed by Jaguar and Dunlop scoring the first win for a disc-braked car with Sir 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 149 kW in the style of the 1951 works cars.

Jaguar Classic Ctype 3

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 l straight-six engine producing between 160 and 180BHP with triple Weber 40DCO3 carburettors for 164 kW and disc brakes. It was originally tuned to produce around 205BHP.

Jaguar Classic Ctype 4

Official statement

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.”

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