Jaguar C-Type Continuation Repeated 1953 Le Mans Winner

  • Jaguar’s fourth official continuation model mimics the ’53 Le Mans-winning C-Type. It is expected to be priced in the seven-figure range.
  • One measure of its expected reception is that the automaker now says its Jaguar Classic division will build 16 copies instead of the eight originally announced.
  • All cars are sold with FIA homologation so that owners can compete in events such as the Jaguar Classic Challenge, which features rounds at Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone.

    When in January, Jaguar announced that its fourth officially sanctioned continuation would be a replica of the 1953 Le Mans-winning Jaguar C-Type, the company also stated that it did not plan to build more than eight examples. . But now that we’re looking at the finished version, that total has been revised down to “no more than 16.” So if you have both enough urge and pocket for the seven-digit price, don’t wait to get your name on that expanding list.

    Yet the chance to see zero prototypes of the car at Jaguar Classic’s headquarters in England also proves that the finished car is very close to being perfect. The original C-Type was a throw-together endurance racer designed to compete and then fell to pieces as it crossed the line, made of thin-gauge metal, painted with brushes, and panels. Minimal consideration was given to details like gaps. Park a delivered 1953 example next to the 2021 version, and the new car will likely win the Concours rosette.

    Jaguar Classic acknowledges that the C-Type Continuity is built to a much higher standard than the standard of the car it is copying. It has been built from a digitized CAD model of the original car, and although buyers will be able to choose colors and trim, the production run will all be mechanical clones. These would be built using the same techniques as the original car, but with thicker gauge metal (“Jaguar Classic boss Dan Pink explains that the originals dent if you lean on them”), very tight tolerances, and modern, Beautifully designed bridge of wear leather as well as water based paint.

    Up close, the Continuity looks great – but it’s also clearly lacking the kind of patina that’s left the original cars over the past seven decades. It’s like watching an ultra-precise video game model brought to life. Like the Le Mans cars of 1953, the Continuation has six spare spark plugs that are screwed into a plate next to the driver’s seat, but it doesn’t seem that the original competes with each plug’s head and is carefully designed for the same. Turns at the exact angle. Other accurately sighted details include an additional ignition coil attached to the chassis rail next to the main one, and an additional non-functional bracket on the brake fluid reservoir that reiterates the fact that the original car used what was called Haste was taken from another model.

    Duncan Hamilton, Tony Rault, 24 Hours of Le Mans

    Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rault’s Jaguar C-Type 1953 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Bernard NotebookGetty Images

    New cars will have a chance to earn their own knocks and scraps. Jaguar Classic acknowledges that some buyers may keep their cars unused, and some will certainly find ways to register them for on-road use in various regions, but the Continuity’s official purpose is as a historic racer. All cars are sold with FIA homologation to allow them to compete in a variety of series that allow modern replicas to compete against storied originals, including the Jaguar Classic Challenge, at Le Mans, Round facilities are available at Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone.

    The changes are subtle, and they mostly match those taken for granted in the decades since the original cars were made. The Continuity gets a new rear crossmember that allows the harness to be mounted securely, originally before the arrival of the belt, and each car will also be sold with a bolt-in roll hoop. It’s removable – as evidenced by the fact that you don’t see it in the official images – but it’s hard to imagine anyone choosing a race without fitting it. Other safety changes include a safety lining in the fuel tank, fire extinguishers and a smaller steering wheel.

    There have been some other changes as well – although only the most well-informed C-Type experts will be able to spot them. There’s an electric cooling fan for the Continuation’s radiator and a slightly smaller steering wheel too, with most drivers finding themselves largely struggling to fit around the original. And while the engine is fitted to a Lucas generator term as appropriate, it actually has modern alternator components for reliability. Which should cut down on those “Prince of Darkness” gags.

    But the significant bits are all correct. Choosing to copy the 1953 C-Type instead of the original 1951 car, which also won Le Mans, or the less successful ’52 long-nosed meant that the Continuation was replaced by a more powerful 220-hp version of the freshly cast 3.4-liter Six. Get. Cylinder XK engine, fed by a trio of period-correct Weber 40DC03 carburetors. It also gets the later fitment of a more disciplined Panhard-rod rear suspension and all-round disc brakes; Jaguar gave its competition debut to the Rotors in the 1952 Miglia. Jaguar’s initial system worked with a gearbox driven pump to create operating pressure, rather than a servo booster. Continuation has a carefully recreated version of this. While refusing to discuss possible future continuation models, Jaguar Classic has not ruled out eventually introducing versions of the earlier C-Types as well.

    Behind the scenes, there’s already a bitter legal battle going on about the C-Type’s intellectual property rights. Earlier this year Jaguar successfully sued a Swedish enthusiast named Karl Magnussen for copyright infringement when he built its C-Type replica. (Jaguar says Magnusson was planning a commercial business; Magnusson says he abandoned plans to build more than one car when he got in touch with JLR’s lawyers.) Jaguar had at least one UK- A cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer has also been sent to the based producer. C-type replicas.

    So if you want a new C-Type, one of the officially accepted Continuity models looks like the only option. With an unknown (but seven-figure) value, you’d better start saving.

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