JAGUAR C-TYPE CONTINUATION

C-type-track-5.jpg

Jaguar Classic is bringing a strictly limited run of new C-type Continuations to life in celebration of the iconic model’s motorsport heritage, 70 years after it first raced to victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours. The landmark vehicle made its public debut at the prestigious Concours of Elegance at Hampton Court Palace on Friday 3 September.

The C-type Continuation will be hand built at Jaguar Classic Works in Coventry, to the specification of the 1953 ‘works’ C-types that dominated that year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, scoring the C-type’s second Le Mans win and continuing a run of motorsport success for the company.

The team at Jaguar Classic has painstakingly researched the C-type’s history for the Continuation’s exacting specification, bringing Jaguar’s heritage to life through modern technology and engineering expertise. This includes the use of the same authentic techniques and build methods as in period.

Dan Pink, Director, Jaguar Classic, said: “The C-type is one of the most iconic cars in Jaguar’s illustrious racing history, driven by some of the most-admired drivers in history. The C-type Continuation keeps Malcolm Sayer’s iconic and advanced design alive thanks to the first application of 3D CAD drawings by Jaguar Classic, marrying design and motorsport heritage with the very latest engineering tools.”

1134_SC_JagCtype_HEROES_Overhead_v3a_DPS_BonnetDoorOpen.jpg

The vision of Malcolm Sayer, legendary Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist, engineering prodigy and artist, the C-type originally raced from 1951, and secured victory at Le Mans first time out. Its pioneering slippery shape helped the winning drivers of Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead achieve a record-breaking average speed of 93.495 miles per hour.

However, the C-type is particularly notable for the first use of disc brakes from 1952. Developed with Dunlop, combined with upgrades to the engine and suspension, they contributed to C-types dominating the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hour, with a first and second place finish, and a record-smashing average speed of 105.841 miles per hour. This was the first time the race had been completed at over 100mph average.

In creating the C-type Continuation, a deep-dive into the C-type’s history and heritage was required to inform the way in which it should be built, its specification and its racing prowess. Before the physical development could begin, almost two years of data compilation was required, kicking off what would become something of a treasure hunt into Jaguar’s archives, drawings, documents and pictures to piece together how to build this iconic car in the 21st century.

As well as using available original drawings and reviewing in-period parts, the team needed to consult the original engineering ledger. Copy typists were recruited to fully digitise everything the team needed to know. There were over 2 000 items listed on the original ledger. All of this information then needed to be checked by Jaguar’s current team of highly skilled engineers.

1134_SC_JagCtype_DETAILS_Airbox_v1b.jpg

Thankfully, Norman Dewis OBE (1920 – 2019) – former test driver and engineer for Jaguar Cars – also provided invaluable guidance on the build process, while the team had access to an example C-type and photographs along with Malcolm Sayer’s notes for the sleek body to help construct a ‘Car Zero’.

The culmination of all of this information meant a 3D CAD (computer aided design) model could be constructed – the first time a Jaguar Classic Continuation whole vehicle has been created in this way. It began with the major elements of the body and overall structure to provide key visuals to the engineers, and ensure everything matched up to the original information that was available.

By using modern methodology, Malcolm Sayer’s original designs could be confirmed. The state-of-the-art tools that Jaguar Cars has in its arsenal today helped validate the authenticity and ingenuity of the original C-type.

1134_SC_JagCtype_DETAILS_Interior_v2a.jpg

All C-type Continuations are FIA-approved, with eligibility in participating historic race championships, including the Jaguar Classic Challenge, which races at Le Mans, Spa-Francorchamps and Silverstone. To comply with regulations, the C-type Continuations will be fitted with FIA-approved Harness Retention System and rollover protection, effectively integrated into the rear bulkhead, also reassuring for those customers just looking to enjoy on track or closed-road use. Other FIA-required fitments include a fire extinguisher with engine and footwell extinguishers, neatly controlled by in-period additional toggle switches in the cockpit.

Owners have 12 exterior colours to pick from, including Suede Green, Cream, Pastel Blue and British Racing Green, and the opportunity to enhance the exterior to their own specification with door roundels finished in White or Old English White.

1134_SC_JagCtype_HEROES_Rr34_v4a_DPS.jpg
  • Views 285
  • 3
  • Comments  0

Add a Comment

Login or register to start a conversation.

Latest Motoring News

Browse our classic cars on auction
Visit Auctions
Inviting auction consignments
Selling Guide