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.