Jaguar is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its iconic C-type by producing eight ‘new’ versions of the 1953 Le Mans 24-Hour winning car.
The British firm’s Continuation programme takes classic models from bygone eras and uses a combination of period-correct manufacturing techniques and materials with modern parts where necessary.
The original C-type was built between 1951 and 1953, winning the famous Le Mans endurance race in 1951, the first of Jaguar’s seven such wins. In 1952 it used a then-revolutionary disc brake system, getting a win at the Reims Grand Prix and competing in the Mille Miglia in Italy. Then, in 1953, it won Le Mans again, a first for a disc-braked car.
This Continuation model will be the first time private customers can buy a factory-built disc-braked car. Although the race cars used them from 1952, the 43 cars sold to private customers had drum brakes because they were based on the 1951 specification.
To build the new C-types, Jaguar Classic engineers consulted the firm’s archives and scanned an original model to build an authentic recreation. Original engineering drawings and company records created by the original development team ensure the new model is perfectly accurate.
Each of the new cars used the 1953 Le Mans configuration, so features a 220bhp, 3.4-litre straight-six engine with triple Weber carburettors as well as getting those all-important disc brakes.
For the first time, potential customers have access to a configurator that allows them to visualise the options available to them. There are 12 exterior colours and eight interior colours, a choice to apply a racing roundel decal to the exterior, steering wheel badge and bonnet badging. Additional options include an FIA-approved Harness Retention System or rollover protection.
Because the Continuation models are built so closely to their classic examples, the ‘new’ models are eligible for historic racing series.
Dan Pink, director of 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.”