Jaguar is adding the 1953 C-Type race car to its Jaguar Classic "Continuation" line of historic cars. These factory-built cars are crafted to the same specifications as their inspirations, making them some of the most accurate replicas of any classics available to the public.
For the C-Type, Jaguar turned to the 1953 Le Mans-winning works car, which was powered by a 3.4-liter, 220-horsepower straight-six sporting three Weber carbs. Unlike the road cars, the racers wore disc brakes at all four corners, which is good news for anybody who is purchasing one of these to drive.
"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," said Dan Pink, director of Jaguar Classic. "Seventy years on, Jaguar Classic is proud to be able to utilize the latest innovations in manufacturing technology – alongside traditional skills and unrivaled expertise – to reintroduce this legendary car for a new generation of enthusiasts to enjoy."
While a new generation of enthusiasts may get the opportunity to drool over a factory-fresh C-Type for the first time, these continuation cars won't exactly be flying off the assembly lines. In fact, the production pace won't come anywhere close to that of the original. Jaguar plans to build just eight examples to be delivered prior to a motorsports-themed celebration event for those lucky customers. (Just 53 were built in the original 1950s production run, of which 43 were sold to private owners.)
If they're so inclined, owners of the new C-Types will be able to race their cars in sanctioned vintage series. FIA-approved harness mounts can even be included from the factory. Despite that nod to convention, Jaguar's key motivation with the C-Type revival is staying true to the originals.
"Building on the experience gained with previous Jaguar Classic Continuation programs for Lightweight E-Type, XKSS and D-Type, Jaguar Classic engineers consulted the Jaguar archives and cross-referenced scan data taken from an original C-Type in conjunction with the latest computer aided design (CAD) technology, to create the most authentic new C-Type possible," Jaguar said in its announcement.
Jaguar is even throwing a bone to those of us who will only be able to admire these beauties from afar. As of Wednesday, a configurator tool for the new C-Type Continuation is available on Jaguar's website. You can even share your creation on social media with the hashtag #70YearsofCTYPE. Build to your heart's content.