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.
The original C-type was famed for its fluid and aerodynamic shape, which was designed by Malcolm Sayer, who was recruited by William Lyons in 1950. Originally dubbed the XK120C and using that iconic vehicle as its base, the C-type would go on to become one of the most important cars in Jaguar’s racing history.
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.
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 Sayers’ 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.
For all C-type Continuations, materials have been sourced for the interior that respect and reference the original’s heritage, effortlessly and effectively blending old with new, to ensure authenticity while also providing a high quality and reliable finish for owners. Hardura trim is used for the cockpit, retrimmed to a new level that wasn’t found on the original C-type, but trimmed in silver to evoke the period item.
The Rexine finish on the dashboard and side panels of the Continuation cars, is from the last roll of this type of material available, providing as authentic an ambience as possible by delivering the same type of finish from 70 years ago.
The seats, finished in a choice of eight leather hues, are upholstered by Bridge of WeirTM, and are complemented with racing harnesses – fitted to a newly constructed component behind the rear bulkhead to comply with FIA regulations. A Bluemel steering wheel is true to the original with no roundel affixed to the centre – it was omitted from the original race cars to reduce glare and reflections – however customers can specify the iconic Jaguar badging if they desire.
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.