The C-Type was successful in racing, most notably at the Le Mans 24 hours race, which it won twice.
In 1951 the car won at its first attempt. The factory entered three, whose driver pairings were Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and 3-times Mille Miglia winner Clemente Biondetti, and the eventual winners, Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead. The Walker/Whitehead car was the only factory entry to finish, the other two retiring with lack of oil pressure. A privately entered XK120, owned by Robert Lawrie, co-driven by Ivan Waller, also completed the race, finishing 11th.
In 1952 Jaguar, worried by a report about the speed of the Mercedes-Benz 300SLs that would run at Le Mans, modified the C-Type’s aerodynamics to increase the top speed. However, the consequent rearrangement of the cooling system made the car vulnerable to overheating. All three retired from the race.
In 1953 a C-Type won again. This time the body was in thinner, lighter aluminium and the original twin H8 sand cast SU carburettors were replaced by three DCO3 40mm Webers, which helped boost power to 220 bhp (164 kW). Philip Porter mentions additional changes.
Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt won the race at 105.85 mph (170.35 km/h) – the first time Le Mans had been won at an average of over 100 miles per hour (161 km/h). 1954, the C-Type’s final year at Le Mans, saw a fourth place by the Ecurie Francorchamps entry driven by Roger Laurent and Jacques Swaters.
This delightful replica C-Type was built using a Suffolk Sportscar’s rolling chassis, and has taken over two years to build, using new or reconditioned Jaguar parts. The 4.2 engine has been completely rebuilt, with a balanced crank, twin 2” SU carbs, gas flowed head with warm road cams and strengthened valve springs, and works replica straight through exhaust system as per the original cars. This is mated to a four speed Jaguar gearbox with overdrive. A Reconditioned and shortened live rear axle built to the correct width as per original C-type with panhard rod.
The complete car has been fitted with a hand crafted aluminium body by Simon Isles that includes aluminium to all interior panels, transmission tunnel and under trays. Painted in British Racing Green. The interior has been re-trimmed in sage green.
With a first registration date of 1983, and offered with a complete file of much recent work, this is perhaps the ultimate C-type replica. Arguably the best Coys has seen in some time and offered with a sensible reserve.
|Auction||Autosport, NEC January 2015|
|Day of Auction||N/A|
|Registration Number||A420 VOC|
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