THE legendary Le Mans winning C-Type Jaguar is being brought back to life in a limited run of models to be produced by the company's Classic division.
The C-Type Continuation cars, which will be hand built at Jaguar's Classic Works facility in Coventry, are part of a programme to allow historic motor racing enthusiasts to purchase a new factory-built example of the 1953 disc-braked ‘works' model direct from Jaguar for the first time.
The C-Type, which was originally made between 1951-53, was famed for its fluid shape by Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist and artist Malcolm Sayer.
The car won the gruelling Le Mans 24 Hours on its debut in 1951, scoring the first of Jaguar's seven outright wins at the French endurance race.
From 1952, the C-Type pioneered the adoption of innovative disc brake technology in motorsport, with a revolutionary system developed by Jaguar and Dunlop scoring the first win for a disc-braked car with Stirling Moss at the Reims Grand Prix in France and contesting the 1000-mile Mille Miglia in Italy.
The C-Type won the Le Mans 24 Hours again in 1953, another first for disc brakes, and also enjoyed success in the hands of private owners, which contributed to Jaguar finishing vice-champion in the inaugural World Sportscar Championship.
Of the 53 Jaguar C-Types built in the 1950s, 43 were sold to private owners, but the production C-Type specification was limited to drum-braked cars with twin SU carburettors and 200bhp, in the style of the 1951 works cars.
Eight new C-Type Continuation cars will be built ahead of a racing-inspired celebration event for the car's 70 anniversary in 2022.
Each example will reflect the 1953 Le Mans-winning works team car specification, including 3.4-litre straight-six engine with triple Weber 40DCO3 carburettors for 220bhp and disc brakes.
Building on the experience gained with previous Jaguar Classic Continuation programmes for Lightweight E-Type, XKSS and D-Type, Jaguar Classic engineers have consulted Jaguar's archives and cross-referenced scan data taken from an original C-Type in conjunction with the latest computer aided design technology to create the most authentic new C-Type possible.
Exclusive access to original engineering drawings and company records created by the original C-Type development team - including Malcolm Sayer, competitions manager Lofty England, and engineers William Heynes, Bob Knight and Norman Dewis - ensure the authentic 1953 specifications are accurately maintained.