Skip to main content

1953 Jaguar C-Type news, pictures, specifications, and information
Roadster
 
In 1951, Jaguar launched an assault on LeMans with the XK120C or C-Type. The 'C' was for competition and Jaguar wasn't kidding. It was pure race car designed with a space-frame chassis made of steel tubing along with an independent rear suspension. The aerodynamic body was designed by Malcolm Sayer and built of aluminum. Jaguar won the 1951 24 Hours of LeMans with a C-Type driven by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead. When the 1952 LeMans cars retired due to overheating, the C-Type was redesigned slightly for the 1953 race and also made 150 pounds lighter due to the use of lightweight electrical equipment and aircraft-style fuel tanks. C-Types finished first, second, fourth, and ninth at LeMans in 1953.

The legendary C-Type is powered by a 205 horsepower version of Jaguar's venerable XK-Series 3.4-liter inline 6-cylinder engines.

One of just 39 produced, this car has an extensive racing history; its best finish third place in 1953 at Sebring with Sherwood Johnson driving. Amazingly, it finished thirty races before failing to complete its first event while racing against Cobras and Chaparrals. In 1976, a later E-Type engine was installed. That engine was replaced in 1988 when the original engine with which it was born was re-installed.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2013
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKC 053
 
For the 1953 Le Mans race Jaguar developed three 'lightweight' race cars. They carried Dunlop disc-brakes, Weber carburation, small chassis tubes and thinner body panels. The engine was a double overhead camshaft six-cylinder displacing 3,442cc's and producing 223 horsepower. That power went through a four-speed gearbox to a Salisbury rear end with a limited slip differential. The entire package topped out at 146 MPH. They proved to be very successful. Tony Rolt/Duncan Hamilton won the event outright and the Stirling Moss/Peter Walker entry came in second.

XKC 053 has had an outstanding racing career. At the end of 1953, the factory sold it to David Murray's famous Ecurie Ecosse. They entered the car in several events in and around England and Scotland. It remains the only lightweight C-Type still retaining its original bodywork.
The Jaguar C-Type was produced from 1951 to 1953 with an estimated 54 being produced. After a team of Jaguar XK 120C, the 'C' representing 'competition', vehicles had an excellent showing at LeMans, William Lyons commissioned a car to be built that could contend for the overall victory. Malcom Sayer designed the aerodynamic body and Bob Knight was responsible for the lightweight, multi-tubular, and triangulated frame. The body panels were constructed of aluminum. The mechanical components borrow heavily from the Jaguar XK120. Under the bonnet was a modified twin-cam, straight six engine. Horsepower had been increased from 160 to 205. All non-essential items were removed in an effort to reduce the overall weight. Nearly a thousand pounds was shed.

Later versions of the C-Type received extra modifications including disc brakes, reduced weight, and engine improvements. The engine was fitted with twin-choke Weber carburetors and high-lift camshafts.

The Jaguar C-Type made its LeMans debut in 1951. When the checkered flag dropped, it was a C-Type driven by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead in first place. This is an astonishing accomplishment and a true testament to the capability of the car and drivers. The legendary Stirling Moss was also driving a C-Type but unfortunately was forced to retire prematurely due to mechanical difficulties.

In 1953 a modified C-Type repeated its accomplishment by winning again at LeMans. It was driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt.

By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2006
For more information and related vehicles, click here

A Legend Comes to Auction: RM Sotheby's to Present Celebrated 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight in Monterey
• RM Sotheby's secures one of the most legendary racing cars in existence: the 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works Lightweight, chassis no. XKC 052 for its flagship Monterey, California auction, August 13 - 15 • The second of only three Works Lightweights built, XKC 052 finished 4th overall at 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953 • The car was later campaigned to multiple wins by Ecurie Ecosse in 1954 and driven by the who's who of racing fame • XKC 052's upcoming sale represents the first ever offering of a Wo...[Read more...]
JD CLASSICS TO BUILD ON SUCCESSFUL 2014 RACING SEASON WITH THREE ENTRIES AT 73RD GOODWOOD MEMBERS' MEETING
◾JD Classics is entering three expertly prepared racing cars into the 73rd Goodwood Members' Meeting: a Rover SD1, Lola T70 and Ecurie Ecosse Connaught A-Type ◾The JD Classics race team are looking to build on a hugely successful 2014, that included wins at Monaco Historique and Le Mans Classic Maldon, Essex, Wednesday 18 March: World-renowned classic car specialist JD Classics will field three expertly prepared competition cars at the 73rd Goodwood Members' Meeting on 21-22 March. ...[Read more...]
1956 24 Hours of Le Mans: Collins and Moss Come Close
The 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans would be forever remembered, not for the 24 hours of racing, but for the tragic and terrible events that would take place after just two. The consequences would be dire and would send shockwaves throughout the racing world. Peter Collins would witness the events and would find it very hard to continue. However, he would do just that and would end up a very strong 2nd, practically handed the result by Mercedes. One year later, the mood would be lighter and Collins wou...[Read more...]
1958 12 Hours of Sebring: Collins and Hill Escort a Red-Head Home to Victory
 In a matter of months Peter Collins would lay dying of wounds received in a violent crash at the Nurburgring during the German Grand Prix. While many would be holding their breaths and facing the cold-hard truth of another motor racing death, there would be others remembering Collins' talent harkening back to an evening in late March when he and Phil Hill would march triumphantly to victory, sharing the moment with a red-headed beauty. New regulations were on everyone's minds heading into 195...[Read more...]
1954 24 Hours of Le Mans: A French Bull Runs to Victory at Le Mans
Everything needs to be right amongst drivers competing for victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Not only do they need to share the car over the course of a whole day but their driving styles must compliment each other. In the case of the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans there would be no better pairing than a calm, steady Frenchman and a wild Pampas bull from Argentina. Prior to the 22nd running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, Maurice Trintignant had already achieved a career driving a vast number of diff...[Read more...]

1.5 Litre
C-Type
D-Type
E-Series
Mark
Mark IV
Mark IX
Mark V
Mark VII
Mark X
S-Type
SS 100
SS II
X-Type
XF
XJ
XJ-S
XJ220
XJR Group 44, IMSA, and Group C
XK
XK Series
XKSS

Image Left 1952 C-Type
© 1998-2014. All rights reserved. The material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.