Total Production: 53 1951 - 1953
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