You Can Configure a ‘New’ 1953 Jaguar C-Type Online Here and It’s Very Pleasing
They don't make 'em like they used to... except for this time.
Jaguar trotted out a “new” 1953 C-type sports car at a fancy event in England last month. The company is actually going to build a small batch of these, as new cars, but executed in the original 1950s style. These are known as continuation cars, not restorations of old vehicles or retro-style bodies built onto new chassis. Only a handful of ultra-wealthy people will get to buy them, but anybody can go on the digital configurator and play with specifications, which I highly recommend doing.
- Car: 1953 Jaguar C-type
- Location: Cyberspace
- Photog: N/A
- Camera: Digital render
Click right here to access the Build Your C-type at classicvisualiser.jaguar.com. You can also get a whole overview of Jaguar’s old-school operations on its Jaguar Classics website.
There’s not a huge degree of customization you can mess with — there’s not really much to these cars after all — but I got a lot of joy from looking at the site’s beautiful rendering of this ancient car in various colors, so maybe you will too. Here’s what the setup pretty much looks like:
If you end up ordering one (ha), your 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.”
Here’s a little more context on the C-Type, from Jaguar:
The vision of Malcolm Sayer, legendary Jaguar Cars designer, aerodynamicist, engineering prodigy and artist, the C-type originally raced from 1951, and secured victory at Le Mans first time out. Its pioneering slippery shape helped the winning drivers of Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead achieve a record breaking average speed of 93.495 miles per hour.
However, the C-type is particularly notable for the first use of disc brakes from 1952. Developed with Dunlop, combined with upgrades to the engine and suspension, they contributed to C-types dominating the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hour, with a first and second place finish, and a record smashing average speed of 105.841 miles per hour. This was the first time the race had been completed at over 100 mph average.
The C-type used the XK120’s engine, transmission and suspension, while Malcolm Sayer penned its smooth and aerodynamic body using his established background in engineering and aerodynamics from the aerospace industry to maximum advantage. Using complicated mathematic formulae to create three-dimensional curves, Sayer applied his unique ability for artistic skill and aerodynamic expertise to produce the C-type. He made its exotic design come alive through advanced calculations.
Designed, engineered and built in just six months, 12 Jaguar personnel arrived with a trio of C-types at the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hours, having driven from the UK in the competing cars.
In its debut year, in 1951, the C-type won the Le Mans 24 Hours, the first of many Jaguar motorsport victories. Three cars entered, driven by Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and Clemente Biondetti and the partnership that would go on to win the race: Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead.