Jaguar C-Type History
Jaguar's C-Type has a proud racing history, and today is viewed as being the true starting point of Jaguar’s impressive racing program. After winning Le Mans in 1951 and 1953, the C-Type has become one of the most sought after automobiles to the true enthusiast.
Mechanically the C-Type Jaguar was based on the bullet-proof 3.4 litre engine from the XK120. However, the 120's heavy chassis was discarded and replaced with a new, lightweight tubular steel frame.
Jaguar Cars Ltd produced three versions of the legendary C Type.
The very first three cars which raced at Le Mans in 1951 had drum brakes, twin 1 3/4 inch SU carburettors and what were later called letterbox louvers on the bonnet. Two cars retired but the remaining C Type won the race.
In 1952 Jaguar produced the Production C Type for sale to the general public. This car had twin 2 inch sandcast SU carburettors, leather trim and the smaller tidier bonnet louvers.
In 1953 a few full race lightweight Le Mans specification C Types were produced, the factory racers. These had triple 45mm Weber carburettors, a lighter gauge of aluminium for the body, triple pot Dunlop disc brakes with a Plessy gearbox driven pump acting as a brake booster, a suspended rubber bag type fuel tank and an extra trailing arm in the rear suspension. The C Types demolished all opposition at Le Mans in 1953 finishing 1st, 2nd and 4th.
In 1954 C Type production ended when the even faster Jaguar D type appeared. The D Type was more of an all out racing car compared to the C Type which was more of a sports racing car and is also a very comfortable touring car that can be used for racing.