Why go to the trouble of making an original specification C Type Jaguar replica rather than the usual fibre glass bodied, XJ6 based, fully independent suspension, kit set type?
After building a plastic bodied Jaguar D Type replica, it became obvious that it is better to spend all that time, money and energy on a genuine specification replica than on a kitcar that at the end of the day is nothing like the genuine article. The plastic D Type replica drives like an XJ6 – way too smooth for a sports car - and the shape is wrong. It has XJ6 suspension all round and when the bonnet is opened to show other Jaguar enthusiasts, it is quite simply embarrassing. If you buy cheap, you get cheap. And we could have done the job properly to the genuine specification in the same time. Kit cars are fine - they have made dream cars available to thousands of enthusiast but if you are going to build a high performance replica, then make sure it is done properly.
The replica kitset C Type we built was of better quality but it had Jaguar MK2 suspension and the body was 2 inches too wide. The delicacy of the original shape was just not there and of course it had a plastic body of the wrong shape. But it did prove to us that the C type is a far more practical touring car than the D Type.
We found by listening to customers that the replica market had changed. People wanted the real thing or something reasonably close without breaking the bank. So we decided to do the job properly. The genuine C Type chassis has a tubular space frame which is designed to distribute the suspension loads within its heavy centre section via the anchor points of the front and rear torsion bars. It is a neat and compact system that works extremely well despite the old fashioned live axle. If you try to adapt the chassis to fit the XJ6 independent front and rear suspension units which use coil springs over dampers, substantial changes are required to increase the strength of the chassis in areas that were never intended to carry such loads. The chassis ends up looking wrong. Really a whole different chassis is needed to do that. And the independent rear end means the cars stick too much – you can’t get them drifting sideways properly which is all part of the fun with the genuine spec cars.
Why all alloy bodies and not fibre glass?
Building alloy bodied replicas is what it is all about as far as we are concerned. It is a given for people involved in the aircraft industry. And anyone can make a fibre glass body although it is not necessarily any cheaper to do so properly. But an all alloy body is a work of art and when a customer drives off in one of our C Types, they know they are driving something really special, and not a plastic imitation with the wrong running gear. And if you have spent all that time and effort and money producing an alloy body, why cheapen it by adding the wrong components.
Are there any upgrades avaialble?
Yes – some options have been developed to satisfy the requirements of different customers and to improve on the original design in a sensible manner.
All our C Types, the twin SU cars and the triple Weber car have the same genuine spec alloy body and chassis layout with independent torsion bar suspension at the front and the trailing arm torsion bar setup at the rear, the Jaguar XK twin cam engine with a big valve head, a Jaguar gearbox, the correct radiator and exhaust and all other components such as the alloy seats to the original design.
Our cars are built to the highest standard. The quality of the engineering and alloy work is very important to us. And we have gone out of our way to get the little details correct. However, we believe it is acceptable, even preferable, for a customer to choose to have more modern brakes - that's a sensible choice. But you must have the body, chassis, suspension and detailing as original. So our cars are correct in all details except where the customer makes a positive decision to improve on the original.
We have therefore offer some standard options.
- Jaguar S1 XJ6 Jaguar disc brakes as fitted retrospectively to many factory cars because they work better
- An hydraulic clutch because the original mechanical actuating rod setup meant an uncomfortable clutch pedal position for taller drivers.
- A 20 gallon fuel tank not the 40 gallon original which leaves room for some luggage and reduces the inherent oversteer of the factory cars and is much safer in an accident
- A later Jaguar sump fully baffled to prevent oil surge
However if a customer specifies original drum brakes, a two piece C Type cast sump, a mechanical clutch and large fuel tank we can supply these items. Many customers also request the 3.8 engine and the later all synchromesh Jaguar gearbox for ease of use in modern traffic.
We will build whatever engine / gearbox / brake spec you want but the basic chassis and body layout and detailing are to the original factory design.
And we can include the rare 1953 Le Mans disc brakes and Plessey pump system and rubber bag fuel tank and lightweight body but this all increases the cost substantially and you will probably get a less usable car.
Do you produce any other cars?
We can also construct Lightweight E Type replicas, alloy bodied roadsters retaining the central steel tubs and low drag coupes. These exciting cars retain the original factory identities of the donor cars which can make registration easier in many countries. The prices are similar to a C type.