The C-Type or ‘Competition’ type was the first car Malcolm worked on whilst at Jaguar. Built in 1951, the first C-Types were tuned to around 205 bhp, with a lightweight tubular frame built by Bob Knight, and an aerodynamic body designed by Malcolm Sayer. The C-Type won its first Le Mans attempt in 1951, driven to victory by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead.
A C-Type raced to victory at Le Mans again in 1953 with a thinner, lighter aluminium body and additional mechanical tweaks which helped boost power to 220 bhp (164 kW). However, the most significant change was the introduction of disc brakes. Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt won the race at 105.85 mph (170.35 km/h) – the first time Le Mans had been won at an average of over 100 miles per hour (161 km/h).
A total of 53 C-Types were built, with very few original in existence today.
The photo above is from Nigel Harniman and its chassis number is XKC011 – which Stirling Moss described as “one of his favourite cars”.
Nigel says of the C-Type:
…of all the Jags, I have a penchant for the E-Types, D-types and C-Types. While the E and D-Types are a thing of rare beauty, getting up close to an original C-Type is like coming across a rare Turner or Rembrandt – and with a price tag to match!