JAGUAR C-TYPE REVIEW

Only 53 true C-type Jaguar chassis numbers were issued between 1951 and 1953, making this relatively sophisticated 'competition' version of the supremely successful production XK120, a rarer model today then its successor, the more flamboyant, more costly and complex D-type, introduced in 1954. The Jaguar C-type was built around a neat, simple and robust multi-tubular spaceframe type chassis, carrying independent front suspension and a live rear axle on torsion bar springs. Initially using drum brakes and special sand-cast twin side-draught SU carburrettors, the 200bhp Jaguar works C-types won the Le-Mans 24-hours endurance race in 1951 (Whitehead/Walker) and 1953 (Rolt/Hamilton). Had there been a World Sports Car Championship in 1951 - one was not instituted until two years later - Jaguar would have won it with their C-type exploits, beating Ferrari back into second place. Manufacture of a limited production run of C-types was planned during 1951, but merely to obtain supplies of sufficient high-grade steel tube for chassis frames caused immense problems in those austere times, due largely to a re-armament programme created by the tensions involving the Korean War. The first production C-type eventually emerged in May 1952, selling to Duncan Hamilton, his son owning the car to this day.

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