The Jaguar C-Type, also known as the Jaguar XK120-C, is a sports racing car built by Jaguar between 1951 and 1953.
The car used the mechanical components of the then current XK120 built into a lightweight tubular frame designed by William Heynes and wrapped in an aerodynamic aluminium body jointly developed by Heynes, Bob Knight and Malcolm Sayer. A total of 53 C-Types were built, most of which were sold to private owners many of whom were in the United States.
Today an original Jaguar C Type would be immensely valuable and well beyond the reach of most motoring enthusiasts but because they were built on space frames using contemporary Jaguar mechanical components it is perfectly feasible for skilled engineers to produce accurate replicas using mechanical components from a suitable Jaguar donor car.
Several small companies set out to produce replica C Types which could be bought either as a self-build project or supplied in built up form. This particular GRP bodied car was produced by Heritage Cars Ltd who were one of the better known companies in this field. I am not certain when it was converted to a C Type but its mechanical components originally came from a 4.2 litre engine XJ6 which was first registered in the UK in December 1972 and in 2009 it was acquired by its present owner who lives in Ireland where the car is now registered.
He has very recently spent a considerable amount of money having work professionally done on the car and the file contains a detailed record of work done – I won’t list it all here but it starts with a complete engine strip down and includes a new crankshaft, cylinder liners, pistons, connecting rods, timing chain, water pump, alternator, starter motor, radiator and electronic ignition plus the steering rack, the rear suspension and the brakes were overhauled and four new tyres fitted – the car has covered roughly 700 miles since this work was done so as you can imagine it feels very well put together..
I have had real fun test driving it and am happy to report that it is a very exciting piece of machinery which really comes thoroughly alive out on the open road. Its handling is taut, its steering is positive and accurate, the acceleration is remarkable and the noise is quite glorious so it will appeal to any driver who relishes such characteristics but will be less attractive to people who enjoy pottering quietly around country lanes on a Sunday afternoon - I am not sure where else you can have this much motoring fun at this price level!!