Jaguar C-type

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The C-type laid the cornerstone of the Jaguar sporting legend and began a Le Mans love affair for the men from Coventry. In the 1950s Jaguar boss Bill Lyons was intent on winning Le Mans.

Like WO Bentley before him, Lyons believed in the old maxim: "win on Sunday, sell on Monday." After a try-out year with mildly modified XK120s in 1950, Jaguar came up with a competition version, the XK120C, more familiarly known as the C-type. Remarkably, the C-type won Le Mans on its first try in 1951, failed when special long-nosed cars overheated in 1952, then won again in 1953, placing first, second and fourth, thanks in part to a secret weapon - disc brakes. By then the C-type's place in history was assured and its successor, the D-type, cemented Jaguar's Le Mans legend with three wins in four years. Of 53 C-types built, 43 were sold to private customers, most of whom used them for racing rather than road use. Yet they were tractable road cars and were often driven to and from meetings; after their days as competitive racers were over, many were used as high-performance highway tourers, capable of covering great distances in short time and in reasonable comfort - as long as the weather was fine.

CONSTRUCTION: Tubular chassis/aluminium body

ENGINE: Jaguar XK120 3442cc, six cylinder, double overhead camshaft with twin SU carburettors (some later cars fitted with twin Webers)
POWER OUTPUT: 200-210bhp at 5800rpm
BRAKES: Lockheed hydraulic drums; later cars used Dunlop discs all round.
MAXIMUM SPEED: 144mph+ depending on gearing.
0-60MPH: 8.1 seconds
0-100MPH: 20.1 seconds.

Jaguar C-type Statistics

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Jaguar C-type Versions View All

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Jaguar C-type chassis


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