When it comes to Jaguar’s real estate holdings in most people’s brains, the iconic E-Type tends to have the biggest, showiest properties. But, for those in the know, there’s an older area so crammed full of charm and motorsport history and flowing curves of metal that’s worth visiting: the C-Type. Jaguar just announced it’ll build new, old C-Types as part of their Continuation program. While I’ll never be rich enough to afford one, I’ve spent some time in a C-Type and can honestly say it absolutely deserve this rebirth.
The original C-Types were built for racing between 1951 and 1953, and Malcolm Sayer’s intuitive if maybe not mathematically-verifiable aerodynamic shape is just an absolute marvel of what makes mid-century British racing cars so wonderful.
It’s a curvy, feline little speedy bathtub of a car, the kind of thing you want to run your hands over until people around you start to feel really uncomfortable and someone who still cares about you whispers that maybe you should cool it, already.
The car is clearly a machine for racing, and the interior absolutely reflects that; it’s very much a no-frills machine, all bare metal and exposed parts, and you can see in Jaguar’s online configurator for the cars that, while you get to chose your color of leather upholstery, it’s still very much a no-bullshit experience:
These new Continuation cars are built from archived blueprints and three-dimensional scans of surviving cars, and, while it use modern techniques and methods and tolerances and all that, are very much the original car.
Jaguar seems to be going all out with colors, too, which is great:
The engine is gleefully old-school as well: it’s a 220 horsepower, 3.4-liter inline-six with triple Weber 40DCO3 carbs. Carburetors! In a car being built in 2021! Hot damn!
The C-Type was an early adopter of disc brakes, so these will have those and, unlike the original cars, these will have optional “FIA-approved Harness Retention System,” which is a huge step up from the one I co-drove in the Mille Miglia a few years ago, when the owner of the car suggested I not even bother with the lap belts, since he figured that just being thrown out of the car would be a better plan.
You can even specify number roundels, which makes sense since most of these will likely be bought for track use and will be eligible for most historic racing and track events.
Jaguar hasn’t given a price yet, but other Jaguar Continuation series cars tend to sell for between one and three million dollars, which is an awful lot of dollars. If you’re loaded and looking to buy some kind of bonkers impractical car, why not one of these? Get yourself something carbureted!
If like most of us you’re not loaded, the online configurator is free, at least.