Vehicles | January 30, 2021 6:00 am

Jaguar Isn’t Content With Honoring the Past, So It’s Continuing It

The newly revived C-type is the latest in a string of brilliant continuation cars

Jaguar C-type continuation race car
This gorgeous Jaguar C-type is the latest continuation car from the Brits.
Jaguar Classic

When it comes to Jaguar, the British automaker, there’s a tendency to focus on their glorious past of racing stardom and sports car supremacy. Despite still making a damn good sports car in the 21st century (their F-Type R has won our hearts time and time again), their 20th century heyday has a romantic allure that cannot be denied. Thankfully, the marque has recognized that and come up with a clever solution. 

Instead of simply honoring its archival builds with a paint color here, a gold-plated badge there, Jaguar has for years been in the business of reviving its classic cars, building new versions and offering them for sale once again. These are known in the industry as continuation cars, and the latest example from the company was announced this week: a limited-edition, hand-built version of the C-type race car, honoring the model’s 70th anniversary.

Specifically, the new C-type will be modeled after the version of the car that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, driven by Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton, and equipped with disc brakes. That’s an important clarification, as the company notes, because the production C-types built back during the original run in the 1950s were solely equipped with drum brakes. Each car will also include the race car’s more powerful 220 hp 3.4-liter inline-six engine. 

What we’re dealing with here is an auto enthusiast’s wet dream: an iconic race car from the history books, minus the wear and tear; a brand new automobile, but with the style and mechanics of the 1950s; and a replica that doesn’t cheapen the experience, as it’s made in-house by Jaguar Classic, an outfit that has proved its competence in continuation cars since 2014.

That year, Jaguar began this endeavor by resuscitating the Lightweight E-type, a car model widely regarded as one of the most elegant ever to hit the tarmac. Then they brought back the XKSS, the D-type and finally the C-type, which built up its racing legacy from the Mille Miglia to the Targa Florio. All have been offered in limited numbers, sometimes as low as six, and often they’re all spoken for by the time Jaguar publicly announces the project. But this time, according to Bloomberg, there are still some build slots available.

However, the problem for prospective buyers is not only the cash needed to purchase a reanimated legend like the C-type, which will start at $1.3 million, per Bloomberg; it’s having a designated space to drive it. Unfortunately, a 1950s era race car doesn’t exactly meet today’s road-going standards. Yes, these are as authentic as they come, but that means you’ll have to stick to race tracks and other closed courses. 

Anyone up for a vintage race?

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