Amidst the JLR rebranding and reshuffling, Jaguar has kept up production of its continuation series of classic cars, one of which is making its North American debut at this year’s Monterey Car Week.
“Continuation” cars are, in essence, replicas of vintage cars — in this particular case, modern remakes of the Jaguar C-Type and D-Type sports cars from the 1950s. They’re set apart from lesser replicas because they are commissioned and built by their original manufacturer, and often created using the original methods. No, these are not real vintage cars, but they are “continuations” of a production that officially ceased several decades ago.
Bentley has a similar program in which it builds brand new versions of vehicles from nearly 100 years ago, such as the famed Blower Bentley race car and the Speed Six, pre-war cars that have seen action at the brutal 24 Hours of Le Mans. Bentley is renowned for maintaining a collection of road-ready examples from every era of its history, and these make for particularly handy reference points when it comes to building new ones. The process involves 3D scanning, reviewing original assembly documentation and hunting down the original types of materials used for handcrafted assembly.
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When it comes to Jaguar’s series, it’s much the same. A 3D model is produced from original period source data and then built by hand in the company’s dedicated facility in Coventry, U.K. by a team of specialists. From start to finish, it takes around 3,000 hours to build one of these continuation Jaguars.
The newest old car is a remake of the C-Type, a Le Mans-winning racer from the early ‘50s. This new run is derived from the 1953 winning car and powered by a 3.4-liter straight-six engine that can produce around 220 horsepower. Only 16 will be made at most, and they can be ordered in one of 12 heritage exterior colors and eight interior colors.
Jaguar is also wrapping up production of 25 1955-56 Jaguar D-Types. Originally, only 75 were made out of a planned 100, so Jag is finally getting around to wrapping up that initial order. The first D-Types were designed specifically to win Le Mans, and they can be immediately identified by their curvaceous monocoques and prominent rear stabilizer. The vehicle went on to bring three Le Mans victories home for the marque, and achieved success in other race series for privateer teams. Naturally, the D-Type preceded the most famous Jaguar of all, the E-Type.
Continuations of both the D-Type and C-Type will be on display throughout Monterey Car Week, including at the Rolex Motorsports Reunion and The Quail. While the former was on display the last time Jaguar’s heritage division took part in the festivities in 2018, this is the first time U.S. collectors are getting a look at the C-Type. Jaguar doesn’t publicly list the price of its continuation cars like they do for modern vehicles, but they start north of $1 million.
If that figure (or double, or triple it) doesn’t deter you, you can inquire about your own continuation model at Jaguar Classic. For the rest of us, a first-hand look during Monterey Car Week will have to suffice.
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