Jaguar Type C: A Rare Beauty

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a picnic at Jaguar restorer Tom Jaycox’ house/workshop in northwest Connecticut.  Stored in one of garages was a very lovely Jaguar Type C.  What a lovely car!  I was fortunate when Tom pushed the car out of his garage so I could have a better look at it.

Jaguar Type C (13)

Jaguar Type C

The Jaguar Type C has a full name of Jaguar XK120C, indicating that the car was based on the Jaguar XK120 with the suffix “C” designating that it is a competition model.  And compete it did.  The Jaguar Type C won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1951 and 1953!

Jaguar Type C (7)

I Like The Smooth Lines Of This Car

In addition to being very significant cars, these are very rare cars as Jaguar only made 53 Type C cars.  This was enough to get the cars homologated by the FIA which required that at least 50 cars had to be built to qualify as a production car.

Jaguar Type C (14)

This Car Has The Cold Air Intake Scoop Added In The Later Models

 The Jaguar Type C had almost the same 3,442cc inline six-cylinder, dual-overhead camshaft engine as the normal Jaguar XK120.  The normal Jaguar XK120 engine produced 160 horsepower, while Jaguar Type C engine produced 200 horsepower.  in addition, the Jaguar XK120 roadster weighed about 2,920 pounds, while the Jaguar Type C weighed about 2,130 pounds.  So you can imagine that the Type C was considerably faster than the normal XK120 roadster.

Jaguar Type C (12)

The Wire Wheels Add A Nice Touch

The Jaguar Type C car had a tubular steel frame and an aluminum body, both contributing to its lightweight.  The higher horsepower and lighter weight resulted in a car with a top speed of about 143 miles per hour.  Also it could do the quarter-mile in about 16 seconds.

Jaguar Type C (8)

The Numbers At The Rear Is A New York State License Plate Number

The history of the Jaguar Type C cars is documented by the chassis number of each car.  The chassis number of this car is XKC034. 

Jaguar Type C (16)

This Is The View That Most Competitor s Saw

The Jaguar Type C is a rather small car.  For example, its wheelbase is 96 inches, which is 6 inches shorter than the Jaguar XK120 roadster.

Jaguar Type C (2)

This Car Has the British-Style Right-Hand Drive

I had seen this car once before in 2011 when I was at the Lime Rock Historic Festival.  Tom Jaycox’ Jaguar Type C is shown below parked beside another Jaycox racer, a Jaguar XK120 roadster. 

Jaguar Type C 1953

Tom Jaycox Took His Jaguar Type C To The 2011 Lime Rock Historic Festival

If you are interested in the competition aspect of Jaguar cars, then I would recommend the book “Jaguar, The Sporting Heritage” by Paul Skilleter.  I saw the following photos in that book and the book has plenty more photos of Jaguars in competition over the years.

The first race that the Jaguar Type C took part in was the 1951 Le Mans race which it won.


Three Type C Jaguars Ready For Le Mans in 1951.  Car 20 Driven By Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead Won The Race

In 1952, Jaguar had some overheating problems at Le Mans which resulted in the DNFs of the Jaguar works cars.  Jaguar returned to Le Mans in 1953 with the Type C car.  The result was that the Jaguar Type C cars finished first and second!


The Duncan Hamilton/Tony Rolt Driven Type C Jaguar Won Le Mans in 1953

Jaguar had a number of excellent race results with the Jaguar Type C car.  In addition to taking part in racing, occasionally the Type C was entered in car rallies.


Axel Glans/Luc Descollonges Rallied A Type C Jaguar

In 1954 the Jaguar factory replaced the Jaguar Type C with the more streamlined Jaguar Type D.  Jaguar then continued their winning ways at Le Mans with the Type D.

I was very pleased that Tom Jaycox let me see this car up close, as well as the other Jaguar cars that he is restoring or maintaining.  Tom has quite an array of Jaguar cars!

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1 Response to Jaguar Type C: A Rare Beauty

  1. Rich Bireta says:

    Another great blog entry, Steve. I’ve forwarded this one
    to my car buddies.

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