Jaguar: Classic copycat set to prowl

Jaguar C-type replica. Photo / Supplied
Jaguar C-type replica. Photo / Supplied

A period-faithful Jaguar C-Type replica that has covered just 800km since its completion in 2003 is one of the standout vehicles for sale at a classic auction in Sydney in February.

Based on exact measurements taken from an original 1953 C-Type that was in New Zealand for restoration some years ago, the one-owner vehicle is the second of seven recreated C-Types built by noted Australian marque restorer Gavin King of Concours Sportscar Restoration.

The tubular steel chassis replicates that of the donor 1953 Le Mans car and was fabricated by acknowledged C-Type expert David Brown, of Invercargill. The full alloy bodywork was shaped over bucks taken from the same car by equally renowned "Kiwi" coachbuilder, Barney Tansley, of Queenstown.

The vehicle's faithful homage to the famous factory C-Types that won the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 1951 and 1953 is underscored by its extensive use of original Jaguar or period parts wherever possible. For example, the car runs a 3.4-litre block bored and sleeved to 3.8-litres for improved power and reliability and is fitted with genuine period sand-cast 40DCO side-draft Weber carburettors (alone worth around $15,000).

This enables it to produce about 223kW and, says auction house Shannons, its exhaust note is period and perfect.

As with the original C-Type, the engine drives through a Moss four-speed transmission, with a correct gearbox-driven Plessey pump used to power-assist the Dunlop disc brakes.

The wheels are correct 60-spoke wire wheels with alloy rims that have been purpose-built for the vehicle, while the electrical system is entirely by Lucas and features period touches such as braided looms.

The interior hosts genuine C-Type equipment, including all the instruments, switches and the steering wheel, while the aluminium seats and green leather upholstery were made on original patterns.

The only major item not completely original is the car's aluminium fuel tank, which was made exactly the same size as the original bladder tanks in factory C-Types, which are not legal today.

Because of its outstanding original appearance, the C-Type recreation was accepted to join the historic demonstrations at the 2009 Australian Formula One Grand Prix, in Melbourne.

"Jaguar C-Type replicas are rare and few so accurately recreate the original as this one," said Shannons' national auction manager, Christophe Boribon. "This vehicle is visually indistinguishable from an original C-Type in all important aspects, except its price tag. To build a similar vehicle today would cost more than A$250,000 ($329,415)."

Shannons expects the replica to sell at the February 20 auction for more than A$150,000 ($197,000).

"However, we would not be surprised if the price exceeded this estimate."

- NZ Herald

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