Jaguar XK120C C-Type

The Jaguar C-Type (officially called the Jaguar XK120-C) is a racing sports car built by Jaguar and sold from 1951 to 1953. The “C” stands for “competition”.

The car combined the running gear of the contemporary, road-proven XK120, with a lightweight tubular frame designed by Jaguar Chief Engineer William Heynes, and an aerodynamic aluminium body, jointly developed by William Heynes, R J (Bob) Knight and later Malcolm Sayer. A total of 53 C-Types were built, 43 of which were sold to private owners, mainly in the US.

The road-going XK120’s 3.4-litre twin-cam, straight-6 engine produced between 160 and 180 bhp (134 kW). The C-Type version was originally tuned to around 205 bhp (153 kW). The early C-Types were fitted with SU carburettors and drum brakes.

Later C-Types, produced from mid 1953, were more powerful, using triple twin-choke Weber carburettors and high-lift camshafts. They were also lighter, and braking performance was improved by using disc brakes on all four wheels. The lightweight, multi-tubular, triangulated frame was designed by Heynes. Heynes, Knight and Sayer together developed the aerodynamic body.

Made of aluminium in the barchetta style, it was devoid of road-going items such as carpets, weather equipment and exterior door handles. According to the Jaguar Heritage Registry, the cars were produced between May 1952, starting with XKC001, and ending in August 1953 with XK054. The original alloy body was marked with the prefix K (e.g. K1037).

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