The XK120C's astonishing debut victory in the 1951 Le Mans 24-Hour Race and its follow-up win in '53 established Jaguar's first purpose-built racing sports car as one of the all-time great competition automobiles. Jaguar built only 54 C-Types and it is worth noting that the first three Formula 1 World Champions - Guiseppe Farina, Alberto Ascari and Juan-Manuel Fangio - all bought them as road cars. It is not hard to understand why: at the time of its introduction the C-Type represented the state-of-the-art in racing car engineering and thus was one of the most advanced road vehicles in the world.
In July 1951, The Autocar fully described the XK120C with detailed drawings and specifications (copy available). By this time, the C-type had already achieved its first victory at Le Mans with a team comprising the first three cars made. Jaguar then put the C-Type into limited production and made a further 47 production cars. The specification of these production cars differed from the original three works cars only in minor details: e.g. different bonnet louvres, chassis channels not drilled, and 2" SU H8 carburettors instead of the Le Mans cars' 1¾". Because these cars were largely sold to already well known competitors, their specifications differed from car to car depending on customer preference, while towards the end of production, the A-bracket on the rear axle was changed to a single trailing arm.
Those multiple Le Mans wins in the 1950s, as well as numerous victories in the other great classic endurance events, coupled with superlative driving qualities that made it so attractive to three of the greatest drivers in history, have ensured a continuing healthy demand for replicas of Jaguar's rare and exotic sports-racer.
'FTS 592' is an exact copy of a late production C-Type The car has a current FIA HTP confirming that it is to the correct dimensions and historical specification. It was built using period drawings, works parts lists and published technical details and specifications (all available with the car). Copied from 'XKC 043', the spaceframe was fabricated by Classic Chassis Services while the all aluminium body was built by Shapecraft on bucks made from 'XKC 049'. 'FTS 592' is registered as a 'Jaguar Sports' and classified as a (tax-exempt) historic vehicle.
The car was assembled by David Duffy, who had previously owned an original C-Type. He is renowned for the manufacture to exacting standards of 100% correct recreations of C-Type, D-Type and XKSS Jaguars. The car was purchased in 2010 from David by the present owner, who had owned three different C-Types in the early 1960s, 'FTS 592' being the best available after a three-year search. Guy Broad Engineering prepared the C-Type for a serious historic racing campaign with no expense spared, though injury and advancing years have thwarted the owner's plans. Described as race ready and a delightful road car, it comes with a removable roll hoop, custom made by Guy Broad, together with two easily removable three-point seat belt harnesses and a hand-held fire extinguisher. An original correct three-spoke steering wheel is included with the car, a smaller one being currently in place to suit the current driver.
The engine - number 'B9880-8' - has the correct period casting, 'C4820'. It incorporates a fully balanced crankshaft and flywheel; wide-blade connecting rods; 9.0:1 pistons; correct B-Series cylinder head; camshafts with similar profile and lift to 'D' cams; big valves; twin 2" SU H8 carburettors (sand cast); correct inlet and exhaust manifolds; and wide-eared large-capacity alloy sump. The drive train comprises a Moss four-speed close-ratio gearbox with correct pattern lid; 9½" diameter diaphragm clutch; and a 3.54:1 ratio rear axle. The front suspension torsion bars, wishbones, steering arms and rack are all to original specification as is rear suspension and drum brakes. Instruments, switches and interior are likewise to original specification. Other noteworthy features include an MM type screen and aero screens; correct fabricated 37-gallon Le Mans fuel tank; twin SU electric fuel pumps; and 16x6" alloy rimmed replica C-Type wheels shod with 600x16 Blockley tyres.
A spare set of 600x16 C-Type wire wheels fitted with new, unused Dunlop racing tyres is available via separate negotiation together with some rare and valuable front suspension components. The car also comes with numerous invoices; an old-style logbook; FIA papers; V5C registration documents; and an original C-Type instruction, maintenance and settings manual. Finished in British Racing Green with tan leather interior, this impeccable C-Type recreation has been prepared with no expense spared and is in very good condition, ready to go racing or be enjoyed as the splendid, very usable sports car that it is.