C-Type Jaguar to celebrate 50th anniversary of Le Mans win

The 1953 Le Mans-winning works Jaguar C-Type, driven to victory by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt, is set to return to the world-famous circuit on Sunday, June 15, where it will be paraded by Duncan’s grandson, Dominic.

This special appearance celebrates the 50th anniversary of the legendary victory for the marque, when the C-Type hit the record books as the first car to exceed 100 mph in the history of the world’s premier endurance race. The winning C-Type was also the first car to feature Dunlop disc brakes and covered 2,534 miles at an average speed of 105.85 mph. Jaguars finished in second, fourth and ninth places, with the entire works entry intact.

Described in 1953 as ‘the greatest Le Mans victory of all time’, the record-breaking win was achieved by Duncan Hamilton (1920–1994) and Tony Rolt (born 1918). Both were distinguished racing drivers in numerous motorsport formulae.

Hamilton was a larger than life character whose immense spirit, vigour and sense of purpose is graphically illustrated in his hilarious autobiography ‘Touch Wood!’, recently edited and extended by celebrated motor racing historian, Doug Nye. He gained further worldwide recognition as a market-leading dealer of thoroughbred historic competition cars.

Rolt distinguished himself by attempting to escape from Colditz during World War II. He went on to develop the Ferguson four-wheel drive system that laid the foundations of 4x4 road cars today.

Duncan Hamilton’s son, Adrian, acquired the C-Type from the Briggs Cunningham Museum in the United States in 1984. Since then the car has received a full restoration by DK Engineering and appeared at a number of international historic racing events including: the Le Mans Classic, where it won its class with Sir Stirling Moss at the wheel, and the Goodwood Revival meeting, where the C-Type has twice won the Freddy March Memorial Trophy in the hands of Gary Pearson.

John Maries, Executive Director of the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust said: “Jaguar’s success at Le Mans in 1953 set a cornerstone for the brand. I think it is a great honour for Jaguar and the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust that the winning works C-Type will be returning to Le Mans this year, to mark the 50th anniversary of Hamilton and Rolt’s victory. I am grateful to the Hamilton family for preserving this car and making it available for Le Mans this year.”

Duncan Hamilton & Co Limited

The 1953 Le Mans winning Jaguar C-Type, registration LSF 420 (originally 774 RW), is these days owned by Duncan Hamilton & Co Limited, a market leader in the sale and brokerage of thoroughbred post World War II historic competition cars under the direction of Duncan’s son, Adrian Hamilton.

Acknowledged world-wide for its expertise and international contacts within this rare and valuable market sector, Duncan Hamilton & Co Limited has found new owners for more than 60 historic Grand Prix cars, including such standard setters as the 1955 Mercedes-Benz W196 and the Ferrari Dino 246.

C-Type Jaguar to celebrate 50th anniversary of Le Mans win An example of the unique nature of the cars sold by the company is this "One Lady Owner" Daimler Limousine, located by Adrian Hamilton. This unique example was originally the property of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother and is now available for sale. Finished in the traditional Royal Household colours of Black over Royal Claret, the interior to the front is trimmed in dark blue West of England cloth and the rear compartment is in fawn West of England cloth. It represents a very rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of English automotive history with unquestionable provenance. The car has already been prominently featured on Sky News and Channel 7 in Australia together with BBC South Today.

Click HERE to see the full car details in the Classic Driver car database.

To see the current stock at Duncan Hamilton Ltd, please CLICK HERE