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Jaguar XK 120 C – brand new – US$133,000


January 9, 2008

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January 10, 2008 If you’ve ever lusted after a Mercedes 300 SLR, Jaguar XK 120 C or Aston Martin DB3S, no doubt your enthusiasm waned when you checked out the cost. The XK 120 C (C-Type) sold new for US$6000, twice the price of an XK120. A genuine, healthy C-Type will now set you back more than a million, and the 1953 Le Mans winner would be valued in excess of US$4 million if it was for sale (it’s not). Replicas are available from a variety of sources but few come with the heritage of Proteus which has been producing all aluminum bodied sports cars for two decades. Under new management, the company is now in expansion mode and is seeking international distribution for its thoroughly authentic US$133,000 replica. Even better news is the plan to extend the range to include SS100, XKSS, and D-Type Jaguars, Aston Martin DB3S and the glorious Mercedes Benz 300SLR.

The big news story in the world of specialist car production in the UK for 2007 was the takeover of Proteus Cars by rival sports car manufacturer Enduro Cars. With a complete management team changeover and location, the company is now producing the XK 120 C and planning production of a host of dream cars including the above list plus a Light Weight E-Type, the C-Type Coupe, and a variety of period racing machinery such as the ERA Voiturette and some as-yet-unnamed early F1 cars.

The company only builds fully finished aluminum cars carrying 60,000/5 year warranties and the current production of approximately 150 cars a year but output is being ramped up to meet the demands of the worldwide dealer network it is actively putting in place.

The Jaguar C-type (officially designated the Jaguar XK120-C) was a racing car built by Jaguar and sold from 1951 to 1953. With an aerodynamic body designed by Malcolm Sayer and a lightweight, multi-tubular, triangulated frame designed by Bob Knight, a total of 52 were built. No wonder there is a thriving market amongst enthusiasts world wide for replicas of exceptional quality.

The C Type is an international phenomenon and demand from around the world has led Proteus to an ongoing search for importers, assemblers and dealers in Canada, the USA, Malaysia, Russia, the Caribbean, the Middle East as well as UK and Europe.

Mechanically, the C Type used the running gear of the contemporary XK120 sports car (the C stands for '/competition). The twin-cam, six cylinder engine was tuned to around 205 bhp (153 kW) rather than 160 to 180 bhp (134 kW) of the road car. The custom, tubular chassis and aluminum body-panels, along with the elimination of creature-comforts, helped the car to shed nearly 1000 lb (454 kg) compared to a comparable Jaguar road-car. The later C-Types were more powerful, using triple twin-choke Weber carburettors and high-lift camshafts. They were also lighter and better braked, by means of all-round disc brakes.

The Jaguar C-Type won the Le Mans 24 hours race at its first attempt in 1951, driven by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead and in so doing, became the first car to win a major race using disc brakes.

In 1952 Jaguar, worried by reports of the speed of the Mercedes-Benz 300SL , modified the aerodynamics to increase the top speed. However, this necessitated a rearrangement of the car's cooling system, and subsequently all three entries retired due to overheating. In 1953, the car won again, in a lightened, more powerful configuration, driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt. This victory marked the first time the race had been won at an average of over 100 mph (105.85 mph {170.34 km/h}, to be precise).

Proteus is actively seeking expressions of interest from international distributors.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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