The first real racing car from Jaguar Cars was developed in 1950 using the all new 3442cc XK engine which had been designed to power the big Jaguar MK VII Saloon. In the same year Herbert Johnson took a new XK120 to race at Le Mans and finished a creditable 16th after 24 hours. William Lyons gave the order to design a proper racing car using a lighter body, clothing a new chassis and the new engine. This was to be the first real Jaguar racing car.
The new C-type cars were sent to Le Mans for the 24 hour race and Peter Whitehead astonished the motoring world by finishing first overall. History was made. No other Jaguar victory in future years had as much impact as that first win - straight out of the box.
The Jaguar C-type was further developed - not always with success. An attempt to streamline the bodywork for the 1952 Le Mans race deprived the engine of cooled air which led to fatal overheating. However in 1953 the C-type returned to Le Mans and beat the Ferraris and Maseratis again - thanks largely to the fitting of the all-new Dunlop Disc drakes and the now proven reliability of the Jaguar XK engine. C-types finished 1st, 2nd, 4th and 9th at an average speed of 105mph.
In all only 53 Jaguar C-types were made. Many have become famous by race victories or by associations with famous people. Some cars have raced continuously for over 50 years. Some have had more gentle lives being cherished for their beauty and purpose.
All the originals have stories to tell - all are now valued in millions of pounds by international car collectors.
Now, benefitting from years of experience and development, Suffolk Sportscars have been engaged in their C-type reproductions for over 10 years, producing over 50 cars.
Works produced cars can be specified to customer order and is a unique and bespoke built sporting car for the discerning motorist. We are also able to supply self build packages for export for those who may wish to assemble their own car, we typically provide this as a full service, meaning every item one would need to construct the vehicle is supplied, and the car you build will to differ to one we build in house.
Every finished car effectively becomes an ambassador and represents our product, so it is in our best interests that even owner constructed examples can be as good as a works built car.
Roger Williams joined Ipswich Jaguar dealership Botwoods Ltd in 1960 as a Management trainee. Every aspect of running a major dealership and the myriad of internal service units were part of his 5 year training. Highlights included training weeks at Jaguar Cars at Browns Lane and visits to the assembly lines and engine workshops. These helped to instil a love of the Jaguar product.
Williams left Botwoods in 1965 to run his own business but 30 years later took over a small project making a recreation of the pre-war Jaguar SS100. All of his early skills learned at Botwoods now came back into sharp focus. The car project was purchased and extensively improved before being relaunched as the Suffolk SS100 in 1996.
Using the skills of the now expanding business and with the assistance of a number of Jaguar enthusiasts Roger decided to create a superior reproduction Jaguar C-type. He was most fortunate in being able to have unlimited access to a number of C-type owners cars and including a completely original C-type 039. Importantly this car had never been damaged.
New body moulds were made and copies based on the original chassis were created.
In order to keep the car as true to the concept of the original C-type as possible it was decided to use E-type torsion bar front suspension rather than the more modern and widely used coilovers.
The rear suspension uses lower trailing arms and top links and a Panhard rod attached to an extensively modified Jaguar MKII live rear axle, narrowed to the correct C-type width.
To improve the dynamics, the rear is adjustable via rose joints for all 5-links, and adjustable easily for height and damping via coil over damper springing.
The car has Lockheed disc brakes all round and can be fitted with a servo. The steering is rack and pinion with a safety collapsible steering column.
All Jaguar XK engines can be fitted. 3.4, 3.8 and 4.2 variants are available. These can be modified for performance and fitted with Weber carburettors.
The Jaguar Short Compact gearbox with overdrive is usually fitted but he car will accept a customer choice of alternative transmissions.
Mechanically and dynamically the car is designed to perform and feel just as the originals did back in the fifties. The subtle modifications made to the Suffolk C-type improve the car's efficiency without compromising the traditions of the original.
On the road the car displays fine handling and is proven of achieving speeds in excess of 150mph.
Every detail of the Suffolk C-type has been carefully crafted to achieve a reproduction that is a faithful copy of the original. Certain subtle modifications have been incorporated to improve driver comfort and convenience.
All parts to create a Suffolk C-type are available from Woodbridge as a Big Boys Meccano set. See the 'Self Build' and 'Works Built' web pages. A very comprehensive owner’s Build Manual is supplied and full technical and workshop customer back up is included. All parts supplied are guaranteed for 12 months.
The business of Suffolk Sportscars exists to enable self build owners to build a beautiful Suffolk SS100 at home and over 350 cars have now been built by us and by satisfied owners all over the World.
Our development of the Suffolk C-type Jaguar extends this facility to a second Jaguar model, the C-type, we which have now been reproducing for 8 years. Without doubt the C-type is hugely evocative of the 1950's period and has been much 'copied ' by others in recent years.
We aim to make our recreation of this most famous Jaguar as straightforward to build as our well established SS100. Please note that our car is exactly accurate in all bodywork dimensions as per the original Jaguar car designed by Malcolm Sayer. We believe these dimensions are fundamentally critical on the C-type. With almost every other C-type being made wider or dimensionally inaccurate to the original, the whole visual perception of the car is compromised. A correct C-type body has to be 5 feet wide, exactly.
Our chassis is a copy based on the original car also. We do not use square box sections our chassis is a tubular spaceframe, which is heavily copied and based on the original.
Following your visit to our works at Woodbridge you can place an order with us for a £2500 deposit - this will be credited to the cost of Delivery 1.
We will agree when the chassis will be ready to be delivered to you.
A PDF Build Manual is available free of charge - Please email us to order your copy. Alternatively, you can email us and request to order a bound copy in print, for a cost of £30 including UK delivery.
Suffolk C-type space frame chassis, front suspension wishbones and polybushes, steering rack, rear axle and suspension components, panhard rod, fuel tank, wheels and tyres. Brake and clutch master cylinders and pedal assembly.
Remanufactured and rebuilt Jaguar XK Engine, Jaguar Short Compact gearbox and Norman Laycock overdrive unit, SU carburettors and engine ancillaries. Exhaust manifolds and silencers, radiator and cooling system items. Aluminium Fuel tank, aluminium radiator and remaining engine bay components. Steering columns and steering wheel. Brake solid lines and fuel lines.
GRP bodywork. The body will be first made up and assembled completely on our own chassis jig here at the works. This can then be disassembled into 3 principal parts and delivered to you.
The external formed skins, which are painted are made from thin but immensely strong GRP formed bodywork, made in our original moulds by experienced personnel. Upon arrival, these 3 principal ‘skin’ sections are quality checked and prepared before being fitted on our jig. They are they internally smoothed so that an aluminium finish paint can be applied to the underside surface, meaning it is almost impossible to differentiate from the aluminium.
Critical dimensions are set and then the individually handmade aluminium flanges are bonded onto the underside of these ‘skin’ panels. Onto these hand formed and profiled 90 degree aluminium flanges, the aluminium and brass-wired edge strengthers, bulkheads, firewalls, and ducting are riveted, all of which is copied in design and manufacturing method to that of the original. By the time the body is finished, it is around 45% aluminium – even on what we refer to as our GRP bodied C-type.
The doors are made as a 2 part GRP moulding which is bonded and joined whilst fitted into the door aperture that it will live in, to ensure that adhearance to our precise standards of panel alignment and shut lines are kept within tolerance.
Once complete, this entire assembly is so accurately prepared that it can be painted before it is supplied.
Instrumentation, body fittings, including lexan windscreen and aluminium plinth, aeroscreens, handmade leather bucket seats, electrical items and light units, wiring loom, transmission tunnel and Hardura covers, bonnet straps and handles, number plates, headlamp covers, badges and mirrors. All deliveries can be collected from us by the customer or delivered to your home.
The Suffolk C-type Jaguar is an authentic reproduction, with only concessions made where most desirable to improve, reliablility, performance, driving experience and comfort. The technology used is all the same as the original car, but improved where sympathetic to the original design and features of the Jaguar originals.
The coachwork is completely accurate and 100% true to the original shape, having been copied exactly of undamaged bodywork of car XKC039, which clothes the meticulously jig manufactured and MIG welded seamless CDS tubular space frame chassis - this is a copy of the original with the exception of a few details and aforementioned adjustments, to make the car more effective and usable than in 1951. The chassis runs on all Jaguar mechanical parts.
The legendary and much developed XK engine, from the original 160BHP 3.4 engine, to a screaming 310BHP fast road 4.2, we can cater for any desire. Torsion bar front suspension and quick rack steering perfectly capture the feel of an original C-type, and a Jaguar 4 speed all-synchromesh gearbox with overdrive transmits power to the Jaguar Salisbury 4HA axle, mounted via trailing arms and top links, secured laterally by a panhard rod – all based on the original parts, but now adjustable via rose joints, and sprung by coil over adjustable damper suspension.
When we build a Suffolk C-type, we always build the car to a bespoke customer specification, meaning that when you order a car, you can choose from an infinite number of paint and trim combinations, as well as a wide range of optional equipment and special order items, to create a car that is truly one of a kind.
Alternatively, you may choose to create an exact replication of a particular original C-type, such as a 1953 Le Mans car, one of the Ecurie Ecosse vehicles, or an early car with their quirky details. If you do so, we have a wealth of books, information and stored material to help do so as accurately as possible, and can even track down registration numbers which are close in sequence to those worn in period.
A Suffolk C-type performs with all the excitement and pure driving performance that delivered the car to it’s numerous competition wins in the 50s, contributing to the legendary status the brand carries today.
We have improved the suspension performance and drivability under a variety of conditions, we have also improved the driver cabin space to accommodate drivers up to 6’ 4” – without altering the dimensions of the car, ensuring it is exactly the same dimension as the original, just as designed by Malcolm Sayer.
The car can be specified to order in LHD or RHD and can be ordered with manual or automatic transmissions. The engine can also be specified with different capacities and power outputs.
Three main variations of C-type were built by Jaguar Cars. The earliest cars from XKC001-003 which had the 4 large side louvres and both driver and passenger doors, then XKC004-050 which had numerous individual specifications but typically had 2 x SU carburettors, one door, and no bonnet air scoop.
The XKC050-053 was made with lighter gauge aluminium bodywork, a rubber bag fuel tank, suspended from a twin rib or spine along the rear bodywork, with an inspection plate 1953 car had 3 Weber 45DCO3 Carburettors and an air scoop, feeding into an air box mounted to the carburettors.
Engine sizes can be exactly as the original 3.4 litres. However the 3.8 and 4,2 litre variants can be specified - all in various stages of tune.
Gearbox is usually the Jaguar Short Compact 4-speed with overdrive but 5 speed and automatic transmissions are also available. We can also supply Moss gearboxes with or without overdrive.
Our car is dimensionally completely accurate having been especially moulded off C-type 039 with its undamaged original Jaguar works alloy body. Almost all the original Jaguar C-types have had replacement bonnets and other body parts in the past 50 years and we are fortunate to have totally correct body moulds to work from.
Bodywork is GRP with extensive alloy panelling, the GRP gives us an entirely consistent and accurate bodywork with the considerable advantage of great strength.
Every effort is made to make the Suffolk C-Type Jaguar as close to the original cars as possible. The devil is in the detail and we believe we have created an excellent reproduction.
Typically, commissioning your Suffolk C-type Jaguar would start with a works visit to Woodbridge to inspect our facilities, meet the team, see what we do and have a demonstration of one of our cars.
PO Box 100