When Vincent told me "I also know a Type C replica whose owner is super nice", of course I gave the green light. Maybe one day I could get behind the wheel of one of those legendary tracks that have hit the Le Mans track. But their value and rarity make it unlikely … and then I would certainly be more relaxed driving a replica. Except that the storm that hits us on the road causes the fear meter to rise. When it finally wears off, it's time, the English beauty is ready to go.
The Jaguar Type C replica at a glance
We are not going to tell you about the Jaguar Type C since we have already been fairly comprehensive in this article:
Obviously with 53 units built and all with their legendary piece, prices are soaring and exceed 10 million (pounds, euros or dollars). On the other hand the replicas are numerous, and one can find some at various prices depending in fact on the quality of these. We will talk about this later.
Our Jaguar Type C replica of the day
First thing to do when approaching: take off your sunglasses. The green of our car of the day is so dark you could see it black!
Forms side: no surprises. It was a Jaguar Type C and Proteus that made the aluminum dress of this one did its job well. Without being absolutely specialist, we do not see any difference. No shape is simplified with an invented edge or a poorly reproduced curvature.
So what can we say about a Jaguar Type C? And although its chubby front is much prettier than the racing cars these days. Admittedly, the aerodynamics were more geared towards air penetration than downforce, but it offers superb curves. Right in the middle of the front face sits a grille supposed to recall the XK120. Because the Type C was born XK120-C. But around it doesn't really look like. The hood remains low, the wings high, while the headlights are under the globe. We also note that the front overhang is very small.
At the back we find a little more finesse. If the body line descends around the cockpit, it then rises to provide two nice, well-rounded fenders above the wheels. On the other hand, the rear, although curvaceous, is thinner than the front, giving the Type C a tail with a real aero role.
As for the details, we will be quick. The body of our car of the day is barely rough. Note therefore the various vents necessary to evacuate the heat from under the hood, its fasteners, shell mirrors and the fuel cap. Ah, yes, we also find the nipples to fix the tonneau cover.
Inside, quick turn
To tell you about the interior of the Jaguar Type C Replica, you don't need to get on board. We are immediately struck by the size of the steering wheel. Once again it is not the aesthetics that prevail but the need to maneuver the beast. Behind the steering wheel are two large speedometers (in km / h) and the inevitable tachometer. We complete with three other smaller meters, all attached to a sort of box identical to a Type C of the time.
The gear lever is in the center and pointed slightly towards the driver. For the rest ? Not much to say except that we will still benefit from an empty pocket between the body and the structure. Oh yes, I can't wait!
Engine: the venerable
Nothing looks like a XK engine than an XK engine. Except that in a Type C replica, you don't have to find the “right” engine. Some are indeed mounted in 4.2 liters, the most torquey engine of the band. But our Jaguar Type C Replica of the day does carry the original 3.4-liter engine. And it bears the Type C designation on the rocker cover. Does it bring extra horses? Yes my good lady. In fact this engine, mounted in a Xk120 comes out 160 ch. But you can also equip it with the Type C breech. And there the cavalry is made up of 210 cannons!
As long as we are on the game of 7 (potential) errors, it is two SU carbs that feed it and not 3 as some like to do. And then this Type C Replica is well endowed with a rigid rear axle while some replicas call upon independent wheels.
As for the chassis, it is designed to perform well but is not similar to that of the original racing cars. Last point, we can see that the brakes are disc. Yes, the very first Jaguar Type Cs were not equipped with them but they will be at the forefront in the field by adopting them as early as 1953 and on all four wheels please!
At the wheel of the Jaguar Type C Replica: unique
Nowadays we are more and more used to getting in a car. In the 1950s we were going downhill. There is still something else. Philippe ran the car and left me in charge. The road has dried up a bit, the Breton wind and sun helping, I feel ready. So how do we do it?
I get into the cabin first, and the ride height doesn't even require opening the door. It's more fun! There you have to start by stepping over the side of the car and putting your foot on the metal plate provided for this purpose on the tunnel. Good. Then you put your foot on the seat. And once you're on your feet, you slide your legs around on either side of the steering wheel.
The driving position bears a resemblance to that of the Xk120. The steering wheel is close to the torso and it is impossible to drive with outstretched arms. Or we would have to refine the seats but our car of the day is not scheduled to go to Le Mans Classic and we must preserve the little comfort it can still offer.
Contact, two thrusts and the 3.4L wakes up. Avoid overdoing it if you have neighbors who are more used to their Zoe, it may give them tinnitus. Because the Type C Replica keeps the side exhausts, so short, so you can hear the engine well. And personally, I'm really not going to complain (especially since the passenger's ears are in the front row, not mine).
Hand (left) on the lever and first. I saw that the grid was slightly offset but that's not a problem. In fact, when you are used to handling the lever with your right hand, you learn to handle it with your left each time. So the fact that he's not really on-axis isn't a concern. The clutch responds perfectly well and is not on-off. I do not wax the tires and start very quietly.
At the same time, it's still a car designed for the track that I have in my hands today, on the road. The Type C replica picks up speed quite quickly. But for the moment, urban area requires, we are not going very quickly. At least this allows us to test the excellent brakes and the steering which is light even at low speed. After that, we must nevertheless remember that even with two people on board we are not far from the ton, only.
I'm starting to feel good in the car. The gearbox control does not stick and its handling is intuitive. Arrived on a long stretch, limited to 80, I can even go to the fourth, still without rushing. Now is also the time to use the little pull tab on the right. Because yes, concession made by this replica to comfort, the gearbox is not a Moss but a Jaguar with overdrive. And honestly, with the side exhaust and a bit of wind, we're pretty happy to see the right hand drop 500 laps at cruising speed.
But hey, admit it would still be a shame to be behind the wheel of a Type C replica just for a ride! So when exiting the block, I switch back to second and step on the accelerator. Unsurprisingly, the car scuttles. The speeding up is really very good, but without being dangerous. We go straight, quickly, the third follows and remains in the same spirit. I'm not even going to risk fourth when I see what the left meter is already showing.
A bend is approaching, second and off you go. The brakes respond well, always brake straight and with the steering perfectly tuned, place the Type C replica at the chord point effortlessly. And without being embarrassed by this large steering wheel a few inches from my chest. Coming out of a corner, even being generous on the accelerator, it is not a rough oversteer but an understeer, light and reassuring, that affects the car. The third came in soon after and I started again at the next turn. Truly a sports car. Too bad the hamlets are so close and hardly allow you to have fun. We make up for it with the roundabouts but hey, the flavor is not the same.
So I resume a rapid cruising speed. The Type C replica lends itself well to this. And on board we live well. The freshness of the air is counterbalanced by the transmission tunnel. Windshields, even if they are tiny, do the trick perfectly and you can chat peacefully inside. Philippe tells me that this is not a car intended for trackdays … but the fact remains that finishing a set of tires on a circuit would be damn fun.
As I get out of the car, because that's the word, I have a banana. Far from what I expected, the Type C replica is easy … yet pretty darn efficient.
Is the original Jaguar Type C overpriced? No problem, you can still really treat yourself to a replica, especially when it's done well like this one. You will be able to access real performance without being a trap.
By the way, it helps to get a good idea of what a well-made line is. A car that looks and performs, but here offers comfort that is more than appreciable.
|Strong points||Weak points|
|A Type C despite everything||Restricted use despite everything|
|A sharp chassis||An interior not suitable for everyone|
|Healthy behavior and not tricky|
|Ease of driving||15/20|
|Total||14.7 / 20|
Driving a Jaguar Type C replica
Obviously we will find many more replicas than real Jaguar Type C. At the level of manufacturers, there are many. Lynx, Nostalgia, Heritage, Coventry or Proteus offer (the list is there).
So how do you navigate it? Well, we'll have to look. Some will be based on Type E, others on XJ40, with the engines to go with it. Often, moreover, the bodies are made of fibers and gain in lightness what they lose in authenticity.
Our model of the day is a Proteus. But beware, an “aluminum” Proteus, because even this renowned manufacturer has built one in fiber. The 3.4L engine and Type C cylinder head make it ultimately a very faithful replica of the original car.
Price level? A Type C replica fiber will cost you less than an XK120 or Type E 2 + 2 ! Be careful, with the quality of the different remanufactures you can also quickly increase in price. Mechanical maintenance of the rustic XK engine and its surroundings is fairly easy thanks to the many new parts available on the market. On the other hand, any intervention on the body of a Type C will be purely artisanal and therefore expensive!
A big thank you to Philippe, a lover of beautiful cars, for letting me drive his car (almost) without batting an eyelid.
|Jaguar Type C Replica Specifications (indicative)|
|Mechanical||In addition to this, you need to know more about it.||Performances||In addition to this, you need to know more about it.|
|Architecture||6 Line cylinders||Vmax||± 200 km / h|
|Displacement||3442 cm³||0 to 100 km / h||± 9 s|
|Max Power||220 hp at 5,800 rpm||1000m da|
|Max Torque||298 Nm at 3900 rpm||Weight / Power||4.54 kg / hp|
|Gearbox||4 manual gears|
|Transmission||Propulsion||In addition to this, you need to know more about it.||In addition to this, you need to know more about it.|
|Frame||In addition to this, you need to know more about it.||Mixed Consumption||± 14 L / 100 km|
|Motor Position||Longitudinal front||Sports Conso||± 18 L / 100 km|
|Braking||AV and Ar discs|
|Dimensions LxWxH||399 x 164 x 108 cm|