Robb Design Portfolio: C Is for Competition

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1952 Jaguar C-Type Roadster

For the competition-bred XK120C, also known as the C-Type, Jaguar took its successful XK120 and gave it a purpose-built aluminum body designed by automobile-aerodynamics pioneer Malcolm Sayer, a lightweight tubular frame, and a more powerful engine. The upgrades enabled the up-and-coming British terror to claim victory in its Le Mans debut, in 1951, and again in 1953.

Jaguar produced a total of 53 C-Types during the three-year period from 1951 through 1953. The D-Type, XK-SS, and ubiquitous E-Type followed, but of all these cars, the C-Type best embodied Jaguar founder William Lyons’s vision of a stalwart roadster built around an inline-6.

The automobile pictured here, serial number XKC026, first belonged to the pulp-fiction writer Alfred Coppel. It is said that racing legend Phil Hill also owned the vehicle at one time and restored it.

This article was originally published in the November 2012 issue of Robb Report. Click here to read more articles from this issue.

Photo by Olivier Staub
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