The big news story in the world of specialist car production in the UK for 2007 was the take -over of Proteus Cars by the highly acclaimed rival sports car manufacturer Enduro Cars. With a complete management team changeover and location, Matt Beverley and Jayne Goddard lead a highly professional team producing, for now, the iconic Jaguar XK 120 C (more commonly known as the ‘C Type’ Jag.) Future plans include production of: D-Type, Light Weight E , C-Type Coupe, Aston Martin DB3S, SS100, XKSS so the new team of managers is going to be bringing some exciting machinery forward. But the C Type is at the heart of the range – popular as it is with all Jaguar sports enthusiasts.

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, the Caribbean and the Middle East. Chris Beddows, the newly appointed Proteus Marketing Coordinator, is looking after this export campaign and the establishment of a sales drive.

Mechanically, the C Type used the running gear of the contemporary XK120 sports car (the C in the official XK120-C name stands for ‘competition’). The twin-cam, straight-6 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 enthusiasm of Matt Beverley and Jayne Goddard is infectious and anyone on a factory tour is left in no doubt as to the Proteus priorities: “We only build fully finished aluminum cars carrying 60,000/5 year warranties. We are currently supplying orders of approximately 150 cars a year but are preparing for an influx of further orders as the word spreads across the USA. Being based in the midlands – the heart of the automotive industry – we manufacture everything in house and use state of the art technology to form our high strength aluminium bodies.” Jayne chimes in to remind visitors of the Proteus

excellent after sales and product support, comprehensive optional extra listing as well as the current drive to establish a world wide dealer and service network. One of our unusual management features is the position held by Jayne Goddard – how many other Car Manufacturing Companies have a woman at the helm?

The Jaguar C-Type won the Le Mans 24 hours race at its first attempt in 1951, driven by Peter Walker and Peter Whitehead. 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 {160 km/h} (105.85 mph {170.34 km/h}, to be precise).

When new, the car sold for approximately $6,000 – approximately twice the price of an XK120. In an article in the June 11, 2003 issue of Autocar magazine (“Slick Cat Jaguar”, p.70) the value of a “genuine, healthy” C-Type is estimated as £400,000, and the value of the 1953 Le Mans winner which is owned by Adrian Hamilton (son of winner Duncan Hamilton) is circa £2 million (but not for sale) while replicas are available from a variety of sources – the best being the Proteus out of UK.

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