Leading the threesome is a 1991 Works Lightweight C-Type Replica, a faithful tribute to the 1953 Le Mans winning C-Type, one of only three Works Lightweight C-Types ever built.
XKC 051 was driven to victory by the Boys’ Own duo of Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt, respectively a former RAF pilot and Colditz alumnus, at an average speed of 108.85mph, despite their alleged all-night pre-race drinking binge, prompted by their mistaken belief that they had been disqualified.
Engineer and Jaguar enthusiast Roy Swann encountered the famous C-Type in the 1980s in the Bagshot showroom of Duncan Hamilton and fell in love with it. However, not having the necessary £600,000 to buy it, he was inspired to create his own replica, which was hand-built by Le Mans Sports Cars.
A second tribute to a Le Mans legend is the 1960 Jaguar Lynx D-Type, based upon XKD 505 in which ‘Golden Boy’ Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb took the chequered flag at the Circuit de la Sathe in 1955 – a bittersweet victory overshadowed by the tragic crash which killed driver Pierre Bouillin and 83 spectators.
The D-Type was an out and out racing car compared to the more usable, all-rounder C-Type, built on an aerodynamic aluminium monocoque tub rather than tubular chassis, with its distinctive ‘shark fin’. Powered by 250bhp 3.4-litre straight-6 engine delivering a top speed of 190mph the D-Type went on to win the next two Le Mans races.
This hand-built Lynx replica was assembled to the highest standards by expert craftsmen and is cosmetically and mechanically an impressively faithful recreation of the D-Type in most respects but has a more powerful 3.8 straight-6 engine and a fibreglass fin and rear section.
Roy Swann bought the car in 1995 from John Markey, racing driver and expert C and D-Type replica constructor, who in turn had bought the Lynx as a kit, with the registration donated by a 1960 Jaguar 240 saloon. It has covered circa 3,700 miles in total and requires recommissioning. Its estimate is also £120,000 – 180,000 – a far cry from the £16 million last paid for an original D-Type.
Alongside the recreation in the Stoke-on-Trent workshop was the original, serving as a template and reference point. The replica even has parallel vertical ribs running down the rear section, fitted onto the original after a 1953 track test to damp down shuttle shake, and its 3.4-litre straight six Weber twin carb engine was tuned from new to match the performance of the 1953 original.
Where the two differ is their price tags - the value of the original being circa £6 million, while the estimate of this car is £120,000 – 180,000 - and mileage, this example having covered fewer than 1,250 miles.