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Stirling Moss in a C-type

C-type Replica Furore

By Philip Porter

As you may have heard, the C-type replica world has been thrown into disarray by recent legal proceedings in Sweden.


The facts, as we understand them, are that a gentleman called Karl Magnusson spent several years building himself a C-type replica. During that time, he was in contact with Jaguar Classic and even came over to the UK to make a presentation to senior persons and discuss collaboration. During the project, he considered building two more examples to help the cost of his own example. Jaguar claimed in court that he was going to build six. Magnusson states the agent used some creative thinking and, without consultation, increased the number to six.

C-type image

After failing for several years to object to Mr. Magnusson's project, Jaguar Classic then appeared to change their attitude and took Mr Magnusson, a long term Jaguar enthusiast and honorary member of the Swedish Jaguar club to court, winning the case. Mr Magnusson, who has had to sell his little collection of Jaguars to finance his defence, is faced with having to pay JLR’s £450,000 legal costs, which would cause him to lose his home, and destroy the car. A fundraising GoFundMe page has been initiated and people around the world are contributing large and small sums to finance his appeal.

Although companies and individuals have been constructing C-type replicas for 45 years (I was lent one by Aubrey Finburgh, the long term owner of a genuine car, to go on a Swiss tour in 1986), Jaguar are claiming the IP rights in the design of the C-type and currently issuing ‘cease and desist’ orders to all companies involved in the manufacture of C-type replicas, including, it is alleged, their suppliers. Some of those companies actually supply Jaguar Classic to enable them to build their own replicas. It is also alleged that several senior employees of Jaguar Classic have built their own C-type replicas.

In the legal documents, Magnusson is accused of using the C-type trademark. This model name was not actually the factory designation for the car. They were always referred to in period company documentation as the XK 120C. It has long been believed, and stated in print, that 'C-type' was first coined by motoring journalist, Harold Hastings (from memory). It has been used by many replica constructors and by dealers selling examples for several decades. 

Photo of a C-type

Jaguar did use, and may still use, a C-type and D-type replica for their commercial Driving Experience operation, launched several years ago. The implication was they were genuine cars but they were in fact replicas purchased from Dr James Hull. When pointedly questioned by me at the press launch, it was admitted by one of the retained race instructors that they were indeed replicas.

It was stated by Jaguar’s lawyers that 'even Jaguar's drawings have been used' by Mr. Magnusson. Jaguar have supplied drawings to many companies and individuals over several decades to assist such people to build replicas. A number of well-known players have confirmed this to be the case and are willing to state so publicly.

It is stated that replicas are eligible for the Classic Challenge race series, promoted and sponsored by JLR. Regulations for 2021 were updated on the 28th of January this year, still stating this.

Jaguar enthusiasts worldwide are up in arms, with a number of high profile collectors, business owners, writers and enthusiasts coming out in support of the Magnussons.  

Click here for an update on this article. 


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Claes M - February 22, 2021

Do they really have a case while the name C-type is not the correct name of the vehicle in question? This “car company” has absolutely nothing in common with the Car Company from the 1950 ies. Did they really specifically buy the rights and IP of the XK120C and the name C-type? I am in doubt.

Bob McKay - February 22, 2021

As the custodian of 11 Jaguars in my collection of classic cars and a Range Rover ‘daily driver’, I am absolutely appalled by this action taken by JLR, in particular, picking on an individual family man with limited resources allowing him to defend himself. Shame, Shame, Shame!!!

Chris Mann - February 20, 2021

As the long-term owner of examples of both Jaguar and Ferrari, over recent years I have been singularly unimpressed by the latter’s aggressive policy regarding replicas, finding Jaguar’s (hitherto) much more flexible approach a far better reflection of that company’s values,
I was horrified, therefore, to read Philip Porter’s piece on the travails of Karl Magnussen and the appalling behaviour of JLR and its legal team. I assume their heavy handed approach is not unconnected with the creation of its Classic Works operation and the construction of ‘’manufacturer approved continuation’ models (calling, ironically, upon the amazing skills and resources of the independent classic car industry that they now seem set on destroying). Their passionless products seem aimed at a ‘super rich’ demographic which wants to buy into the kudos and ‘lifestyle’ of benefits of high-end’ classic car ownership without the hassle.
Sadly, few senior executives currently employed by the major VM’s are ‘car people’ but ambitious corporates climbing the greasy pole of so-called success. They care nothing for the history of their respective marques themselves, restricting or refusing access to company archives and creating insuperable barriers to motoring researchers (like Philip Porter) whose efforts have, over the years, played in integral part in creating the iconic status of marques such as Jaguar and upon which their brand values depend. They are, in the words of Oscar Wilde ‘people who know the price of everything and the value of nothing’.
My own book, Maserati, the Family Silver, written by the great Nigel Trow, was the result of fourteen years research by Nigel and made possible by the totally free access to Maserati company and family files he had enjoyed over the years.
Shortly after the launch of Maserati, the Family Silver in 2016 I was in Italy talking to fellow publisher Georgio Nada who had been commissioned by Maserati to produce a coffee-table book to celebrate the marque’s centenary. ‘Nigel Trow was lucky researching his book when he did’ Nada told me ‘I was commissioned by Maserati to produce their centenary book but it was virtually impossible for me to get access to their archives, its madness’.
No wonder so many of the long-established motoring book publishers have given up the struggle. We should be thankful to Philip and Porter Press for continuing to produce ‘proper’ high quality specialist automotive books, driven by knowledge, passion and respect for history, not know-nothing bean-counters. Keep up the good work Philip!

dr Fredrik B Knutsen - February 20, 2021

Another life-long Jaguar enthusiast here, ever since my Dad came back from Le Mans in 1955, telling me about Hawthorn, Bueb and the wonderful D-type. Saw my first replica D-type at the London Racing Car Show in 1975, and decided I would have one some time…now, with a restored 3.8 Mk 2 in my garage, I am looking for a C-type or D-type replica. I have looked very closely – and admiringly – at the Suffolk replicas, and visited their workshops. Now they have been driven out of business by this despicable initiative by the Jaguar company. There is no way I could justify – or afford! – one of the Jaguar-built replicas, which are to be sold at roughly five times the price of a Suffolk C-type. And as for my next new family car, I shall not now visit a Jaguar showroom…
Jaguars have shot themselves on the foot with a tactical missile over this business. It is surely a major mistake on their part.
I wonder what Lofty would have thought…

Angela Collins - February 19, 2021

This is an outrage. If Jaguar get away with this bullying of replica car enthusiasts it will be the end for a lot of currently viable businesses that have supported and been supported by, Jag over the years. How can it suddenly be be illegal to make a replica car??? It makes no sense at all. The problem is that Jag ( now Tata industries) are huge and rich …. and car replica companies are run by small numbers of enthusiasts … David a nod Goliath for real !!! They have justice on their side but need help 😳

John Edward Parker - February 19, 2021

Could this action by Jaguar Classic have anything to do with their plans to built a further 6 C-types themselves?

Russ Parker - February 19, 2021

Maybe JLR have a right to be arrogant, but it’s certainly not “becoming”.
Like many, I’ve been a Jaguar enthusiast since childhood and Jaguar owner in adulthood. I have witnessed several C-Type and D-Type replicas… with each one making me smile rather broadly!
In my opinion JLR should be encouraging the construction of quality replicas and NOT the opposite.

Jeff WIlliams - February 19, 2021

Could go on and on about this but will just say I am not happy will JLR’’ attitude on replicated cars. Can’t see the point in it all and the damage they are doing to themselves. Now when I look at my four cars in my garages, it’s not quite the same feeling I used to get, a real shame Jaguar.
Jeff Williams. New Zealand.

Richard Biddulph - February 19, 2021

A classic case of a major manufacturer both shooting themselves in the foot whilst at the same time cutting off their nose to spite their face. This from a company about to go all electric would you believe. I clearly see the hall marks of some trouble stirring corporate lawyers trying to justify their exorbitant salaries whilst alienating die hard Jaguar true aficionados from ever setting foot (not the shot one) in a Jaguar dealership any time again.

Bravo Chaps. You are excelling yourself.

Neville - February 19, 2021

Utterly despicable actions by Jaguar towards one of many who have celebrated Jaguar’s heritage with their cars over the years.

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