C-type Replica Furore
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.
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.
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.