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JLR C-type Replica Court Case - The First Witness

STOP PRESS (23/03/23): We are exceptionally pleased to say that the Magnussons have won their appeal against the lower Swedish court's decision in favour of JLR with regard to their C-type replica which JLR were insisting they must destroy. Not only have the Magnussons won the case but they have been awarded considerable costs. It is, though, not all good news. It seems that this court accepts JLR have copyright in the C-type design (which they incorrectly credited in its entirety to Malcolm Sayer) and so in theory no-one can now build C-type replicas commercially. The Magnussons won because private use of a copyrighted item is permitted. It seems that the Magnussons have bravely won their battle but the larger community may have lost the war. 

by Philip Porter

Through diligent research by Karl Magnusson, new information has come to light concerning JLR’s three witnesses and the answers they gave in court. 

For those who wish to read the full background story, my previous articles are available here. In brief, JLR took an elderly Swedish couple, Karl Magnusson and his wife, to court for building, with modest commercial pretensions, a C-type replica and won the case. The Magnussons are appealing and that hearing is scheduled for next January.

We will now examine the evidence of Kev Riches, before dealing with the other two witnesses in future issues.

Riches, who was questioned in court, was employed by JLR Classic as Vehicle Engineering Manager. 

The following are extracts from his evidence to the court (as translated by Google so there might be slight inaccuracies but I believe the essential information is correct). In the first extract, Riches is being questioned by JLR’s lawyer and in the second extract by the Magnussons’ lawyer.

Nordenvik: The defendants are also claiming that you are building a replica. Is that correct?

Riches: Well, I am building a kit-car.

Nordenvik: Can you describe what a kit-car is?

Riches: A kit-car is a home-built car which is made of a number of components from different vehicles.

Nordenvik: And do you know if JLR has endorsed the replica market?

Riches: Definitely not.

Nordenvik: Do you know if JLR has given any business permission to create C-type replicas or any replica?

Riches: Not that I am aware of.


Sjöström: So let's return to your own replica car. You mentioned before that you were building a kit-car. Is that a sort of construction kit for a car that is like a C-type car?

Riches: My car is a vehicle that I've built myself, a bespoke vehicle. It is inspired by the C-type but that is really where the definition ends many differences on my car. My car is much more drivable and usable.

Sjöström: So, disregarding the engineering of it, is the car that you have, in terms of appearances, similar to a C-type?

Riches: As I say, it’s inspired [by the C-type] but it's not the same with many different design differences.

Sjöström: Where did you buy the parts for the car from?

Riches: [From] many of the car shows around the UK, most of them secondhand parts.

Sjöström: When you met with Karl Magnusson in March 2016, he claims that you told him that you were building a replica car inspired by the C-type. So, the question is where did you get the body for that car from?

Riches: It’s home built.

Sjöström: So that’s not really an answer to my question but I will ask again. My question is the body of this car, that has been purchased so that you can home build the car, where was the body of the car bought from? Who did deliver that body of the car so that it could be built at home?

Riches: I don’t know how to answer the question. The body is home built. It’s made of aluminum.

The following is an email sent by Kevin Riches to Roger Williams of Suffolk Sportscars in 2015. Roger recently sent it to Karl for use in the appeal hearing. Suffolk went into liquidation in part, it is alleged, due to threats of legal action by JLR.

Suffolk Sportscars
C-type body
C-type body build
Changing the subject somewhat, these photographs have been unearthed of JLR using a C-type replica and a D-type replica at an exhibition in China. No further comment.
C-type at show

Click here for other C-type Replica articles
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Tony Brown - January 13, 2023

Unfortunately I cannot post a photo on this site, but I would like to ask JLR Classic, through these pages, just what they have done with the Peter Jaye C-type replica, 824 DOT? The car was bought and used for clients by JLR Classic but subsequently dismantled and later offered in a dismantled state to a Jaguar specialist who refused to buy because the price was far too high. Subsequently, a little birdie has told me that, due to the Magnusson case JLR could not be owners of a replica themselves, the car was cut up and destroyed. Yet the car appears on the DVLA siite as being in existence and taxed until the end of March. could JLR please provide proof either that this car has been sold and/or proof that it does still exist please?

Jon - December 21, 2022

I find all of this staggering. On top of ‘one of their own’ now obviously building a replica and in the same timeframe contributing to the destruction of the business that made the body, I saw Ecurie Ecosse have released their LM-C this year with no repurcussions whatsoever, which is clearly financially driven to a far greater extent than the passions of the Magnussons.
I have sold my Jaguar, partly because of the behaviour of the dealers and parts divisions here in Australia and partly because of this debacle.

Les. Hughes - December 21, 2022

I and many others around the world are disgusted by the court case brought and won against the Magnussons, which is based on lies and hypocrisy. Kevin Riches’ answers under oath in court amount to nothing short of ‘mis-truths’ which were deliberate and provocative.

Jaguar and Jaguar Classic needs to bow its head in shame. The upset it has caused around the world to many more than Jaguar enthusiasts has brought un-necessary shame upon the Company which it does not need at the time – or any time.

Good luck with the appeal against Jaguar.

Peter Crespin - December 21, 2022

Shame. In court it’s a body ‘inspired by’ the C-Type with ‘many design differences’, yet we all know, as does Kev, that Shapecraft are known for the accuracy of their replicas, or as Kev writes "second to none " in the details.

And neither they, nor Kev, made it at anyone’s home…. I hope he was blushing when in answer to the questions who did he buy it from and who delivered it, he could only reply ‘’…it’s made of aluminum’…" That’s like being asked “Did you sleep at home with your wife last night?” and answering “I don’t now how to answer that question – It didn’t cost me anything and the mattress was made of foam.”

Adrian Cocking - December 21, 2022

On the use of Replicas for shows we were asked to display a D Type and XKSS on Jaguars Stand in the late 80’s at Birminghams Superprix.

Best regards

Adrian Cocking
Realm Engineering (former L.R.Roadsters)

PATRICK WELLS - December 21, 2022

I do not see what the problem is its nice to see these iconic cars as they were back in the day.
It also helps keeping the skills alive required to build them and give enthusiasts a chance to own them.
If they are a replica and not passed on as the real thing what is the problem maybe J.L.R need to trim the price of their replicas like the million £ E.TYPE

James Paterson - December 21, 2022

However did the Octanes magazine judges award JLR first prize for the manufacturers contribution for building their own “replicas” after bullying others out of business, but using parts from all the people who have kept the flame burning over the decades.

Ron Benson - December 21, 2022

If Mr Riches is being economic with the facts is he then not guilty of perjury?

terry mcgrath - December 21, 2022

after this exercise is over and I sincerely hope Jaguar loses this disgraceful exercise that has brought the company into severe disrepute some should write a book on it.
look forward to updates

David Tremayne - December 21, 2022

What about the Proteus C-Type replicas? Chris Willows has one, I believe? What I don’t understand at all about this case is why one C-Type replica is the subject of such a robust court case, when so many others have been built previously?

Am I missing something?

Happy Christmas to all, especially Porter Press and C-Type replica builders!


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