Jaguar C-type - The Autobiography of XKC 051
Great Cars Series number 9 - by Chas Parker & Philip Porter
This glorious book tells the story of the celebrated lightweight Jaguar C-type, chassis number XKC 051, that Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt drove to victory in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours. The car went on to have a busy post-works racing career, first with Ecurie Ecosse, then with privateer drivers Bill Smith and Geoffrey Allison. Among its small number of collector custodians in later years, the names of Briggs Cunningham and Adrian Hamilton (son of Duncan) stand out. All this is covered in fascinating detail, supported by a fine collection of period photographs. Any Jaguar enthusiast will enjoy this addition to the ‘Great Cars’ series.
• Development of the C-type, focusing on the three lightweights of 1953 with thinner-gauge aluminium bodies, pioneering disc brakes and aircraft-style fuel tanks.
• The story of the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours told in full, with extensive illustration and behind-the-scenes insights drawn from period interviews with many participants.
• Action with Ecurie Ecosse in 1954 and early 1955, taking in 13 race meetings with drivers such as Ninian Sanderson, Peter Walker, James Scott-Douglas and Desmond Titterington.
• The privateer racing period: Bill Smith in 1955, the car repainted red, until his death while racing another of his cars; Geoffrey Allison in 1956, the car repainted white.
• Later life, first in America, where notable racer and collector Briggs Cunningham was the owner for 18 years, followed by a return to the UK in the hands of Adrian Hamilton (Duncan’s son) for over 20 years.
• Nearly 300 period images, many previously unpublished, supported by a portfolio of studio photography.