1965 JAGUAR C-TYPE BY PROTEUS
Registration Number: CHG 635C
Chassis Number: 1B54867DN/CC2121
Recorded Mileage: See description
- All-aluminium single-door period Le Mans chassis by Proteus
- 3.4 litre Jaguar engine with triple Weber carburettors
- Running in mileage only since completion
Where else to start but with legendary test driver Norman Dewis. Whilst testing a C-Type for The Motor, he summed the new model up thus:
"Within a very few hours of first acquaintance, the experienced driver feels well able to travel at speeds in excess of 120mph whenever the road traffic conditions render such motoring prudent…as the speed climbs beyond the 130 mark, the car does tend to feel a little light, but the curious sense of becoming faintly airborne is offset by no loss whatever in directional controls. At such speed there is no shake or even tremble in the body nor is there anything to indicate that much higher speeds would not feel equally safe to the occupants in the car. The driving of the Jaguar XK120C on the motor roads of Europe is in fact a great and memorable experience."
Built in a remarkably short space of time, the first ever competition model from Jaguar, the C-type brought the firm international recognition in motor racing. Following Leslie Johnson’s impressive outing at the 1950 Le Mans in an XK120 S, management approved the development of a new racing model based on the XK, initially named the XK 120 C, the model was later known as the C-Type. The new model started with an all-new lightweight tubular space frame, redesigned rear suspension and an upgraded 3.4-litre engine with a new cylinder head, high-lift camshafts, racing pistons and a side-exit dual exhaust system. Stylist Malcolm Sayers designed the wonderful coachwork with the classic elliptical grill.
Three factory C-Types were entered into Le Mans in 1951, two retiring early but Peter Walker’s and Peter Whitehead’s car pressed on for victory, becoming the first British car to win Le Mans in almost 20 years. Duncan Hamilton returned in 1953 in his Weber-carburetor fed “Lightweight” to win again, meanwhile Jaguar built a further 40 or so customer cars. Rare, beautiful and historically significant, the C-Type was a true watershed moment in the evolution of post-war racing sports cars.
Unsurprisingly there remains a healthy level of interest in authentic replicas of this rare and exotic racer. Originally named ‘Copycat’, Proteus was founded in 1980 by architect Jim Marland, the company being re-named as Proteus in 1983. Over the years Proteus developed a reputation for building some of the finest Jaguar C-Type recreations available, ultimately focusing entirely on the production of this vehicle. In true Jaguar XK120-C tradition, the Proteus features a tubular chassis with a lightweight aluminium body, period Jaguar engine and drivetrain, and authentic period design details such as the leather bonnet straps, original-style dials, wire wheels on spinners and a Le-Mans style fuel filler. The Proteus was always supremely quick, with a quoted 260 BHP, and was capable of reaching 0-60 in a shade over five seconds. Each car was built to customer specifications, with various options for colour and trim. Only around twenty cars were built each year, making the Proteus C-type both rare and desirable.
The build of this fabulous Proteus C-Type started over 20 years ago, the basis being frame number CC2121, an earlier Proteus C-Type replica chassis, with a lightweight all-aluminium single door “Le Mans” body and vented bonnet. The former owner, a prominent historic racer and collector, and custodian of a genuine factory C-Type, was exacting in his requirements for this pet project. In addition to its lightweight body, our car features a 3.4 litre XK engine with period-correct triple Weber carburettors, a four-speed gearbox with overdrive, live rear axle, 16” wire wheels and disc brakes on each corner. Early in the build the owner was dissatisfied with the fit and shape of the bonnet supplied, and so commissioned a brand new aluminium bonnet by CMC of Bridgenorth, complete with authentic Le Mans 1953 scoop to feed its thirsty Webers.
The car was actually completed in the early 2000s, but was subsequently dry stored for some years before being recently recommissioned in preparation for road use.
This wonderful example presents very nicely with only the slightest evidence of road use and age. The paint shows an excellent finish throughout, capturing the fluidity of the undulating lines as achieved over 70 years ago. The construction of the body panels is exceptional, with excellent fit and finish, authentic and attractive exterior trim and lighting, a properly nested side exhaust, clear headlight covers, and correctly painted wire wheels. The aircraft-inspired cockpit is focused, purposeful and engaging, the low windscreen and additional aero-screens effectively transport you back to this golden era of motor racing. Climbing in creates a sense of racing heritage and purposeful features; neatly clustered instruments sit behind an attractive wooden steering wheel. The authentic green leather seats sit neatly in the cockpit, revealing just a few painted frame tubes, a reminder of the C-Type’s racing heritage. Under the bonnet, the engine features prominently with its Weber carburettors, a handmade aluminium airbox, polished cam covers and tubular exhaust manifolds.
Finished in a correct shade of Jaguar racing green, this is a highly accurate replica of the original 1953 winner, finished to an exceptional standard and with only a handful of shakedown miles since completion. The C-Type is supplied with invoices totalling over £40,000 for its build, with much work in period by specialist Legends Racing of Cheltenham (is in addition to the initial cost of the base Proteus chassis/body and donor engine, transmission and drivetrain). The car has been serviced in September 2022 to ensure proper operation and driveability, and fitted with a new starter motor, fuel pumps and lines, attention to the suspension, carburation and running, and new Blockley tyres on each corner.
A masterpiece of automotive design and racing excellence, the Jaguar C-Type is a car only a few in the world can truly aspire to. This highly authentic replica offers the enthusiast to live the 1950s Le Mans dream in what is effectively a barely run-in example of the marque. This super C-Type will be supplied with UK V5C, new MOT certificate and file of invoices detailing its older build and recent expenditure.
Fees apply to the hammer price:
Room and Absentee Bids:
12% inc VAT*
Online and Autobids:
13.2% inc VAT*