Scottish racing team Ecurie Ecosse is to build a new car that pays homage to the Jaguar C-Type which debuted almost 70 years ago and has become a racing icon.
In 1952, a young Ian Stewart, pioneer driver for Ecurie Ecosse, would visit Jaguar Cars in Coventry to collect his brand-new C-Type. He then drove the car to its first race on Jersey to confront stiff competition from Aston Martin and Frazer Nash.
C stood for ‘competition’ and he won the race at a gallop. In doing so, Stewart opened the first chapter in Ecurie’s international motor racing career.
Considerable success on the racetrack ensued for Ecurie, their trophy cabinet bursting at the seams with 59 podium places secured across the seven C-Type chassis raced by the team.
Through clever tuning by legendary team manager ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson and meticulous planning by founder David Murray, they proved how capable the C-Type could be on the international stage and began a legacy that would take the Scottish national team to countless wins, including their crowning glory at La Sarthe.
A total of just 53 C-Types were built between 1951 and 1953, most of which were sold to private owners and are now incredibly rare. The competition versions were raced by drivers like Sir Stirling Moss and Peter Walker.
Now Ecurie has created a new car to pay homage to their past success in the C-Type. Spokesman, Alasdair McCaig told C&S: “How better to celebrate the historic success of the Ecurie Ecosse C-types than to manufacture a batch of cars in their honour? The seven priceless chassis we raced in period still exist today, coveted by their lucky owners, occasionally seeing the light of day for race or concours events.
“We are paying homage to these cars by creating a numbered sister car to each one. Meticulous in their detail, like their forebears, hand-built in Coventry and tuned by Ecurie technicians.”
Ecurie has retained all the key elements that contributed to the roaring success of the 1950s Jaguar racer while, in the true spirit of co-founder ‘Wilkie’ Wilkinson, making considered improvements.
The aerodynamic shape remains, still crafted from thin-gauge aluminium alloy and mounted to a steel spaceframe chassis, but wider and stiffer than before, laser-cut for accuracy. The sonorous Jaguar straight-six XK engine remains too, although capacity has been increased to 4.2 litres and fuel injection fitted to bring power up to 300bhp.