The factory had one more trick up its sleeve for the C-Type. Malcolm Sayer came in once more in 1953 to do a new body for a record car, a car that turned out to be the 54th and last C-Type ever built. With the slick record body and a plastic canopy on it, the so-called C-Type Series II went back to Jabbeke, Belgium, and with test driver Norman Dewis in the saddle, cracked off a run of 179.817 mph. And that was it. Jaguar's competition department turned its entire attention to the D-Type, which would go to Le Mans, kick ass and take names in 1955, 1956 and 1957.
The absolutely glorious restoration you see here is chassis XKC 014, sent from the factory on October 7, 1952, in cream with a green suede interior to Max Hoffman in New York, who sold it to the fortunate Mr. John Rutherford (not Johnny Rutherford the USAC/CART driver). Rutherford ran it at Daytona Speed Week, hitting 134.07 mph with it on the sand.
A lunatic we will not name bought the car in 1960, ripped the engine out and put in a Plymouth Valiant Slant Six engine, Buick brakes and a Borg-Warner transmission, and raced it for years. It was sold on to a third owner for $2,000 during the late '60s and sold back across the pond to a German named Burkhard von Schenk. Von Schenk had it restored in England by Peter Jaye and RS Panels, and after some time it was transferred to its new owner in Connecticut, racer and racing school impresario Skip Barber, who has shown it frequently since he's owned it. Was there ever a more beautiful British race car than this?
Thanks to the late historian Andrew Whyte and to Terry Lawson, without whose exhaustive research and his new book, "The C-Type Register," I couldn't have done this story. To get your copy, contact Terry Lawson at (480) 984-8501 or firstname.lastname@example.org.