This is what 3,000 hours of craftsmanship look like.
If you're looking for a rapid drop-top with good looks and a V8 rumble, you could do a lot worse than the Jaguar F-Type R Convertible. The $111,200 sports car is one of the few models in Coventry's lineup that hark back to the celebrated cars of the 20th century, such as the E-Type and the legendary C-Type race car.
Those looking to relive the golden era of British motoring can easily get their hands on an E-Type. With more than 18,000 made, many good examples are waiting to be snapped up. It's a different story with the C-Type, though. Just 53 were made and, when up for sale, they demand big bucks. One was recently estimated to sell for around $5.5 million at auction last year.
But there's a solution. To commemorate 70 years of the C-Type, Jaguar's Classic Works decided to build brand-new examples of the famed racer. After months of waiting, the first customer model is ready to be delivered.
Finished in an elegant Pastel Green with Suede Green leather seats, the first-ever customer example is said to be inspired by the C-Type that clinched top honors at the grueling 1952 Reims Grand Prix. The sleek Jaguar would go on to dominate motorsport events in the '50s, including Le Mans.
This isn't just a good-looking replica. Jaguar has gone to great lengths to ensure the modern recreations are the spitting image of the originals; CAD modeling allows Coventry's craftsmen to build the C-Types using the same techniques applied back in the day, to honor the C-Type's legacy.
What's more, these Continuation models are approved by the FIA, making them eligible for various motorsport events, such as the Jaguar Classic Challenge. Like the original, Continuation C-Types utilize a disc brake setup and are powered by a delightful-sounding 3.4-liter inline-six with 220 horsepower. Each car reportedly takes 3,000 hours to produce and goes through at least 250 miles of endurance testing to ensure it can withstand spirited driving.
"We've combined original drawings, modern CAD techniques, and 3,000 hours of skill and attention to produce our first hand-built C-type, noting a historic landmark moment for Jaguar Classic...Each C-type offers an authentic driving experience for customers starting even from the car's distinctive starting procedure, that our team was determined to get exactly right," said Jaguar's David Foster.
A neat touch is the personalization choices on offer. Lucky customers can select from 12 exterior colors, like the Pastel Green seen above, or a more traditional hue such as British Racing Green. Furthermore, the interior can also be specified to the client's needs, with a range of eight leather choices up for grabs.
In recent years, a hankering for cherished classics has seen a surfeit of companies offering recreations and restomods. Aston Martin did something similar recently but, instead of looking to its motorsport history for inspiration, it drew inspiration from the silver screen. The result is the gorgeous DB5 Goldfinger Continuation car, a must-have for monied Bond lovers.