Back in the ’50s, Jaguar was the company to beat at Le Mans. Between the C-Type and the later 1954-1957 Jaguar D-Type, no other manufacturer took home as many wins as Jaguar during the ’50s, and even the mighty Mercedes-Benz 300SL only got one win. That’s because, as is often the case, Jaguar had a technological advantage that started with the debut of the XK120. For a car built so soon after WWII, it was highly advanced, and so Jaguar’s competition version of the car, the C-Type, won Le Mans the first year it raced there.

In the video, we get to see a C-Type that is going up for auction soon, and hear some of its history from David Swig, car specialist for RM Auctions. This is a 1953 model, a works lightweight, and it is a bit different than the original 1951 cars. That’s because that win by Mercedes in 1952 forced Jaguar to makes some changes in order to stay competitive. Those changes worked, and one of these 1953 works lightweights won again that year. From there, Jaguar developed the D-Type that took three Le Mans wins in a row.

Prices on C-Types vary quite a bit, but none of them are cheap. They tend to start at about $600,000 and will go up just over $3 million if it’s one of the two that won Le Mans. This car did not win, but it did come in 4th in 1953, and that makes it more valuable than most. RM Auctions hasn’t posted an official value estimate, but it will likely be in the upper end of the price range. And like all Petrolicious videos, this one is worth watching even if you don’t plan on buying the car.

Jacob Joseph
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