“If you had told me when I was 16 years old that someone would throw me the keys to their works Lightweight Le Mans Jaguar C-Type, I would have told you that you were absolutely crazy…but that’s exactly what happened,” says David Swig, an RM Sotheby’s car specialist.
This 1953 Jaguar C-Type Works finished fourth overall at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1953, and is the second of only three “Works Lightweight” cars built by Jaguar.
To be offered by RM Sotheby’s at the company’s Monterey sale in August, Swig recently had the opportunity to take the car out to gather some on-road driving impressions.
“No less than five Le Mans-winning drivers of this period have sat behind the wheel of this car,” Swig says, “which almost give you goosebumps.”
“What I love about these cars is how communicative they are on the road,” he says. “How when you’re going through a corner, you feel in the seat of your pants and through the steering wheel every little movement, every little pebble that you drive over.”
“The exhaust note is one that makes you just want to rev it and rev it,” he says.
This car is very much a piece of history, and even though it featured groundbreaking technology like four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes and lightweight aluminum bodywork, it’s still a usable, drivable classic even today.