Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Christian Jenny spent five years proving his rare 1952 C-Type was authentic, after another car showed up on the market claiming to have the same identification number.

Because the value of old rare cars is skyrocketing, some people are making fake cars to cash in.

An example of the value's of old cars being the best investment around?

A 1955 Aston Martin DB2/4 that was sold by Bonhams in 2003, and unchanged in 2011 for more than four times the price paid in 2003, said James Knight, head of the auction house's motoring department. That's investment done right. 8 years and quadruple your money.

How far will people go to make a forgery? Buying an old French movie theater to acquire the antique and worn leather seats, to sell to people requiring vintage leather aged and perfectly suited to a 1930's or 40's car.

So, why is this specific car worth so much effort?

For years, this was the only C-type whose fate was not known. A car which never raced at Le Mans, nor was never driven by one the legends of the time; it was the only one of those production cars sold to customers in North America

With a production run of only 53 cars, the C-Type is without a doubt one of the rarest Jaguar models ever built; even when compared to the 87 D-Types built between 1954 and 1957 including the 16 converted XKSS.

The importance of the C-Type racing history with the first Le Mans wins bringing Jaguar into the spotlight of international motor racing means that nearly all of them have been accounted for. Some through the research of Jaguar Cars but also thanks to the efforts of individuals passionate about Jaguar's history. One of them is Terry Larson, a well known collector and restorer, who not only maintains the C and D-Type registries but is also a true enthusiast who love these cars and what they represent.

This car was exported to Seattle, and got a ticket when in transit from the ship to the dealership.

It was bought and raced by Hollywood screenwriter and producer Jack Douglas, who rolled it in July 1955 on some hay bales at Torrey Pines (right here in San Diego county) and sold it to his mechanic in Jan '56. Douglas bought a D-type to go racing, and soon, was racing against the C-type he'd just sold, and lost. It's new driver's first race with it, at Santa Barbara, and he beats the old owner in his new Jag. How? Hot rod tricks like welding the spider gears for better traction out of turns and installing Hilborn fuel injection.

He sold it, was drafted, and the car was traded and sold several times in quick succession, ending up with the guy who painted a garage, then he traded it for work on his painting truck. It then ended up in a couple races, but not all by the new owner. He moved around and left the car in his parents garage, and his nephew took it racing, without permission.

the barn it resided in for a couple decades

After all this racing, and moving, the original body was wrecked and replaced with a Fiberglass Devin body, and the frame numbers were hidden under that. Meanwhile the coveted XKC 023 number had found its way on three separate cars. The original heads had been removed at the original dealership who replaced them with performance heads, and the original body had been bought to use on a factory spare chassis, so the original grille, instrument panel, door and body tags were on that car.

Getting back to the chassis, it was reunited with many of those parts when the spares car was bought to reunite the grille, instrument panel, door and body tags with the chassis - engine, suspension, brakes, rear axle, frame etc.

In the later stages of the restoration XKC 023 would receive yet another seal of approval when Norman Dewis reviewed the restoration work and even signed it off on the fuel tank with the mention "Inspected and passed by Norman Dewis."  As the former head of Jaguar experimental department and chief tester, Dewis had inspected and test driven the car on Nov. 3rd 1952 in Coventry before it was exported to the US.

It was recently at the 2016 Villa de'Este


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