CMC Jaguar C-Type - 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours - #20 1:18 (CMC194)
CMC 1:18 diecast model of the #20 Jaguar C-Type as driven by Roger Laurent and Charles de Tornaco in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours.
For the 1953 running of the 24 Hour Le Mans event, Jaguar wanted a back-up for the three-car factory team. Ecurie Francorchamps was founded in 1952 by Jacques Swaters. William Lyons was impressed with the way the team organised itself, and so decided that they would run a fourth car in the race.
The car, which was little more than a standard, over-the-counter C-Type, finished the race in ninth position, an impressive result. So much so that Lyons despatched the team to complete the remaining races of the season in Spa and the Nurburgring.
At the end of the season, chassis XKC 047 went back to Coventry for a new engine, Weber carbs, and the revised suspension of the factory lightweight cars. It was eventually passed to Dunlop as a test and development vehicle. It raced until 1959, and in 1963 it was acquired by Guy Griffith. Griffith paid £635 for the car, and used it for track days and hill climbs. It remained in the family for more than 50 years until it was sold at auction in 2016 after Guy passed away. It fetched almost £6 million. A mere 1000 examples of this version will be produced.
Obviously, as you’d expect, the doors and bonnet open, but not like they do on your average 1:18 model. On the Jaguar, the hinge mechanisms are simply scaled-down versions of those on the real car. The engine, of course, is faithfully reproduced, as is the exhaust system, the cooling system and the fuel and oil piping.
The front axle and suspension are made from metal. So is the rear axle, roll bar, longitudinal torsion-bar suspension, and so on. The hand-made radiator is fashioned from stainless steel. And both the fuel and oil-filler caps hinge just as they do on the real car. The wheels are perfectly crafted with stainless steel spokes and nipples on alloy rims. The wheels are held in place with threaded locking nuts. The interior is trimmed in genuine leather.
Nobody in the model business comes close to being able to incorporate this level of detail into their replicas. We’ve been saying this for a number of years, but we still think that, for what they offer, CMC’s subjects are the best value models in the business.
They take attention to detail, verisimilitude and craftmanship to a totally new level. Most 1:18 replicas, these days, are made from 100 parts or less. The most detailed might consist of 200 parts. CMC tell us that it takes more than six hours of an experienced model maker’s time to put together the C-Type’s required 1,555 parts.
We’re not suggesting a CMC replica is cheap. Clearly their models are relatively expensive, and beyond the reach of many collectors. But what CMC offers for the money is still unbelievable. We firmly contend that in the years to come, when CMC has stopped making models, their replicas will be heralded as masterpieces of a bygone era. Like a Vacheron Constantin clock or a Chippendale drawing-room desk. Whether you’re a classic car fan, a model collector, or just somebody with an eye for an investment, you’ll never regret becoming the owner of one of CMC’s miniature masterpieces.