CMC Jaguar C-Type - 1st 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours - #18 1:18 (CMC195)
CMC 1:18 diecast model of the #18 Jaguar C-Type as driven to victory by Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton in the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours.
Jaguar had won at Le Mans with the C-Type in 1951 at their first attempt. But their return in 1952 had been a total failure. And so, for the 1953 running of the race, the team’s preparations were fastidious.
After the retirement of the whole factory team in 1952, all four cars were returned to Coventry, to be rebuilt for the coming season. The engines were rebuilt, and re-equipped with Weber 40DC03 carburettors. New bodies were fashioned from thin aluminium sheet and, to save weight, a rubber petrol tank replaced the aluminium one; a development borrowed from the aircraft industry. 1953 also saw the first use of disc brakes at Le Mans whilst, for improved road holding, the C-Type’s rear axle got additional support and a stronger anti-roll bar.
Jaguar dominated proceedings that year, coming home in first, second and fourth places. At the end of the race, William Lyons dedicated the team’s triumph to the recently crowned Queen Elizabeth. In the spring of 1956, he became Sir William Lyons. CMC has limited this 1:18 replica to just 1500 pieces worldwide.
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.