► A 156mph piece of nostalgia
► Seven new recreation Jag C-types
► Only mildly tweaked
Thanks to the Gothic Revival we have the wonderful St Pancras station, and over the past few years there has been another revival, but in 1950s and 1960s automotive design: Eagle gave us the Low Drag GT and Aston Martin graced us with the stunning DB4 GT Continuation, as merely two examples. Now we’re blessed another one from Ecurie Ecosse.
Fair question. Ecurie Ecosse is a Scottish racing team that had considerable underdog success in the 1950s. The standout achievements were winning the 1956 and 1957 24 Hours of Le Mans, which they did in Jaguar D-types.
Where the C-type weaves into the story is in the early '50s. Ecurie Ecosse in their moody, mid-blue C-types, racked up 59 podium places with the seven C-type chassis they raced, including the 1952 Jersey Road Race that gave Ecurie Ecosse its first international win.
Are these just replicas?
The new Ecurie Ecosse C-types sit between replica and restomod. Seventy years down the line Ecurie Ecosse is honouring its on-track C-type success. It hasn’t baked a special cake, but has gone the whole nine yards and is building sister cars to each of the original seven it raced. ‘How better to celebrate the historic success of the Ecurie Ecosse C-types than to manufacture a batch of cars in their honour?’ said Ecurie Ecosse 'patron' Alasdair McCaig.
They still have the handbuilt aluminium alloy bodywork draped over a steel spaceframe chassis, albeit a little wider and stiffer than the originals. The straight-six engine has swollen from 3.4 in the original to 4.2 litres in the sister cars, and is linked to a five-speed gearbox. Mercifully, the engine will have fuel injection and a healthy serving of 300bhp.
We have reached a crazy point in the 21st century power race, so 300 almost sounds paltry. However, the Ecurie Ecosse C-type weighs a mere 998kg, which is even less than the wee Mazda MX-5. As a result, it’ll do 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds and top out at 156mph.
Underneath, there are uprated disc brakes and tweaked suspension. Inside, it's all hand-stitched this and hand-crafted that; to top it off there is a brace of Tag Heuer Master Time stopwatches on the dashboard. Naturally. Price? Ecurie Ecosse isn’t ready to spill on that yet.
It’s meant as fun for the super wealthy, who tend to take things rather seriously. If you ever see one of the seven on the road, expect much tweed and leather to adorn the driver.
In the midst of the current EV evolution, we do wonder how many more of these revival machines we will see with petrol engines.