1952 Jaguar C type - the Kettle Cars

Author
Discussion

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
In 1952 Jaguar clothed the C type in a completely different body but they hadn't properly carried out their study and each car retired through overheating. I am currently carrying out a feasability study of recreating one of these cars since it is hoped that, with modern technology, we can overcome the heating problems. Jaguar scrapped the bodies and replaced them with standard bodywork and the factory don't even have any of the original plans even. They are called the Kettle Cars because of all things the body design was done by a chap called Roy Kettle! If any one can help me with photos or basically anything on these cars it would be of great assistance. If we can do it, she'll be the only one in the world! Here's hoping.





Edited by lowdrag on Sunday 27th May 11:14

Pistuphead

1,278 posts

145 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
Lowdrag bow You are a legend

Freddie von Rost

1,978 posts

151 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
Interesting idea. What donor car will you use? XK, Mark 1-2 or E Type?

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
The idea is to build the car up from scratch but get an identity from somewhere, not too fussed where as long as it's a Jaguar. The intention is to build it, if possible to exact specifications including sand cast carburettors so it can have FIA papers for racing. It's an idea that has been in my head for a few years now and it surprises me no one has ever attempted it.

groomi

9,156 posts

182 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
I'd have thought moving that bloody great dinner plate of a spot light from the grille would make a big difference to cooling!

Edited by groomi on Sunday 27th May 17:57

Advertisement

Freddie von Rost

1,978 posts

151 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
lowdrag said:
The idea is to build the car up from scratch but get an identity from somewhere, not too fussed where as long as it's a Jaguar. The intention is to build it, if possible to exact specifications including sand cast carburettors so it can have FIA papers for racing. It's an idea that has been in my head for a few years now and it surprises me no one has ever attempted it.
lowdrag, you have mail.

jith

2,752 posts

154 months

Sunday 27th May 2007
quotequote all
Lowdrag, I'll mail you about a couple of things later, but would say I would like to help with this project in any way I can.
In fact if I lived in LeMans right now I'd build the bloody thing with you!!
What I can tell you is that the problem with the overheating is two fold; that is regardless of the integrity of the cooling system on the car.
The first is the shape of the nose which the designer clearly thought would influence downforce and perhaps decrease drag.
The problem with this shape is that, most importantly, at sustained high speed it will create a low pressure area at the lower front section of the bonnet and starve the radiator of cool air: this further compounded by the ultra low location of the grille which in itself is too small in surface area.
In fact, from memory, Jaguar made a desperate last ditch attempt at LeMans with these cars when they overheated by smashing holes through the side of the bonnet with a cold steel chisel to create extra cooling! Sadly, they were too late, as engine damage had already occurred.
So if you want to stick absolutely to originality you will have a beautiful reproduction that will overheat when raced!!!
I think the way to do this to make the car LOOK original is to design auxiliary coolant vents in the front wheel arches that will give you as much air as you need to the rad, but retain the original shape of the bonnet. As far as FIA approval is concerned, if they don't have an original to compare it with they have a task on their hands denying you the papers!
Talk to you about it later.

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Monday 28th May 2007
quotequote all
Thanks both Freddie and jith for your encouragement and offers of help. The current state of sffairs, after nearly a year of keeping this close to my chest but researching through the JDHT and elsewhere as much as possible, is that we have come to the conclusion that such a car would now be feasable and that the overheating problems could be overcome reasonably simply. In the original cars the main problem, due to the lower nose, was that the radiator header tank was moved back to close to the bulkhead where there was no airflow at all. The C types, like the D that followed it, had no fan since at racing speeds that was considered enough but with the advent of modern Kenlowes etc. plus a high flow water pump we reckon, fingers crossed, that the overheating side of the problem will go away. That's not to say I would wish to do the Driver's Parade here at Le Mans though where many cars on the old route around town (including two of mine) fell foul to overheating! A modern alloy radiator and oil cooler will also help things along.

The primary objective is to create the car but if it can't have FIA papers in the end well frankly sod it. The project is to me important since like Chris Rea and the Sharknose Ferrari, it just has to be done.

a8hex

4,884 posts

162 months

Monday 28th May 2007
quotequote all
Hi Lowdrag,

I think there are a couple more pictures in the C-Type registry, I'll try and check later. Another good place you could try asking for information would be in the XK forum on www.jag-lovers.org, some of the denizens their might have some good information.

The cars were basically re bodied C-Types, I believe there are a couple of people who make FIA acceptable C-Type recreations. The ones that Racing Green sell are made in Australia and New Zealand, the bodies are from New Zealand the rest by Gavin King of Concours Restorations just outside Sydney

http://www.concours.com.au/ctype.html


A year or so ago I went to a talk by Norman Dewis, he wasn't very complimentary about the episode that lead up to these cars being created. Still it did lead to him being given a very much stronger hand in the future racing program and getting some serious testing done for the later C and D Types, in preparation for the Le Mans outings.


The other interesting "C-Type" to try and recreate would be XKC054, the prototype D.


lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Tuesday 29th May 2007
quotequote all
I know David Brown of The Old Car Co, NZ and spent some time talking to him at Goodwood. However, there are doubts, based on information from other suppliers and from a friend who visited him, as to actually when you will get a car. I know people have waited 9 months for D type suspensions and in the end bought from the Pearsons. I must admit though his C type recreations are to die for. Peter Hugo spent years trying to get type approval for these down under replicas and his one and only car imported has the chassis number from a Mk VII. I'm not sure if he managed to even get approval in the end.

XKC 054? I can find no trace in my records of such a car but of course the D type prototype XKC 401 exists, registered OVC 501. The trouble with building a D type is that it roughly costs double a C type due to the riveted monocoque construction and I wish my pockets were that deep. Anyway, the prototype exists so the challenge isn't there really. Incidentally I found a D type bodyshell here at Le Mans a year back which is now being built up as an FIA papered car and the overall cost will be around £250,000. David Brown quotes £95,000 inc. VAT for a FIA papered C type but see the above problems.

Nope, in the end I'll go one of two ways once I get to the end of my studies on the subject. Either I'll find another Lynx short nose D type and convert it to an XKSS or I'll build this long tail C type from the wreck of an existing british car. As I get older I hanker for comforts such as wipers and a hood sometimes and it has always been my dream car. I have one short nose here but love it too much as it is and couldn't bear to convert it. The long nose will be sold to finance what ever I do next but I'll swap the registration number to the short nose.

Underneath you'll see two horror story photos. An owner asked his bodyshop to do a study to see if his Lynx D could be converted into a real D type. It can't, point blank but here is what the body shop did to the car to find out.




guru_1071

2,761 posts

173 months

Tuesday 29th May 2007
quotequote all
designed by a bloke called kettle and it overheats?

thats fate that is!

:-)

a8hex

4,884 posts

162 months

Tuesday 29th May 2007
quotequote all
lowdrag said:
I know David Brown of The Old Car Co, NZ and spent some time talking to him at Goodwood. However, there are doubts, based on information from other suppliers and from a friend who visited him, as to actually when you will get a car. I know people have waited 9 months for D type suspensions and in the end bought from the Pearsons. I must admit though his C type recreations are to die for. Peter Hugo spent years trying to get type approval for these down under replicas and his one and only car imported has the chassis number from a Mk VII. I'm not sure if he managed to even get approval in the end.
I though Peter had managed to sell a couple of their C-Type recreations, including the one he was tooling around in last year. But this could explain why he was sounding less keen on the project when I spoke to at the Goodwood trackday a few weeks ago. I know he sold his car complete with FIA papers.


lowdrag said:
XKC 054? I can find no trace in my records of such a car but of course the D type prototype XKC 401 exists, registered OVC 501. The trouble with building a D type is that it roughly costs double a C type due to the riveted monocoque construction and I wish my pockets were that deep. Anyway, the prototype exists so the challenge isn't there really. Incidentally I found a D type bodyshell here at Le Mans a year back which is now being built up as an FIA papered car and the overall cost will be around £250,000. David Brown quotes £95,000 inc. VAT for a FIA papered C type but see the above problems.
I'm away from home this week - but if you look in the back of the C-Type registry there is an entry for XKC 054. This is a very different car to XKC 401.

http://www.jdht.com/my_jaguar/pdfs/XK.pdf

The registry has a couple of pictures of XKC054 and talks about Norman Dewis doing some tests in the car. It was then dismantled by the Factory. Last year someone in the states was trying to sell a car he claimed was XKC054 on eBay, it wasn't and it didn't look anything like the car.

I can't find any pictures on the net of 054 at the moment. Googling for it finds a couple of references.

lowdrag said:
Nope, in the end I'll go one of two ways once I get to the end of my studies on the subject. Either I'll find another Lynx short nose D type and convert it to an XKSS or I'll build this long tail C type from the wreck of an existing british car. As I get older I hanker for comforts such as wipers and a hood sometimes and it has always been my dream car. I have one short nose here but love it too much as it is and couldn't bear to convert it. The long nose will be sold to finance what ever I do next but I'll swap the registration number to the short nose.
Duncan Hamleton was selling a Lynx XKSS a while ago.
Can't say I fault you for wanting an XKSS, they are stunning. It almost worth visiting Peter just to see their SS. (They used to have a Rod Jolley made XJ13 sitting next to it in the show room, which is about the only better looking car I can think of at the mo.)

lowdrag said:
Underneath you'll see two horror story photos. An owner asked his bodyshop to do a study to see if his Lynx D could be converted into a real D type. It can't, point blank but here is what the body shop did to the car to find out.
I hope someone is good at Jigsaws.
I presume it's only the top half of the Lynx cars that is the same as the Jaguar D-Types, do Lynx use largely E-Type running gear so the back is going to be be completely different. The "cabin" in the Lynx is a few inches larger than the D. I had the luck at Goodwood to have almost back to back rides in a D and then a Lynx D and they felt very different, the Lynx was more more compliant (and quicker) the D much more viseral cloud9 .


Good luck either way.

Freddie von Rost

1,978 posts

151 months

Tuesday 29th May 2007
quotequote all
lowdrag said:
XKC 054? I can find no trace in my records of such a car
Two photos exist. Both are on page 78 of the JDHT C Type Register. I would post them on this site but they are copyrighted by the JDHT.

Edited to add: There is a certain similarity to the 52 long tail C in appearance. I am sure that the quality of the images would make them eminently suitably for scanning into a jpeg. Not that I would, in any shape or form, condone such a heinous act.

Edited by Freddie von Rost on Tuesday 29th May 21:00

a8hex

4,884 posts

162 months

Tuesday 29th May 2007
quotequote all
Freddie von Rost said:
lowdrag said:
XKC 054? I can find no trace in my records of such a car
Two photos exist. Both are on page 78 of the JDHT C Type Register. I would post them on this site but they are copyrighted by the JDHT.

Edited to add: There is a certain similarity to the 52 long tail C in appearance. I am sure that the quality of the images would make them eminently suitably for scanning into a jpeg. Not that I would, in any shape or form, condone such a heinous act.

Edited by Freddie von Rost on Tuesday 29th May 21:00
I'm sure I've seen another photo. When the ad for XKC 054 appeared on eBay there was a bit of a discussion about the car on Jag-Lovers and I'm sure I found another picture of the car online somewhere, but I can't find it now.

Incidentally won't the copyright on the photos have expired by now? Isn't it sixty years?


Freddie von Rost

1,978 posts

151 months

Wednesday 30th May 2007
quotequote all
a8hex said:
Freddie von Rost said:
lowdrag said:
XKC 054? I can find no trace in my records of such a car
Two photos exist. Both are on page 78 of the JDHT C Type Register. I would post them on this site but they are copyrighted by the JDHT.

Edited to add: There is a certain similarity to the 52 long tail C in appearance. I am sure that the quality of the images would make them eminently suitably for scanning into a jpeg. Not that I would, in any shape or form, condone such a heinous act.

Edited by Freddie von Rost on Tuesday 29th May 21:00
I'm sure I've seen another photo. When the ad for XKC 054 appeared on eBay there was a bit of a discussion about the car on Jag-Lovers and I'm sure I found another picture of the car online somewhere, but I can't find it now.

Incidentally won't the copyright on the photos have expired by now? Isn't it sixty years?
1952
+ 60
= 2012

No.

Edited to add: I suspect that the fleabay C Type was probably a car built around a few genuine parts and therefore a recreation. Fake blue chip classic racing cars made up of a dubious collection of parts and lies?

Whatever next?


Edited by Freddie von Rost on Wednesday 30th May 19:57

Leithen

5,346 posts

206 months

Wednesday 30th May 2007
quotequote all
You need to PM McNab (Standing Far Right).

Driving 19, he ought to be able to tell you chapter and verse.

Last time we looked Klementaski had some good pics too.

Freddie von Rost

1,978 posts

151 months

Monday 2nd July 2007
quotequote all
lowdrag said:
In 1952 Jaguar clothed the C type in a completely different body but they hadn't properly carried out their study and each car retired through overheating. I am currently carrying out a feasability study of recreating one of these cars since it is hoped that, with modern technology, we can overcome the heating problems. Jaguar scrapped the bodies and replaced them with standard bodywork and the factory don't even have any of the original plans even. They are called the Kettle Cars because of all things the body design was done by a chap called Roy Kettle! If any one can help me with photos or basically anything on these cars it would be of great assistance. If we can do it, she'll be the only one in the world! Here's hoping.





Edited by lowdrag on Sunday 27th May 11:14
What ho lowdrag. Any news yet?

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Wednesday 4th July 2007
quotequote all
"I though Peter had managed to sell a couple of their C-Type recreations, including the one he was tooling around in last year. But this could explain why he was sounding less keen on the project when I spoke to at the Goodwood trackday a few weeks ago. I know he sold his car complete with FIA papers"

This quote from above is patently and sadly not true. I saw the car in question only last week at a garage and they are spending a load of money to get it right. For example, it had modern 45DCOE instead of 40DCO3 carbs and the difference is a measly £7,500. The estimate to get the car FIA papers is around £20/25K. Peter sold but one and the car sold he had a devil of a job to register without a Q plate and used the remains of a Mk VII so according to the V5 the car is a Mk VII !

As regards myself, well, I am in negotiations for a Peter Jay 1952 drum brake C type complete with FIA papers and its historic passport. A completely correct car built in 1981 which has done but 3,000 miles since its build. Peter Jay built only a dozen of these absolutely correct cars, and this one sports the correct SU sandcast carbs.

I was also at the JDHT last week and they have supplied me with all the photos of the 1952 car that they have and we reckon that, if things come to fruition, my body shop will carry out the conversion on the car in the winter of 2008/9 and the car will see the light of day in the spring of 2009.

I'll keep you posted. I am in the UK and return to Le Mans tomorrow for the Group C racing on the Bugatti circuit.

lowdrag

Original Poster:

9,454 posts

152 months

Saturday 4th August 2007
quotequote all
Just an update. While in this sector of the market the movement is slow, hopefully the Ecurie Ecosse long nose D type will shortly be sold and then we can move on to phase II. The 1952 drum brake Peter Jaye C type is still for sale and they have had difficulty shifting it. My opinion on this is that people prefer the 1953 C type with Webers and discs rather than a less powerful twin SU drum braked car.

I spent some time with the archivist at the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and turned up a few photos which show in very good detail the body changes front and rear. They are copyright so unfortunately I can't show them to you. Importantly too the photo in the Paul Skilleter book shows the underbonnet layout. The Peter Jaye car has historic FIA papers and I have an enquiry in with the FIA as to whether in principle the altered car would still have the right to these papers. I've not had a reply but I can't really see how they can refuse since not one car exists to compare it against. Anyway, it is only the bodywork - the mechanics apart from the cut down radiator and repositioned header tank were identical. Interestingly, I heard from an old racing driver that the car was faster in a straight line than the standard C type but that the aerodynamics caused rear end lift so it could get unstable. Perhaps just a rumour, but interesting just the same.

So, the plan, if all goes to schedule, is to buy the car and drive it for the rest of the season as is. Then during the winter, the front and read bodywork will come off and a buck made on the car so that the new bodywork fits exactly. Next year I'll drive the C in its normal state while my garage, when they have time, make the new front and rear end and in the winter of 2008 the new bodywork will be fitted and the car resprayed in BRG - it is light green metallic at the moment. So in 2009 the caterpillar will emerge from its chrysalis as a one off, the only one in the world.

I'd like to thank you all for your encouragement here - it means a lot. I know I'll probably end up with a car no one wants (museums apart) but like Chris Rea with the shark nose Ferrari, I just feel it has to be done; a labour of love I guess you could call it. Here are the photos I took of the shark nose car at Silverstone in the mid 90's. No prizes for guessing the driver though!





Edited by lowdrag on Saturday 4th August 08:46

Huntsman

6,483 posts

189 months

Saturday 4th August 2007
quotequote all
You go for it!

Keep us posted.