This stunning evocation (copy) of the first Jaguar sports racer to be fitted with disc brakes which although privately owned by Tommy Wisdom was developed alongside the factory race cars, will be sold by H&H Classics at the Pavilion Gardens, Buxton on July 7th for an estimate of £40,000 to £50,000.
Damian Jones of Head of Sales at H&H Classics comments: “This is among the nicest C-Type Evocations we have encountered and self-evidently a labour of love.”
Tommy Wisdom was a British motoring correspondent for the Daily Herald newspaper and also a racing driver who took part in numerous races and rallies. Tommy won the Grand Turismo Class of the Mille Miglia, 1951. He won a Glacier Cup in the Alpine Rally of 1936. In 1937, driving a Jaguar SS100 with a 3.5 litre prototype engine, he lapped Brooklands at 118 mph. He competed in several Grand Prix as well as Le Mans. He also competed in the Monte Carlo Rally 23 times. He won the Grand Turismo Class of the Mille Miglia three times.
The engineer who created this ‘tribute beauty’ made almost annual pilgrimages to the Le Mans 24-hours and had long dreamt about building a Jaguar C-Type Evocation. He settled upon a Realm Heritage kit because of the strength of its tubular steel spaceframe chassis (not dissimilar in ethos to that of the Coventry manufacturer’s original design) and the quality of its GRP bodywork. Having bought the engine, manual overdrive gearbox, axles, steering and pedal box from a 1975 Jaguar XJ6 3.4 Litre donor car in late 2013, he spent months the following year assembling this stunning Realm Heritage C-Type.
To fully understand the huge amount of work involved one must go to the build photos which are on file. These show the aluminium floor being rivetted in place and the fully independent suspension installed complete with uprated RAM adjustable coil-overs at each corner and various polybushes. Ward Engineering of Colchester supplied an overhauled differential, refurbished brake callipers (4-pot upfront) and new brake discs (vented front / solid rear).
Discarding the donor XJ6’s 3.4 litre unit in favour a 4.2 litre one from a Jaguar 420, the seller’s husband had the latter overhauled by Scholar Engines Ltd of Suffolk. Fitted with a reconditioned water pump, 123 electronic ignition, straight-port cylinder head, rear oil seal conversion, fresh timing chain and adjuster, uprated starter motor, new clutch, facet ‘silver top’ fuel pump, aluminium flywheel, Mahle +20 pistons, ‘fast road’ camshafts, replacement bearings and triple Weber 45 DCOE carburettors, the DOHC straight-six recorded over 250bhp and 270lbft of torque on a subsequent dyno run (though, it has since been detuned slightly). An alloy radiator is complemented by an oil cooler and Kenlowe fan. A competition overdrive switch has been added to the gear lever (a la the Works Big Healeys), while the interior also hosts aluminium bucket seats with lightweight padded coverings, twin stop watches, wood-rimmed steering wheel and a helmet-to-helmet intercom system.
As well as aluminium louvres let into the top and sides of the bonnet, the two-seater sports a bonnet scoop (evoking the 1953 Le Mans cars) and spine light to illuminate the race numbers on its tail. A Perspex fly screen, Black double duck tonneau cover, quick-release fuel filler, bullet mirrors and Brooklands aeroscreens complete the exterior detailing. Professionally painted in Pastel Green by Pluckley Coachworks Ltd of Ashford to mimic Tommy Wisdom’s famous Works-supported car (XKC005) which was notable as the first C-Type to be fitted with disc brakes and achieved considerable success in the hands of Sir Stirling Moss and Michael Head, the Jaguar-powered machine rides on 16-inch painted wire wheels shod with Avon radial tyres. Passing an IVA test on 23rd September 2014, ‘GUI 494’ is correctly registered as a ‘Realm Heritage C-Type’. Understood to have covered some 4,500 post-completion miles including several European sorties but little used after its creator’s death during 2019, the car started readily upon inspection and ran well during our recent photography session. Offered for sale with V5C Registration Document, build history, Agreed Value Certificate of Insurance for £60,000 and hopefully a fresh MOT by the time of sale.
Thomas Henry ("Tommy") Wisdom (16 February 1906 – 12 November 1972) was born in Brighton. His wife Elsie was also a racing driver, and their daughter Ann Wisdom competed in rallies, most notably as Pat Moss's co-driver. Tommy Wisdom, died in Birmingham, aged 66.
The newspaper he wrote for, the Daily Herald was a British daily newspaper, published in London from 1912 to 1964 It was published in the interest of the labour movement.