What is it?
Sorry to start on a downer, but George Orwell’s gloomy admonition in Nineteen Eighty-Four that “who controls the past controls the future” has gained an unlikely relevance when it comes to famous cars.
That’s why the Ecurie Ecosse LM-C definitely isn’t a Jaguar C-Type, even though it looks like one. Jaguar has confirmed that it will be building 16 C-Type Continuations, each a near-perfect copy of the sports racer that won the 1953 Le Mans 24 Hours. While the LM-C, built by a company that takes its name from a famous old privateer racing outfit, is without official sanction or any hint of Jaguar branding.
Given that Jaguar successfully sued the maker of another C-Type replica on copyright grounds, the careful legal distinction being made here is doubtless a prudent one.
But it also reflects a deeper truth – one that I struggle to spot even after carefully comparing the LM-C with pictures of genuine C-Types. This car is substantially bigger.
According to Ecurie Ecosse’s Chris Randall, the LM-C is 100mm longer and 50mm wider than a true factory car, but the proportions are so spot on that the change is almost invisible.
The difference is down to a fundamental switch in purpose: unlike the C-Type, the LM-C was designed for road use, rather than purely motorsport, so the changes free up considerably more space in what would otherwise be an uncomfortably tight-fitting cabin.
Not that the real-world mission feels particularly likely on the day of my test drive. In contrast to the stirring Scottish background of the images you see here, I experience the car in rural Oxfordshire in wet, wintry conditions. Beyond a silly-looking borrowed flying helmet and goggles, weather protection comes from nothing more than the LM-C’s cut-down Perspex screen and a much smaller pop-up glass wind deflector.