In the same way that Singer re-imagines the Porsche 911 and Eagle updates the E-type, Proteus produces new Jaguar C-types like the one you can see in the video above. It has been doing this since 1980 but things have changed a bit in the last few years and this is the latest, gorgeous example. The chassis and the aluminium Malcolm Sayer designed body is made by ADV in Coventry. Some of the finishing is by hand, but Proteus has also invested a large chunk of money in superforming the larger body panels so that they can be accurately and repeatably produced.
Hofmann’s in Henley-on-Thames finish the job, sourcing a late 4.2-litre XK straight-six before giving it a total rebuild with new internals and bespoke induction and exhaust systems. They also fit a snickety Tremec T5 gearbox, a Torsen limited-slip diff and Wilwood disc brakes. The shocks are by Nitron and the tyres are very period looking Blockley Radials.
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The whole car weighs just 1000kg, so the outputs of 260bhp and 230lb ft of torque are ample. The top of both the power and torque curves arrives at 3000rpm, which sounds very low but doesn’t feel absurd when you’re behind the wheel as you can continue to rev much higher without any obvious drop off in performance. The 0-62mph time is a claimed 5.4sec.
The price for all this is £130,000, which almost seems reasonable given the 1000 man-hours that goes into each one. The only thing that we would like to see is a bit more flair in the interior, which, while very authentic, doesn’t show off the craftsmanship involved in the car. Nonetheless, when you’re hunkered down behind the aero screen and the beautiful Moto-Lita wheel looking over the voluptuous bonnet, the Proteus feels like a very special place to be.