Proteus C-type Replica Build/Rescue

I recently purchased a Proteus C-type from an estate where the original owner passed away a couple of years ago. I have all of the original paperwork and invoices where he purchased it from Proteus in 1998 and had it shipped over here.
It looks like the owner stripped a 60’s sedan and then bolted everything to the C-type. He had both fuel pumps in there and hooked up, and all of the sedan wiring, gauges, etc.

The car uses XJ6 suspension, but has a 3.8 liter Mk2 engine with an E-type cylinder head. It came with the triple SU setup from a MK10 sedan. The guy might have had the engine running in the car. He had a fuel pump hooked up and there was stank gas in the tank. But the oil filter housing and canister were not with the car so it is a toss up.
The wheels are good for rollers only. They’re 15” instead of the correct 16” anyway.

The first thing is to strip out everything that wouldn’t belong on a C-type. This means the sedan instrument panel and everything in it. I’d like to build the car as correct as possible for a period racing car. There are no clutch or brake master cylinders in the car. I will have to decide on a pedal layout and then what brake master cylinder and booster, and clutch master cylinder. This might dictate what carb set-up I can use. It is a very tight area being right hand drive with the steering column, master cylinder, brake booster, carbs all in the same place. I might have to go with a more period correct two SU carb manifold just for the room.

That’s it to start with


Hi Mark…great project. …i saw this on Bat…also seen you posts on JDC historic facebook…this forum would be a great place to document your rebuild…all the best…Steve

thanks Steve. I think this forum is a better place for documenting a rebuild. I like the FB groups for questions and answers. I don’t think there is room for involved posting there.

So far this car has been pretty much what I expected, a complete rebuild.

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Before and after


Very cool. Welcome to the group.

I removed the rear body section to get to everything gas tank related. There was about 5 gallons of stanky gas in it. Both fuel pumps from a sedan are there and neither one works. The gas tank pickup tube is not attached to the tank and it pulled right out. The tank will need to go out for cleaning and have the pickup tube welded in to seal the tank.
There are unused brackets on the top rear corners of the tank. The right side one was contacting the body and pushed up a fracture in the fiberglass. I flipped over the body section and laid the empty tank in it to verify where the interference is. I will cut the two brackets off and make sure there is clearance to the body, then do a fiberglass repair inside the body and on the outside surface.
I’m sure the fuel gauge sending unit will be a rusted mess when I take it out. There is a lot of not needed sedan wiring I will remove.


Hi Mark…your fuel tank may be more trouble than its worth…it looks like its from a doner car…consider a new aluminum made to measure unit…iv just replaced mine…you will need baffles in these wide tanks to stop fuel sloshing side to side …Steve

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Hi Steve,
I agree, my tank might be too much trouble. It was supplied with the kit originally so it is 25 years old now and has a lot of rust and filth in it, as well as repair.
I’ve been following Chuck’s D-type build on the forum and he has been invaluable with information about a custom fuel tank, foot pedals, master cylinders, radiator hose routing, etc. So we do have a custom fuel tank supplier here.

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I don’t think it can be saved. It has been sealed in the past and the sealer is coming off inside the tank.

Moving on….
With the rear of the car’s problems hopefully all identified I’m moving forward. The car has new looking Spax adjustable coil overs and it is sprung way too hard. Jumping on a rear fender doesn’t budge the suspension. The spring preload is all the way backed off. I’m thinking since it is XJ6 rear suspension then that is what the shocks are sprung for, which would be about a ton too hard. I need to find a supplier for springs to fit.

Hopefully others more knowledgable than I will chime in, but that cantilevered upper shock mount looks like a potential failure point to me. May need a triangulating gusset.

Hi Mark…just for info my Realm is xj6 based but rear suspension is alteted…sorter rear lower wishbones and shorter drive shafts…only one coil shock per side…but high rated.(650lb)…you cant bounce the car at the rear fender…I would ask on the JDC historic FB page re specifics on your early Proteus Jaguar Historic Replica and Specials Register (Jaguar Drivers' Club) | Facebook n.and post answers back here…Steve…ps have a look here C-Type Replica Spring Rates

Hi Steve, my car also has the shortened axles and wishbones. I was thinking about removing one shock just to see how it affected the car. I don;t know what the marking mean on my springs. Is the 225 a spring rate? I will ask on the FB page.

Yes, this topic has been discussed many times about the front coil over mount. It is a box section and welded across the bottom also. These cars have seen track time and none have yet had a failure, but in saying that I’ve seen gussets and bridges welded across the top on some cars.
I’m not concerned since I won’t be racing the car.

Hi Mark…its easy to throw cash at these builds…these shocks/springs are really easy to change…i would get the car going and try it with the springs you have…these cars are very low to the ground so you dont want much bounce or you will bottom out…if you dont like the way it rides then change them…Steve

My biggest concern is that the car rides very high in the back with the tires cambered out at the top. It is as if the suspension does not settle from full extension at the top of travel.

Uh ok thought you were just after softer ride springs as opposed to your ride height is off…What size wheels 16in? drive shafts/lower wishbones should look about level…do they look like they are on full drop? yes probably springs or the actual shock platform

Hi Mark…had a chat today with Phil Cottrell he knows these cars very well and replied to your comments re springs on FB…he told me the Proteus springs are vertical where as Heritage/Realm are more angled…hence the Proteus will have a lower sprjng rate…however your shocks could actually be the problem…fixing centers should be around 13in(same as Realm)…a longer shock could well give a much higher ride height…Steve

Hi Steve, sorry for the delay. I had errands to run yesterday so no car time. I’m still working through the list of unknowns just to see where the project is as far as work that will need to be done. I had to shuffle cars around this morning to get the Proteus on more or less level ground to do the suspension measurements.
So to keep from spending a lot of time on one problem I decided to go ahead and try to get the engine started to see what I had to work with there. It was missing the oil filter housing and filter assembly but I had one on a spare 4.2 E-type engine so that was bolted on. I drained the oil in the engine (4 quarts) and put 8 quarts back in it. I bolted on the two SU intake I have for it and two of the carbs off the triple carb set-up that came on the car. The triple SUs would be nice but I don’t think there will be room with the steering column, master cylinders, and carbs all vying for space on a right hand drive car. I’ll know more after decisions are made about pedals and master cylinders, but I like the simplicity of two carbs.
I hooked up the ignition with the plugs out and checked for spark, and turned the motor to build up oil pressure. After I saw pressure I reinstalled the plugs and primed the carbs with some gas. It started immediately with no bad noises. After a few attempts to keep it running I decided that two carbs out of a triple set aren’t jetted rich enough to keep it running. So other than a couple of oil leaks I’m happy with that for now.
I will go back to suspension problems again tomorrow.


Hi Steve, I sent Phil C a friend request on the FB page so we may message directly. I added the rear suspension measurements there.