Jaguar Restarts Production of Legendary D-Type Race Car
Jaguar has built its first ‘new’ D-Type race car in more than 60 years.
Jaguar Classic is re-starting production of the iconic Jaguar D-type race car in Coventry. For those counting, that’s 62 years after the last example was built in 1956. The first Jaguar D-type to be assembled by Jaguar Classic, an engineering prototype, made its world debut at the Salon Retromobile show in Paris.
Just 25 new examples of the D-type will be meticulously hand-built at Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Warwickshire. In 1955 Jaguar planned to build 100 D-type models. However, a brief respite from racing, in tandem with a factory fire, meant that only 75 were completed. That said, several incomplete D-Types managed to escape, and were re-purposed as the ever-sexy XKSS. Jaguar Classic is now fulfilling the company’s original ambition by creating 25 all-new, period-correct sports cars.
The Jaguar D-type, which won the Le Mans 24 Hours race three times between 1955 and 1957, was powered by the six-cylinder XK engine. Every aspect of the D-type models built for clients from 2018 will be created to authentic, original specification.
Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, had a few things to say about this momentous occasion.
“The Jaguar D-type is one of the most iconic and beautiful competition cars of all time, with an outstanding record in the world’s toughest motor races. And it’s just as spectacular today.”
Hannig further elaborated, by saying the following.
“The opportunity to continue the D-type model’s success story, by completing its planned production run in Coventry, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that our world-class experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic are proud to fulfill.”
The D-type is the third continuation vehicle from Jaguar Classic. It complements the six missing Lightweight E-type models completed in 2014-15, and nine XKSS models built in 2017-18.
ALSO SEE: This Lap of Le Mans in a Jaguar D-Type is an Amazing Time Capsule
Jaguar Classic experts’ painstaking research, with exclusive access to original Jaguar engineering drawings and records, ensures each new D-type will be built to the authentic specifications. The ambitions laid down by competitions manager Lofty England and his engineers in the 1950s won’t go amiss. D-type clients can choose either 1955-specification Shortnose or 1956-spec Longnose bodywork.
The engineering prototype is the 1956 Longnose specification, which is our preference. The longnose is identifiable by its extended hood, characteristic tail fin behind the driver’s head, wide-angle cylinder head and quick-change brake calipers.
Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic Engineering Manager, also had a few things to say.
“Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSS models was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-type models, but lessons learned from the XKSS project have given us a head start on the final 25 D-type models. Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended.”
Pricing has not been specified. That said, the customer who wants to buy this car is a customer not concerned about price. Jaguar tells us that customer enquiries for Jaguar Classic vehicles should be made using: +44 (0)203 601 1255 or [email protected] Something tells us you will have to act quickly. With just 25 examples ever beign built, these remaining D-Types are sure to be instant classics, and highly desirable.