Jaguar Revives Iconic D-type, Plans to Build 25 Additional Examples ""

By | February 7, 2018

Jaguar D-Type Continuation

Four years ago, Jaguar announced that it was doing a run of six E-type Lightweights, exact re-creations of a competition-oriented car that had been allotted 18 production slots—although only 12 were ever constructed. Next, Jaguar turned its attention to the XKSS, of which 25 were intended to be built. A massive fire at the automaker’s Browns Lane plant put an end to that after 16 had been completed. Jag finished the remaining nine for customers and then built one for itself, which was recently featured on an episode of The Grand Tour alongside Aston’s continuation DB4 GT. And now the company is re-creating what is most certainly the most storied competition machine in its history: the D-type.

While the C-type that preceded it bore a resemblance to roadgoing XK models, the D-type might just as easily have rolled out of the USAF’s Groom Lake facility by way of Upper Snodsbury. But it wasn’t just a visual gut punch. Introduced in 1954, the mighty D pulled a hat trick at Le Mans, winning at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1955, 1956, and 1957. Pedigreed examples have been known to change hands above $20,000,000, but by the standards of the XKSS and E-type Lightweight, the D was practically a mass-market automobile. Not counting the XKSS production run, according to Jaguar, 75 examples were produced between 1954 and 1956. According to other sources, 71 were built: 18 factory racers and 53 customer cars. Regardless, 25 more will be added to the tally, since Jag asserts that it originally intended to build a run of 100.

Jaguar D-type race car

Given that the XKSS is fundamentally a finless D-type, that recent revival program gave Jaguar a leg up when producing the racers. Customers will be able to choose from the early “short nose” bodywork or the later “long nose” that gave the D-type the aerodynamic slipperiness it needed to conquer France. The engineering prototype, which goes on display at the Rétromobile classic-car show in Paris this week, features the long-nose bodywork. What’s not yet known is which engine or engines will be offered in the continuation cars, as D-types carried 3.4-, 3.8-, and 3.0-liter straight-sixes under their curvaceous hoods over the course of the car’s run.

The continuation XKSS models sold for a million pounds, which is roughly $1.4 million at the moment. Jag hasn’t publicly commented on price yet, and our guess is as good as yours whether the price will be the same, more—due to the D’s sky-high auction prices—or less, owing to economies of scale, given that this run is nearly triple the size of the XKSS project’s and will result in more than four times as many cars produced as the E-type Lightweight program created. Regardless, it’s bound to represent a hefty savings over a period-built prowling machine, and what Dougal MacFrugal can’t get behind that?

Jaguar-D-type-race-car-REEL


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