Jaguar restarts production of the iconic D-Type race car

Jaguar restarts production of the iconic D-Type race car

JAGUAR has announced a new production run for the legendary D-Type race car.

Mike Hawthorn racing the Jaguar D-Type in 1955.

An engineering prototype of the ‘new’ D-Type will be showcased at this weeks’ Paris Salon Retromobile show, and 25 further examples will be hand-built for customers at Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK.

When the model debuted in 1954, 100 D-Types were scheduled for production but only 75 were ever completed – this new project marks the completion of the production target, some six decades later.

The new D-Types will be available, per customer preference, in either the 1955 shortnose spec, or the longnose shape that arrived the following year.

The production of these special racing cars follows on from two other Jaguar Classic projects that sought to complete unfinished production runs; the six missing Lightweight versions of the E-Type, and nine examples of the XKSS, which was itself based on the D-Type.

Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic’s engineering manager, said: ‘Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSSs was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-types, but lessons learned from the XKSS project have given us a head start on the final 25 D-types. Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended.’

The career of the D-Type is a cavalcade of sportscar racing success, including three victories at the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours between 1955 and 1957. Success at iconic venues such as Spa, Goodwood, Reims, Road America and Daytona punctuated a racing career that continued well into the 1960’s, though Jaguar themselves stopped racing the machine itself at the tail-end of the previous decade.

As with the original D-Type, the limited run of 25 ‘new’ examples will be powered by the famous 3.4-Litre Jaguar XK Straight-six engine.

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MORE: Jaguar Classic unveils E-Type Reborn restoration programme

MORE: Rare but rusty fixed-head Jaguar E-Type restored to former glory – in 3,000 hours!

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