Jaguar D-type Le Mans victor reborn after 62 years


Not satisfied with stopping there, however, Jaguar Classic has now set its sights on the legendary D-Type, the auto which claimed three back-to-back Le Mans wins for the marque between 1955 and '57.

Following from the road-going XKSS, Jaguar Classic is building 25 brand new D-types to complete the original planned production run of 100 cars. British luxury manufacturer Jaguar is building 25 units of the D-Type, a vehicle that was the victor of the Le Mans 24 Hours race three times between 1955 and 1957 and that was last built 62 years ago.

Of the 25 D-Types slated for production, Jaguar will allow buyers to choose either the 1955-specification shortnose or 1956-spec longnose bodywork.

"The opportunity to continue the D-type'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 fulfil", said Jaguar Land Rover Classic Director Tim Hanning.

The first outing for the "Continuation" Jaguar D-Type will be at Salon Retromobile today, and if you want to grab one you'd better give Jaguar Classics a call on 0203 601 1255.

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Such performance, combined with the slippery shape, helped the D-Type reach speeds in excess of 160mph on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, where it claimed a hatrick of victories. Continuation cars from company's like Jaguar and Aston Martin can retail for upwards of seven figures in some cases, which will deliver as much profit per unit as quite a few XF or XE models will do. However, only 75 were completed, which is why the period-correct cars are being manufactured now.

The D-type won Le Mans three times between 1955 and 1957 and was powered by the six-cylinder XK engine.

Engineering manager at Jaguar Classic Kev Riches says the projects helped prepare the team for the D-Type build. As you'd expect, the bonnet is longer, it has the fin behind the driver's head, a wide-angle cylinder head and "quick-change" brake calipers.

"Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar's Competitions Department intended".