Jaguar D-Type 60th anniversary celebration includes restoration debut of long-lost car

Jaguar D-Type chassis XKD523 will be revealed after four decades in seclusion | Salon Privé
Jaguar D-Type chassis XKD523 will be revealed after four decades in seclusion | Salon Privé
Jaguar D-Type chassis XKD523 will be revealed after four decades in seclusion | Salon Privé

The Jaguar D-Type is one of the most beautiful competition cars ever created, elegant and brutish at the same time, evocatively streamlined yet ruggedly purposeful. And who could resist that magnificent fin that soars behind the head of the driver?

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the D-Type’s debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it roared to second place overall. The D-Type boasted many innovative features, such as disc brakes and monocoque construction, and it dominated endurance competition during the era.

Today, D-Types’ values as collector cars are in the $4 million range.

A 1955 Jaguar D-Type with an intriguing back story will be seen in public for the first time in 40 years at the exclusive Salon Privé Concours d’Elegance in London this September. The car’s checkered past includes damaging vandalism, disputed identity claims and a Chevy V8 transplant, but it has been made whole again after an extensive reconstruction to original by a dedicated owner.

Chassis number XKD523 will be included among the D-Types appearing at the boutique London concours September 3, where the 60th anniversary of the race car will be celebrated with a special class. Earlier this year, the D-Type was featured at the Goodwood Revival.

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“Jaguar enjoys a magnificent road and race heritage and the D-Type was pivotal in cementing this during the 1950s,” said Tony O’Keeffe, Heritage Communications Officer for Jaguar UK. “D-Types are very rare – there were only 71 originally made and a large number of these were lost in the factory fire of ’57 – so to see a class of them at Salon Privé is a real treat and their recognition of the D in its 60th year bears testament to Jaguar and the designers of this iconic car.”

Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.