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Jaguar resurrects iconic D-Type race car for limited production run

Jaguar resurrects iconic D-Type race car for limited production run

The final 25 versions of the 1950s endurance racer that were never built in period are being produced by Jaguar Classic

After 62 years, Jaguar will finally complete the D-Type race car’s intended production run. Jaguar Classic has announced that it will build 25 examples of the iconic endurance racer to complete the originally intended run of 100 cars.

The company built 75 D-Types when production ceased in 1956, but Jaguar always planned for 100 cars total. Now, Jaguar classic will complete the series. After painstaking research, Jaguar Classic will hand-build every part and body panel for the limited-edition D-Types to authentic specifications. Truly, these will be vintage race cars built in the modern era.

D-Types won the 24 hours of Le Mans three years in a row

The first D-Type built by Jaguar Classic, an engineering prototype, will debut at the Salon Retromobile show in Paris this week in 1956 longnose spec. Pricing has not been announced, although vintage D-types sell for well into seven figures at auction.

A storied motorsports history surrounds the D-Type, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three straight years from 1955 to 1957. Powering the car was a 6-cylinder XK engine, which first displaced 3.4 liters but grew to 3.8 liters by the end of its lifecycle in 1957. Jaguar developed the D-Type with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, and the exterior design portrays many influences from the aviation industry. 

The cars are powered by Jaguar’s classic DOHC inline-6

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 D-Type debuting at Retromobile will a longnose version.

The D-Type production is the third time Jaguar Classic has undertaken the task of completing a vehicle series’ production. The division also built six missing Lightweight E-Types in 2014 and 2015 and nine XKSS models last year and this year. The nine XKSS sports cars, road-going examples of the D-Type, weren’t completed until the advent of the Jaguar Classic program due to a factory fire in 1957, which destroyed all of the leftover D-Types from which the XKSS cars were made. 

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  • Norman
    February 8, 2018, 10:58 PM

    There really is no depth too low for the modern company that calls itself Jaguar to sink, is there? That old saw about "25 cars were built, of which 32 survived" is no longer a joke. Well, after "Jaguar" decided to build the rest of the unsuccessful-in-period E Type Lightweights, anything is possible. Personally, I’m waiting for a production run of alloy-bodied 3.8 sedans. Maybe they can use the leftover alloy-block motors that will be built as replacements for the "new" D Types. And all this was started by Carroll Shelby when he decided to build out the unwanted-in-period 427 Cobras that had vaulted into being collectors items…."continuation" ’57 Chevys, anyone?

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