This week Jaguar announced the beginning of a new era for the iconic Jaguar D-type race car. More than 60 years after the last of these racing cars was built, Jaguar is restarting its production with 25 cars set to be hand-built at the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Warwickshire, UK.
When Jaguar set out to build the D-type in 1955, they planned to build 100 models, but as only 75 of these were completed, Jaguar Classic is now fulfilling the company’s original ambition by building 25 more.
While the prototype of these D-types was unveiled on February 7th at the Salon Retromobile show in Paris, the 25 new racing cars will be made according to client preference with both Shortnose and Longnose derivatives on the cards.
The research of Jaguar Classic experts and their exclusive access to the original records will ensure each new D-type is built to the precise specifications set by the competitions manager Loft England and his engineers in the ‘50s. Clients can choose between the bodywork of the 1955-specification Shortnose and 1956 Longnose.
Tim Hannig, the director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, comments: “The Jaguar D-type is one of the most iconic and beautiful competition cars of all time, with an outstanding record in the world’s toughest motor races. And it’s just as spectacular today. The opportunity to continue the D-type model’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 fulfill.”
Kev Riches, the engineering manager for Jaguar Classic, then continues: “Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSS models was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-type models, but lessons learned from the XKSS project have given us a head start on the final 25 D-type models. Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended.”
As the model that won the Le Mans 24 Hours race three times between 1955 and 1957, the Jaguar D-type is one of the manufacturer’s great icons, and one that people now have a rare chance to have built to their own preferences.