1955 Jaguar D-Type
1953 marked the second victory at the Le Mans 24 hours in three years for Jaguar and the C-type. With so many lessons learned and competition hotting up, an all new car was needed to help keep them at the front of the grid. From these learnings, the D-type was born. Retaining the 3.5 litre XK engine from the C-type, the car now sported an aeronautical-inspired, magnesium alloy central monocoque tub, an aluminium spaceframe and all-round Dunlop disc brakes.The D-type was created in time for Le Mans 1954 with Jaguar fielding three cars in the race. Unfortunately all developed misfire-related issues causing both retirement and extensive setbacks. 1955 however brought success with Jaguar achieving 1st and 3rd. Victory continued for the next two consecutive years, with 1st,4th and 6th in 1956 and 1st,2nd, 3rd,4th and 6th in 1957 respectively, albeit by privateer teams. Further to Jaguar's temporary retiring from competitive motorsport at the end of the 1956 season, and able to exploit demand for high-powered European sports cars at the time, some of the remaining part- built cars were to be converted for road car use. A planned run of twenty five road cars- to be called the XKSS- were to be produced to help recoup some of the development costs of the D-Type. Nine of these cars were lost in the fire at the Browns Lane factory in February 1957, the remaining 16 mostly finding homes as intended, in the USA.This 1955 Short Nose D-Type has been built over a period of 7 years by some of the most well respected Jaguar experts in the world with a painstaking unrivalled attention to detail. This example is road registered and is an exact "Tool Room" copy of a 1955 3.4 "D" the final specification is dark green body work, green aged leather, without fin and with yellow indicator lenses (changed from red after the 1955 Le Mans accident) it is both indistinguishable and interchangeable with an original example. Today the car also benefits from a distinctive yellow marking on the bonnet. The build incorporated many original Jaguar D-Type parts including the Bell Housing, gearbox, gauges, carburettors and much more. Following completion in 2015, the car was delivered to CKL Developments for final shakedown and testing, the world renowned Jaguar specialists have been through the car with a fine-tooth combe to ensure the car is correct in every detail. A further spend of approximately £25,000 brings the car to standard in which it is presented today. At this point DK Engineering who were acting on behalf of the cars owner oversaw a final preparation which would ensure that the car could be "dual purpose" and would be capable of racing in the prestigious "Woodcote Trophy" BUT without any compromises being made for road use. As an example of this the car now has concealed rollover protection within the headrest, an ATL made FIA certified fuel cell, well concealed Fire system and FIA papers.In addition to the inspections made by Chris Keith-Lucas, and the MSA, David Cottingham who owned a campaigned XKD 533 has also inspected the car to certify its accuracy and high quality of build.Since its completion, this D-Type was used sparingly on the road before an invitation to take part in the Salon Privé Tour of Elegance in September 2016, and then in 2017 the car competed at the Silverstone Classic in the prestigious Woodcote Trophy race. The car never been on circuit performed well, completing the race without fault and qualifying as the 3rd fastest Jaguar and 14th out of 43 cars. It is worth noting that another D-Type was in pole position, it is widely acknowledged that in order to be on the podium of the Woodcote trophy one must be driving a D-Type or a Cooper Jaguar - and there is no reason why this car, in the right hands, could not be on the top spec of the podium. The car would of course also be eligible to race in a host of 50s sports car grids including the Jaguar Classic series and at Goodwood.In February 2018, Jaguar announced the next in their series of continuation cars, with a run of 25 D-types. These examples will finish the intended run of 100 cars that was cut short when Jaguar temporarily withdrew from motorsport in 1956. Each of these examples have a starting price of well over £1million and are already sold out. This car represents a very rare opportunity to acquire a fantastic period correct D-Type which can be used with equal measure for leisurely drives, more serious Tours and Rallies or to be raced at the front end of some of the most prestigious historic race meetings.
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