It’s been 63 years since 75 very lucky souls were the first to buy Jaguar D-Type sports cars. The iconic car would go on to win many races at the racetrack, including the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Although it was slated to build 100 cars, only 75 were actually completed. The car was only made for a single year, making it one of the most rare and collectible automobiles ever made.
Now, Jaguar has announced a comeback for its legendary D-Type. It will build new models, but only 25 will be available for purchase. Jaguar is debuting the car at the Salon Rétromobile show in Paris. The D-Type will be made to period-correct specifications, fulfilling Jaguar’s original goal of 100 perfect race cars.
According to Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover’s Classic division, Jaguar considered the project one of its most important.
“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’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.”
Jaguar Land Rover lant, Classic Works in Warwickshire, England, will get the green light to do the job. This is not the first time Jaguar has gone down this road. In 2014 and 2015, they built the six missing E-Type Lightweight model cars. The original plan in 1963 was to make 18 of the Special GT E-Type cars, but just 12 were made. The E-Type was a success, and three years later it electrified the E-Type in an effort to ensure that classic cars would never become obsolete. And just last year, they completed nine XKSS models.
It is not easy to recreate old cars. According to Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic Engineering Manager, “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.”
The D-Type runs on a six-cylinder XK engine. The 2018 models will be recreations of this classic car. The prototype is based on the 1956 Longnose specification. Car lovers will recognize the tail fin right behind the driver’s head, the longer bonnet, quick-change brake callipers and wide-angle cylinder head.
“Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended,” promised Riches.
The lucky 25 customers will get their choice of bodywork: 1956-specification Longnose or a 1955-specification Shortnose. There is no information at press about how the company will choose the lucky customers who get the chance to buy. Just how much will one of these once-in-a-lifetime cars cost? While the pricing has yet to be announced, the XKSS was sold for $1.24 million. The E-Type was a “bargain” at just $355,000. The original D-Type that won the 1955 Le Mans is valued at $13 million. Buyers can expect something in the range of at least $1 million and probably more.