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 ManufacturersArrow PictureJaguarArrow PictureXK-D D-Type (1954 - 1957)Arrow Picture1955 Jaguar XK-D D-Type 
Image Left 1954 Type D1956 XK-D D-Type Image Right
 

1955 Jaguar XK-D D-Type news, pictures, specifications, and information

Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD507
 
The D-Type Jaguar was supposed to win at LeMans in 1954 just like the C-Type had done the year before. Alas, a Ferrari won, but aerodynamic lessons were learned regarding the extended bonnet. In 1955, five 'long nosed' D-Types, including this car, were on the starting line at LeMans. Jaguar won. D-types repeated the victory two years. They were indomitable at Reims and Montlhery, as well as all-conquering back home at Goodwood and Silverstone.

This car has Serial No. XKD507 and is powered by the 3442 cc (210 cubic-inch) six-cylinder in-line engine wîth double overhead camshafts, two valves per cylinder, three dual-throat Weber carburetors, developing 270 horsepower at 6000 rpm. This car carried Jaguar honors to the Ú.S. when purchased by Briggs Cunningham. An ailing engine had curtailed its race at LeMans in 1955. After delivery to New York and Alfred Momo's care, the car enjoyed a splendid season. Sherwood Johnston driving to victory in the Watkins Glen Grand Prix and the Eisenhower Trophy at Hagerstown, Maryland. Briggs Cunningham became the new Jaguar distributor for the Northeast and consequently fielded a full team in competition. With Walt Hansgen driving, the D-Type won SCCA C-Modified Championships in 1956 and 1957. The D's highest speed ever - 185 mph at Bonneville - was also recorded in the Ú.S.

Prior to the 1955 Jaguar D-Type's victory at Lime Rock in 1957, the car had already experienced a successful run wîth Sherman Johnston at the helm in 1955, winning at Watkins Glen and Hagerstown, Maryland, among other venues. This would give Johnston the 1955 SCCA National Championship. The Briggs-Cunningham racing team purchased the car in 1956, and the D-Type would once again wîth the SCCA Championship in 1956 and 1957.

The partnership wîth Briggs-Cunningham would bring Jaguar to prominence in the Únited States, as the Briggs-Cunningham team would field a full fleet of Jaguars in competition. Sadly, fire at the Coventry factory destroyed five D-types in February 1957, and this would mark the end of production of the car.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2009

Source - Historical notes courtesy of The Collier Collection
Roadster
Chassis Num: XD-515
 
Unveiled in 1954, the legendary D-Type replaced the C-Type as Jaguar's factory racer. The slinky D-Type was lower, wider, and more aerodynamic and faster thanks to a ten percent weight reduction and medications that coaxed 250 horsepower from the twin-cam XK six-cylinder engine. The monocoque construction involved a complex multi-tube front end with separate unitized center and tail sections. The D-Type did what it was designed to do - WIN - proving its mettle by taking the checkered flag at the 24 Hours of Le Mans three years running 1955-57.

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type is chassis number 15 of 42 cars built. Jaguar designed the D-Type to race and win the 24 hours of LeMans, which it did an unprecedented three years in a row - 1955, 1956, 1957. This chassis has an unusual history, having seen very little track time, which left the car in its original factory-built condition throughout the years, a rarity among D-Types. The car was delivered new to Colonel R. J. Ronnie Hoare who used it sparingly. It has had few owners and been well maintained. The car was uncovered from barn storage in 1989 with only 14,000 miles, and given a sympathetic restoration. Presented here in its gloriously unspoiled condition is one of the finest examples of a Jaguar 'Shortnose' D-Type.

The Jaguar D-Type is legendary among sports racers of the 1950s. These beautiful aerodynamic roadsters won the 24 Hours of LeMans in 1955, 1956, and 1957. This example, chassis #XD-515, is completely intact having seen little racing action over the years. It was shown at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2006.

Jaguar was founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company by Sir William Lyons. In 1935 Jaguar began building SS sedan cars but after WWII, the 'SS' had such a negative connotation that it was dropped. Today, the iconic British brand has a long and storied heritage of road racing victories on both sides of the Atlantic.

After WWII the company soon found fame with stylish sports cars, starting with the XK-120 roadster in 1949, followed immediately by the competition version designated the C-Type. While both were powered by Jaguar's legendary twin-cam straight-six engine, the C-Type was given a higher state of tune. The C-Type featured an aluminum body and a more aerodynamic body shape. The D-Type was the successor to the C-Type which had won LeMans overall for 1951 and 1953 and as such they continued their dominance, winning LeMans overall for 1955, 1956 and 1957.

The D-Type differed by having a stressed skin aluminum monocoque central section with welded front and rear tubular subframe sections for light weight. The D-Type is most recognized for the rear fin that adds cross car stability, and the car uses a 3.4 liter dual overhead cam straight six-cylinder dry sump engine producing approximately 250 horsepower coupled to a 4-speed manual transmission.

By Daniel Vaughan | Jun 2013
Chassis Num: XKD-575
 
The British Racing Green, chassis XKD521 Jaguar D-Type was delivered to Jaguar SA in Cuba and sold to Sr. Alfonso Gomez Mena.

Entered and raced at the 1956 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring by Sr. Gomez Mena along with his co-driver, Sr. Santiago Gonzales. The two ran a strong race, starting from the front third of a field of 59 entrants. They ran as high as 11th overall up to the ninth hour of the race. In the tenth hour, they moved into 10th spot and in the eleventh hour, after pitting for fuel, they took the field in 8th, where the stayed until race end.

In 1994, Tom Mittler purchased the car from Symbolic Motor Car Company and has participated in races beginning in 1995 through the present, at Moroso, Mid-Ohio, Sebring, Road America, and Carolina Motorsports Park.
Chassis Num: XKD529
 
The first prototype of the Jaguar D-Type was first tested in 1953 at Jabbeke, Belgium, where it managed a top speed of 178.3 mph. Replacing the race winning C-Type, the D-Type was designed by stylist Malcolm Sayer. During their racing careers D-Types regularly achieved 180 mph along the Mulsanne straight at LeMans. In original form, this car with chassis number XKD529 was driven in US sports car races by the unbeaten Walt Hansgen and by others. Then, in 1959, it was fitted with a new 3.8-liter engine and a 2.53 rear axle ratio and was further modified aerodynamically for a speed attempt at Bonneville. There it achieved a top speed of 185.47 mph, making it the fastest Jaguar D-Type in the world.
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD 513
 
This Jaguar D-Type is chassis number XKD 513 and powered by a 3.8-liter engine. The first owner, a Mr. Henri Peignaux of Lyon, purchased this car through C.H. Delecroix. Mr. Peignaux was the owner of one of the French racing team Equipe Los Amigos.

Jaguar was a highly motivated company that wanted the ultimate success with their D-Type - to be victorious at Le Mans. They provided factory support to privateers. With the case of XKD 513, it was prepared by Jaguar Works and then put through extensive testing at MIRA by Norman Dewis. It was painted in French Racing Blue and given racing number 17. It was entrusted to Jean Lucas and Jean-Marie Brousselet to perform the driving duties at the 1957 LeMans.

The car averaged 110.16 miles per hour during the 24 Hour race and finished in 3rd place. Other D-Types finished 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th. This puts it in the elite class of just ten D-Types to ever place at Le Mans, a very heroic accomplishment considering there were 87 examples constructed.

After the 1957 Le Mans, the car returned to the factory in preparation for the 1958 event. It was given an experimental three-liter engine, number EE1208-10, in order to comply with the new ACD regulations. This car, along with 4 other D-Types, were fitted with this three-liter engine from the factory.

At the 1958 Le Mans race, 513 was driven by Brousselet and Andre Guelfi for Peignaux. Three hours into the race, a storm flooded the track and made visibility near impossible. Three hours later, atleast 12 cars had been involved in serious accidents. Hours later, at 10 pm, Brousselet lost control of the D-Type in the rain and was hit by Bruce Kessler's NART Ferrari. Kessler continued for a few more laps before finally retiring. The D-Type, however, was out of the race.

The bonnet and rear tail section of hte D-Type were scrapped at LeMans and the car was put into storage, where it would remain for hte following two years. It was purchased by Giovanni Michelotti in 1960. He removed the remainder of the damaged body panels leaving just the undamaged D-Type chassis. Using his talents, he created a coupe body that sat atop the original lower panels. Upon completion, this unique creation was shown at the 1963 Geneva Motor Show where it was awarded first place.

The car remained in Michelotti's care until the late 1960s, when ownership transferred to Richard P. Carter, who had it imported into the United States. It would remain with Mr. Carter until 1973, selling to Andrew Gortway. Mr. Gortway shipped the car to England and into the car of Lynx Cars, a Jaguar specialist. The shop was commissioned to perform a complete restoration bringing it back to its original Le Mans configuration.

The Michelloti coupe body was removed, revealing the original D-Type parts. Both the Michelotti coupe body and the XKD 513 were later sold. Laurence Bristow purchased XKD 513 who continued with the restoration. The original mechanical components, and other sourced from XKD 511, were utilized in the re-build. By the close of the 1970s, the restoration of XKD 513 was complete and returned to the United States.

Peter Giddings became the cars next owner and continued its racing career, entering it in many events throughout California. It was later sold to Bob Baker of Nebraska. Baker continued to race the car, entering it in events such as the Monterey Historics, Sears Point and the Mille Miglia Storica. In 1986, the car was sold to Bill Chizar and then to Terry Larson in 1988. Larson raced the car in several events, including the Colorado Grand, the California Mille, the Copperstate 1000, the Monterey Historics, Firebird Lake, and the PIR & Swiss Jaguar Tour. In 1997 and 1998, it participated in the Factory D-Type Cavalcade to LeMans.

This car has been featured in numerous publications, including the April 1986 issue of Road & Track. It has been featured in Collector Car News, Autoweek, and Victory Lane magazine.

It is powered by the 3.8-liter engine, though the 3-liter experimental engine still accompanies the car. It has a great history, is well documented, and wears a professional restoration by England's premier Jaguar restoration firm.

In 2008, this Jaguar D-Type was offered for sale at the Gooding & Company Auction held in Pebble Beach, California. Sadly, bidding failed to satisfy the reserve and the lot was left unsold.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD 575
 
Like many competition cars of its time, this D-Type with chassis number XKD 575, has had several lives. It started out as a Jaguar D-Type in 1955, and as rules changed and customer demands evolved, the Jaguar factory decided to modify the car, which then became the new XKSS model in 1957. The XKSS was to be a dual purpose car, intended for road and racing, complying with the racing rules and regulations of the Sports Car Club of America. The car was delivered to Stanley McRobert, of Montreal, who competed in several hill climbs. In 1974 the car came under new ownership and was converted back to this D-Type configuration.
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD 544
Engine Num: E5018-10
 
High bid of $2,250,000 at 2009 Worldwide Auctioneers. (did not sell)
When the Jaguar D-Type emerged in May 1954, it was the most advanced car of its time. Its construction owned much to the aircraft industry experience of Malcolm Sayer and many others who were recruited to join him at Jaguar's Experimental Department. The D-Type pioneered a monocoque center section fabricated from aluminum alloy sheet with riveted fasteners, standard aircraft practices in the Fifties but the first use of monocoque techniques for a competition race car. Other techniques and equipment sourced from aircraft production included a leak-proof rubber bladder fuel tanks, which was important in a riveted sheet metal structure. The rear suspension was from the C-Type, with lateral torsion bar springing but now with parallel trailing arms. Mounted under the bonnet was the venerable XK unit in competition form fitted with dry sump lubrication that both improved reliability and reduced the engine's height. This allowed Sayer to further reduce the frontal area and smooth airflow across the body. The design was routinely tested in wind tunnels, reducing aerodynamic drag by 28-percent between the C- and D-Types and 20-percent between the ultimate 1953 C-Type and the long-nose D-Types of 1955.

At its first time at Le Mans, the D-Type nearly repeated its predecessor's feat of winning the event. The D-Type driven by Tony Rolt and Duncan Hamilton finished a bare 1 3/4 minutes behind the Ferrari 375 Plus driven by Gonzalez / Trintignant.

Jaguar scheduled 100 production D-Types to be created. This number was later reduced to 67 in August of 1955, and by the end of that year all the cars were basically completed and had been assigned chassis numbers. Many had been sold, though some were still seeking ownership. By early 1957, in an effort to boost sales, some unsold D-Types were used to create the XK SS.

This particular car is chassis number XKD 544 and powered by engine number E5018-10. It had been constructed in 1955 and was painted in the traditional British racing green. By autumn it was undergoing tests at the M.I.R.A. test track at Nuneaton with nearly all of the D-Types being tested by Les Bottril of the experimental department. XKD-544 was sent to Jaguar's main dealership of Brooklands of Bond Street in central London and put on display and would not return back to the factory in January of 1957. It was then updated with all the current modifications form the race program. By this point in history, it still had not found a buyer and was eventually reduced to spares. Jaguar completed this auction on August 12th of 1957.

Near the close of 1957, Harold Thompson, the head of the fiberglass department, was tasked with creating a fiberglass composite to replace the fabricated aluminum alloy sheet skin. After the body was completed, Norman Dewis, the factory development engineer, tested the car at M.I.R.A. on several occasions. The results of those test found that the construction, fiberglass materials, and resins were not strong enough to cope with the power of the car. The car remained as a factory test mule and for display and demonstration for several years. After the D-Type was replaced by the E2A, eventually becoming the E-Type, this car was lost to history. It re-appeared in early May of 1959, when Autosport Magazine carried an advertisement for the car on behalf of Philip Newby Cars Ltd. of Allesley Road, Coventry. The purchaser is not known, and later re-appeared up for sale in Dyserth, North Wales, advertised again in Autosport on August 14, 1964.

The car was purchased by Peter Butt, a London dealer specializing in XK Jaguars. Peter Butt began acquiring original D-Type parts for a restoration project. He sought out Harold Thompson, the original builder of the car, to learn more about the car. Thompson revealed that the car was the officially-sanctioned fiberglass D-Type whose body shell he had built in the factory experimental fiberglass shop, using a D-type chassis frame and other D-type parts.

By 1975, Peter Butt realized he was not going to complete the restoration of the car and sold it to John Pearson, who sold it to David Cottingham of DK engineering, who later sold it to Ronald Stern in 1978. The car was entrusted to Jaguar race specialist Lynx Engineering and commissioned them to make a workable car with an aluminum monocoque. The car was later sold to David Duffy who intended to prepare the car for historic racing.

The car was given a new D-Type aluminum alloy monocoque to exacting original specifications. New exterior panels were fabricated by RS Panels to original specifications. An appropriate (later) D-Type specification engine was built, displacing 3.8-liters and fitted with many other original D-Type parts. The restoration work was completed in 1981. Duffy raced the car for three years including a Mille Miglia retrospective before selling it in 1984 to David Vine. It was pass through several more owners throughout the years. It has been extensively raced in historic and vintage events.

Andrew Pisker of UK Oakfields purchased the car in 1995. It continued its racing career proving to be a competitive and highly reliable machine over a five year international historic racing career. Donaldson finished a close second in the prestigious Goodwood Revival Meeting. In 2001, the car was sold to Christian Trierenberg of Austria before it was purchased by its current owner in 2006.

This D-Type is one of only 42 production D-Types built and its historic identity is supported by the FIA papers it retains, making it eligible for important international racing events. The 3781cc engine has dual overhead camshafts, three Weber carburetors, and is rated at 265 horsepower. There is a four-speed fully synchronized manual transmission, a tube frame with monocoque center section, and four-wheel disc brakes.

In 2009, this D-Type XKD544 was offered for sale at the Houston Classic Auction in Seabrook, Texas presented by Worldwide Auctioneers. Bidding quickly exceeded one million dollars. From there it went to two million, and slowly climed to 2.25 million. This is where bidding would stop. As the gavel came down for the final time, the lot had not sold due to its reserve.

By Daniel Vaughan | May 2009
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD530
 
Sold for $3,905,000 at 2013 RM Auctions.
This Jaguar D-Type is one of the 54 examples produced for privateer customers. This example was dispatched from the factory on February 1eth of 1956 finished in British Racing Green. XKD530 was initially procured by Curt Lincoln of Helsinki, Finland, from the Finnish Importer S.M.K. in 1956. Mr. Lincoln wanted to avoid excessive duty on the import. Therefore he instructed Coventry to make the car appear used, so that it would not be subject to new vehicle tariffs. To this end, the factory brushed the pedals to make them appear worn, replaced the steering wheel with a used one, and adjusted the odometer to misleadingly reflect accrued mileage, among other measures.

Lincoln obtained the car for ice racing at Elaintarhanajo. It was fitted with special tires, carrying 60 spikes in each. Lincoln was successful in winning his first race in the over two liter class and competed nearly every Sunday. Mr. Lincoln also campaigned the D-Type at the Elaintarhanajo, Finland's best-known race of the period, which was run annually between 1932 and 1963 on a two-kilometer track at the heart of Helsinki. With the final drive ratio increased to 3.54:1, XKD 530 was driven by Mr. Lincoln under the banner of his Scuderia Askolin to a 1st in class finish on May 10, 1956.

In the late 1950s, Mr. Lincoln contacted the factory with interest in modifying the car to GT class specifications by converting it into an XK-SS road car. Ultimately, race modifications were made domestically. Coachbuilders Wiima, of Helsinki, were retained to install a full-width windscreen, a new nearside door, and a custom tail fin. The year 1958 saw continued competitive outings, with numerous 1st and 2nd place finishes.

By 1959, XKD530 was in 'tired' condition and it was returned to Jaguar in Coventry, England, to be rebuilt. It was converted to the new 3.8 liter. The car went on to win the Leningrand Grand Prix, the only outing ever recorded for a D-Type in the Soviet Union.

In late 1960, Mr. Lincoln sold the car to magazine publisher Olli Lyytikainen, who continued to race the car, usually with rally driver Timo Makinen at the wheel. In August 27, 1961, Heimo Hietarinta finished 1st in the Formula Libre Class at the Leningrad Grand Prix.

In November of 1966 the car was sold to English collector Nigel Moores. When Mr. Moores took ownership of the car, it was in poor condition, having endured a life of extensive racing. The body had been modified to an open two-seater cockpit with a truncated tail. As rebuilding the original body was deemed to be too prohibitively expensive for a car of such value at that time, it was decided that the later D-Type construction manner, which involved separately bolting a front and rear chassis sub-frame to the monocoque body, afforded the opportunity to remove the damaged body and salvage as many original chassis components as possible.

The car was given an all-new body in the factory long-nose style. It was given a wide-angle headed D-Type engine that had original been used by the Cunningham team. The separated monocoque body, the original engine, and the gearbox were put aside and eventually sold, around 1984 to John Harper, who repaired the coachwork and mounted it on an all-new chassis that consisted of various jaguar factory components.

Both resulting cars have been stamped with XKD 530.

The current owner purchased the car in 1998. He purchased the other XKD 530 in June of 2002. He sent it to CKL Developments in Sussex, England, for restoration. Both cars were disassembled, carefully noting the individual part numbers. The original parts that were used to assemble XKD 530 were identified and the replacement parts were also carefully identified. In the end, the car carries its original engine, transmission, chassis frame, monocoque, rear axle and brake calipers among other pieces. The restoration was completed in mid-2003, which reunited XKD 530's separated components for the first time in 35 years.

Among other events, the car has competed in seven Mille Miglias between 2000 and 2009. It was 'sympathetically' restored in 2008-09.
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD521
 
The British Racing Green, chassis XKD521 Jaguar D-Type was delivered to Jaguar SA in Cuba and sold to Sr. Alfonso Gomez Mena.

Entered and raced at the 1956 running of the 12 Hours of Sebring with Sr. Gomez Mena and his co-driver, Sr. Santiago Gonzales. The two ran a strong race starting from the front third of the field of 59 entrants. They ran as high as 11th overall up to the ninth hour of the race. In the tenth hour, they moved into tenth spot and in the eleventh hour after pitting for fuel, they took the field in 8th where they stayed until the end of the race. Driving this car, Mena finished 6th in the 1957 Cuban Grand Prix.

In 1994, the current owner purchased the car from Symbolic Motor Car Company and has participated in races beginning in 1995 through the present.
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD601
 
This is the first of the six longnose D-Type Jaguar works team cars from 1956. This car, chassis number XKD601, was built with lightweight panels and fuel injection and first ran at Goodwood in February of 1956. After a few non-finishes at Sebring and the Nurburgring Mike Hawthorn and Paul Frere came in second at the 12 Hour race at Reims. Duncan Hamilton bought the car from Jaguar at the end of 1956, but it was prepared by the Jaguar works for Le Mans in 1957 (it had the 3.8 liter carburetor engine) and it finished in sixth place. A 3-liter engine was fitted for the 1958 Le Mans race when it was driven by Hamilton and Ivor Bueb. Sadly the car crashed when it was in second place with only four hours to go to the finish. Rebuilt by Jaguar, it was sold to private owners and is now restored to its 1956 specification.
Roadster
Chassis Num: XKD 552
 
XKD 552 began life simply enough. After making the rounds at several dealer shows in the United Kingdom, the car was returned to the factory, where it was refurbished.

It began its' interesting life-long sojourn when it was then sold to Jaguar's Kenyan distributor in Nairobi, who in turn sold it to its first retain owner, John Manussis.

After racing the car for a year, Manussis sold the car to another African racer, in Dar-es-Saalam, in what was then Tanganyika. Subsequent to that, and after a brief stop in England for a minor refurbishment, XKD 552 was then shipped to its new owner in Trinidad. Its journey continued as it passed through the hands of various owners in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.

The car was restored in 1988 by Terry Larson, the acknowledged expert on the C-Type and D-Type Jaguars. During the restoration, not a single new part was used. Known as a 'survivor' in the old car hobby, the only part on this D-Type that is not original is the Bonnet, which had to be replaced after a crash.

Since that restoration, at an age and at a value which would put many other cars in hermetically sealed garages, XKD 552 has competed in Italy's Historic Mille Miglia three times; the Le Mans Classic for historic cars; raced several Monterey Motorsports Reunions, California Milles, and Colorado Grandes. It has also participated in Terry Larson's Jaguar C & D-Type tour every year for the last ten years. Since restoration, the car has had no major mechanical work performed on it or cosmetic repairs performed, only normal maintenance.
The Jaguar D-Type sports cars were produced from 1954 through 1957. These factory-built race cars were similar to the C-Type, but given more powerful engines, improved chassis, and aerodynamic bodies.
Walter Hassan was tasked with designing a sportscar for Jaguar. The result was the XK-120 which showed promise on the racing circuit. Although the alloy bodied cars were fast, it would not be a serious contender at the 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Further development was needed. In 1951 the XK 120 C, also known as the C-Type, was prepared and ready for testing at Le Mans. The straight-six cylinder engine had been modified to production 210 horsepower and various other mechanical enhancements greatly improve the performance. Three C-Types were entered in the Le Mans race with two failing to finish. The third C-Type finished strong, winning the event while averaging 93.49 miles-per-hour.

Three experimental C-Types were entered in LeMans in 1952. A long tail had been applied to the C-Type in an effort to improve aerodynamics and stability during the long, straight stretches. Unfortunately, all three failed to finish due to overheating problems. For 1953, the use of experimental bodies was scrapped in favor of the tradition bodies. The factory cars were fitted with disc brakes. In the end, this combination proved to be all that was necessary to score top finishes.

To stay ahead of the competition, Jaguar began working on a Le Mans replacement for the C-Type, resulting in six D-Types in 1954.

The D-Type was constructed of a monocoque-type chassis welded to a subframe. Later versions of the car were bolted, rather than welded, to allow easy detachment.

The same XK engine was used, albeit with minor modifications such as the use of dry-sump lubrication. The frontal area to house the engine was decreased. This was to provide for higher top speeds as Le Mans. A large fin was place behind the driver to provide stability at speeds in excess of 150 mph. Due to the new design, additional modifications to the shape and size of the engine were required to fit it into the engine bay. It was tilted 8-degrees, resulting in an off-center bump in the hood. The 1955 D-Types used asymmetrical heads, known as '35/40' heads, with intake valves positioned at 35-degress and exhaust valves at 40-degrees.

Four D-Types were entered into the 1954 Le Mans race and were not enough to beat the powerful Ferraris. 1955 modifications propelled the Jaguar marque to its third LeMans victory. A Mercedes-Benz SLR was leading the Jaguar by two laps when it was withdrawn from the race.

Though 1955 meant another victory at LeMans for Jaguar, it was a devastating year for the sport. The Mercedes-Benz SLR's were poised to capture the victory when a tragic accident occurred, involving an SLR, and killing the driver and 80 spectators. Mercedes-Benz withdrew from the race and from motorsports.

Most of the D-Types were single seaters and built for the race track. During the final year of production, Jaguar offered the Jaguar XKSS, a street version of the race car.

XKSS

Twenty-five of the 68 Jaguar D-Type race cars were left unsold when Jaguar decided to cease its participation in the International Sports Car Racing program. Jaguar decided to convert the 25 remaining vehicles into road-worthy sports cars.

The rear fin was removed, bumpers were added, and the single-seater was left topless with a canvas hood available to protect the driver from the elements. A windscreen was designed and a second door was added to accommodate passengers. With a Dual-Overhead Cam straight-six cylinder engine with 3442 cc capacity, the vehicle could race from zero to sixty in 7.3 seconds. The 250 horsepower output was capable of propelling the car to a top speed of nearly 150 miles-per-hour. Excellent stopping power was provided by the 4-wheel disc brakes.

In 1957, the XKSS was introduced at the New York Auto Show.

Sixteen private buyers purchased the XK-SS with the majority going to the United States. Two went to Canada, one to Hong Kong, one in the UK, and the rest to America. There were over 300 examples being built when a fire destroyed the machinery, assembly line, and most of the XKSS models. Steve McQueen, a film star and motor racing fan purchased one. McQueen is famous for his documentary of the 24 Hours of LeMans.

By Daniel Vaughan | Mar 2006

JAGUAR D-TYPE RETURNS TO SCENE OF HISTORIC LE MANS VICTORY

Jaguar's iconic D-Type sports racing car is set for an historic return to the scene of its most famous racing victory, in a celebration of the 50th anniversary of an unparalleled 1-2-3-4-6 finish at Le Mans in 1957.

The actual winning and second placed cars from 1957 are scheduled to reappear on the track at the Sarthe circuit in June, wîth the kind permission of their owners Evert Louwman and Sir Anthony Bamford. It will be the first time they have been reunited at the scene since that epic domination of the world's most challenging race. They will be joined by the similar cars owned by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust and Dick Skipworth.

The celebration has been painstakingly planned by Michael Quinn, grandson of Jaguar's founder Sir William Lyons, in conjunction wîth the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust.

'The 1957 victory for Jaguar was such a landmark at Le Mans that we were determined that the 50 th anniversary of it should be properly celebrated. It was, after all, a major British triumph and a great achievement for a relatively small manufacturer at the time. The Le Mans victories really helped put Jaguar firmly on the world map,' said Michael.

'Now, in 2007, the Automobile Club de l'Ouest has given its permission for the 1957
D-Types to take part in the 24 Hour trophy presentation on the start-finish straight, just before this year's race begins. Additionally they will be driven around the circuit in the Motor Racing Legends Cavalcade on Saturday morning for three victory laps.'

Jaguar had officially pulled out of racing in 1957, but were focused on adding to their success at Le Mans and so provided fully-prepared D-Types for legendary Scottish team Ecurie Ecosse, which had won the previous year, to compete on their behalf.

After a tough 24 hours that had taken a high toll on the finishers, it was the partnership of Ron Flockhart and Ivor Bueb that eventually seized victory thereby making Jaguar the most successful marque in the history of the race. It was also Ron's second successive win. Right behind were Ninian Sanderson and John Lawrence, and third place went to Jean Lucas and Jean-Marie Brussin. Belgian journalist Paul Frere and 'Freddy' Rouselle finished fourth, wîth Mike Hawthorn and Masten Gregory sixth.

Half a century later, 1957 remains one of the most dominant victories in the history of the classic 24-hour endurance race, and crowned a hat-trick of wins at Le Mans for Jaguar and its innovative D-Type. These wins in turn followed on from two earlier successes wîth the
C-Type, winning in 1951 and 1953.

It was also significant as a fitting tribute to Jaguar's tireless efforts to bring success and motor racing glory back to Britain in the 1950s, a golden era of motor sport. The Midlands-based manufacturer would not win there again until the late 1980s, the Silk Cut Jaguar
XJR-9LM taking first and fourth in 1988.

The 2007 Le Mans 24 Hour race takes place on the 8.45 miles French circuit of La Sarthe during June 16 and 17.

Source - Jaguar
For more information and related vehicles, click here

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• RM Auctions building towards a spectacular roster of cars for its flagship Monterey sale held during the famous Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance motoring week, August 16–17, in California • Historic 1955 Jaguar D-Type leads a superb roster of the world's finest sports and racing cars poised for the RM podium • Additional star lots include a 1955 Ferrari 750 Monza Scaglietti Spider, a 1950 Ferrari 166 Touring Barchetta, a 1961 Ferrari 400 Superamerica SWB Coupe Aerodinamico and a 1953 Masera...[Read more...]
Derek Hill to Drive Rare Maserati Tipo 151 in Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion
MONTEREY, Calif., June 23, 2014 — American race driver Derek Hill, son of World Champion Phil Hill, will strap himself behind the wheel of the lone surviving Maserati Tipo 151, of which only three were ever constructed, to race in the Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion August 14-17 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Maserati is this year's featured marque and will officially celebrate its 100th anniversary at the motorsports gathering. Entered by Fratelli Auriana Racing from the collection...[Read more...]
PETER SACHS RECEIVES RRDC'S 2013 BOB AKIN AWARD
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 24, 2014) - Peter Sachs, a retired successful SCCA, IMSA, USRRC and vintage racer, received the 2013 Bob Akin Award from the Road Racing Drivers Club at a dinner prior to the running of the Rolex 24 At Daytona, the season opener of the 2014 TUDOR SportsCar Championship. Each recipient of this honor, considered the top award in motorsports for amateur, vintage/historic or semi-professional drivers, is selected by Akin's son Bobby, RRDC members Brian Redman and ...[Read more...]
RRDC VOTES IN 37 NEW MEMBERS FOR 2013
 HILLIARD, Ohio (Nov. 7, 2013) - Thirty-seven race-car drivers and motorsports professionals have been voted into the Road Racing Drivers Club in 2013. The group includes 13 Regular Members from the open-wheel and sports-car racing ranks, 20 Associate Members and four Honorary Members. The current roster of RRDC members now numbers 440. Voting was held among all current RRDC members. 'This year's crop of new Regular Members truly represents the spirit of the RRDC, as each driver has de...[Read more...]
THE PLOT THICKENS: MAZDA RACERS CHASING MULTIPLE CHAMPIONSHIPS
 August 1, 2013 (IRVINE, Calif.) When you are competing in over 100 events in multiple series, there is no clear midway point to the year. The best you can do is take a deep breath, look around, and get back to it. Without further ado, here is how the Zoom-Zoom racers have fared thus far into the 2013 racing season. ROLEX GRAND-AM SPORTS CARS (GX) Mazda made history this year with the first ever diesel-powered car to race in the Grand-Am series. Competing in the new GX cl...[Read more...]
Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival Celebrates Corvette'S 60 Years At Sonoma Raceway
• Fast cars, fine food and wine highlight May 18-19 weekend
• Paul Reinhart is honored guest, popular racing seminar scheduled for second year
SONOMA, Calif. (April 27, 2013) - The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival returns to Sonoma Raceway on May 18-19 for the fourth straight year under that title. The program for the 27th annual historic-car event organized by General Racing Ltd. in Sonoma will celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the popular Corvette, created by the ...[Read more...]

Arrow Right 1955 Jaguar models
Jaguar XK-140

Collectible: A Gathering of the Exceptional and Captivating
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Mercedes-Benz W196 R Streamliner1955 Mercedes-Benz W196 R Streamliner
Avia MK31956 Avia MK3
Jaguar Project 7 Concept2014 Jaguar Project 7 Concept

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Arnolt Bolide
Aston Martin DB 2/4
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Porsche 550 RS Spyder
Porsche 550 RS Spyder Replica

 
Jaguar: 1951-1960
Similar Automakers
Jaguar History
Other models by Jaguar
Manufacturer Website

Jaguar
Monthly Sales FiguresVolume
June 20141,263 
May 20141,304 
April 20141,035 
March 20141,816 
February 20141,552 
January 20141,347 
December 20131,544 
November 20131,446 
October 20131,515 
September 20131,313 
August 20131,723 
July 20131,613 
(More Details)

 
1.5 Litre
C-Type
D-Type
E-Series
Mark
Mark IV
Mark IX
Mark V
Mark VII
Mark X
S-Type
SS 100
SS II
X-Type
XF
XJ
XJ-S
XJ220
XJR Group 44, IMSA, and Group C
XK
XK Series
XKSS

Image Left 1954 Type D1956 XK-D D-Type Image Right
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