2018 Jaguar Classic D-type

Jaguar is putting the 1955 D-type back into production

2018 Jaguar Classic D-typeIn 1955, Jaguar planned to build 100 D-type racing cars. In the end, it only built 75, with production ending in 1956. 

Today, at the 2018 Salon Retromobile show in Paris, the Coventry firm is to announce it’s restarting production of the D-type, to make the final 25 models and finally take production up to the planned 100-car total.

An engineering prototype will be displayed at the retro car show to mark the occasion.

Although they’re all-new, each of the 25 2018 D-types will be entirely period-correct, produced using the original engineering drawings and production records. Jaguar Classic has been through Jaguar’s entire archives to discovery everything it needs to know to start remaking the classic D-type. 

The Jaguar D-type recreation follows the firm’s famous ‘bring-back-to-life’ Lightweight E-types and XKSS projects. 

Kev Riches, Jaguar Classic engineering manager, said: “Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSSs was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-types, but lessons learned from the XKSS project have given us a head start on the final 25 D-types.”

Period detail is guaranteed, he promised. “Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended.”

Famous Jaguar competitions manager Lofty England helped defined the D-type in the early 1950s, and today’s buyers, like then, can pick either a 1955-spec Shortnose or a 1956-spec Longnose; the Retromobile exhibit is a Longnose, which is marked out by: 

  • Extended bonnet
  • Tail fin
  • Wide-angle cylinder head
  • Quick-change brake calipers

Under England’s watch, the D-type won the Le Mans 24 Hours race in 1955, 1956 and 1957. 

Tim Hannig, Jaguar Land Rover Classic director, said: “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 fulfil.

“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.”

In pictures: 2018 Jaguar D-type recreation