25 brand-new Jaguar D-types will be produced following Jaguar Classic’s announcement that it will restart production of the three-time Le Mans winner. The first example was displayed at the Salon Retromobile in Paris on 7 February.
Jaguar’s Classic department, based in Warwickshire, will hand-build each car to the original specification, based on the engineering blueprints created back in the 1950s. At the time, Jaguar had intended to deliver 100 D-types, but fell short at 75 examples, so Jaguar Classic has restarted production to fulfil the full allocation. The new ‘continuation’ Jaguar D-types come in the wake of the nine XKSS models and six E-type lightweight cars that the firm has also produced in recent years.
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Customers buying the new D-types will choose between the original 1955-spec shortnose body, or the 1956-spec longnose – which was seen in Paris – otherwise there will be little in the way of options available on the cars. In keeping with original plans, power will come from a 3.4-litre straight-six that develops 245bhp and 242lb ft of torque.
Such performance, combined with the slippery shape, helped the D-type reach speeds in excess of 160mph on the Mulsanne Straight at Le Mans, where it claimed a hatrick of victories.
The D-type represented the cutting-edge of motosport technology back in the ’50s. It was the first car constructed with a monocoque tub and subframes to form the chassis, to which the independent front suspension and disc brakes were secured.
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. Each one will be absolutely correct, down to the very last detail, just as Jaguar’s Competitions Department intended’.