Jaguar Engages in Yet Another 'Once-in-a-lifetime Project' With D-Type Roadster Revival

jaguar engages in yet another 8216 once in a lifetime project with d type roadster

Jaguar has announced the D-Type is re-entering production this week, part of a “once-in-a-lifetime project” designed to get 25 examples of the iconic racer back on the streets. While it’s always exciting to see a venerable model resurface after a six-decade absence, this is nothing new for Jaguar. The company did a limited continuation of the E-Type coupe in 2015, the XKSS in 2016, and a singular electric-powered E-Type prototype in 2017.

That means the “new” D-Type is just another entry in Jaguar Classic’s ultra-premium heritage collection. However, this does not mean the continuation cars aren’t any less cool than a penguin perched atop a glacier adjusting his brand-name sunglasses.

Jaguar assembled the last D-Type in 1956, and the company claims it’s only fulfilling a half-century-old promise to build 100 examples. While the finned roadster represented the absolute pinnacle of automotive development at the time, it lacked the mass appeal of literally any vehicle that wasn’t purpose-built to dominate at Le Mans.

Jaguar says the 25 new examples only serve to complete its 1955 production run, which stopped at 75 units.

“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,” said director of Jaguar Land Rover Classics Tim Hannig. “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.”

According to the automaker, every single aspect of the new D-Type will follow original specifications. That includes the usage of the XK6 engines that helped the model win the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1955, 1956 and 1957. How much the owners of these cars will actually get to enjoy the sweet-singing six-cylinder is debatable, though. Since most of Jag’s continuation cars cost in excess of $1 million, most buyers will probably keep them in a garage, under a blanket.

Still, that’s a comparative bargain when you consider original D-Types can cost 20 times that. Sotheby’s currently has a 1954 Jaguar D-Type Works listed for $15 million and previously auctioned a 1955 model for nearly $22 million in 2016.

Buyers have the option to choose either the 1955-specification Shortnose or 1956-spec Longnose D-Type bodywork — in case they’re interested in high-speed stability and that iconic fin. Obviously, Jaguar’s first prototype is the more-flamboyant Longnose model. The automaker said the vehicle will make an appearance at the Salon Retromobile in Paris this week. Deliveries begin later this year.

[Images: Jaguar Land Rover]

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  • Arthur Dailey For the Hornet less expensive interior materials/finishings, decontent just a little, build it in North America and sell it for less and everyone should be happy with both the Dodge and the Alfa.
  • Bunkie I so wanted to love this car back in the day. At the time I owned a GT6+ and I was looking for something more modern. But, as they say, this car had *issues*. The first of which was the very high price premium for the V8. It was a several thousand dollar premium over the TR-7. The second was the absolutely awful fuel economy. That put me off the car and I bought a new RX-7 which, despite the thirsty rotary, still got better mileage and didn’t require premium fuel. I guess I wasn’t the only one who had this reaction because, two years later, I test-drove a leftover that had a $2,000 price cut. I don’t remember being impressed, the RX-7 had spoiled me with how easy it was to own. The TR-8 didn’t feel quick to me and it felt heavy. The first-gen RX was more in line with the idea of a light car that punched above its weight. I parted ways with both the GT6+ and the RX7 and, to this day, I miss them both.
  • Fred Where you going to build it? Even in Texas near Cat Springs they wanted to put up a country club for sport cars. People complained, mostly rich people who had weekend hobby farms. They said the noise would scare their cows. So they ended up in Dickinson, where they were more eager for development of any kind.
  • MaintenanceCosts I like the styling of this car inside and out, but not any of the powertrains. Give it the 4xe powertrain - or, better yet, a version of that powertrain with the 6-cylinder Hurricane - and I'd be very interested.
  • Daniel J I believe anyone, at any level, should get paid as much as the market will bear. Why should CEOs have capped salaries or compensation but middle management shouldn't? If companies support poor CEOs and poor CEOs keep getting rewarded, it's up to the consumer and investors to force that company to either get a better CEO or to reduce the salary of that CEO. What I find hilarious is that consumers will continue to support companies where the pay for the CEOs is very high. And the same people complain. I stopped buying from Amazon during the pandemic. Everyone happily buys from them but the CEO makes bank. Same way with Walmart and many other retailers. Tim Cook got 100m in compensation last year yet people line up to buy Iphones. People who complain and still buy the products must not really care that much.