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