Jaguar D Type – 20 XVO – recreation

Year1964
Model TypeMKII
ManufactureJaguar Cars Limited
Registration Plate20 XVO
ColourRED
No. of Seats (Inc Driver)2

Our Car

Our Jaguar D Type replica is presented in stunning dark red with black leather race seats, holding you perfectly positioned to enjoy the extremely powerful 3.8 litre highly tuned engine.  This car was developed and raced in the Revival motorsport race series and retains the same specification.  It is great fun to drive and seriously fast.  The side exit exhausts really makes it stand out from the crowd, creating a roaring sound adding to this exciting experience.

The car is fitted with a safety roll bar, 3 point racing harness and 4 speed manual gearbox. The passenger side has a hard cover that can be removed to accommodate a passenger.

General

The Jaguar D-Type is a sports racing car that was produced by Jaguar Cars Ltd. between 1954 and 1957. Although it shares many of its mechanical components with the C-Type, including the basic straight-6 XK engine design (initially 3.4 litres and uprated to 3.8 litres in the late fifties), the structure of the car was radically different. The innovative monocoque construction brought aviation industry technology to competition car design, together with an aeronautical understanding of aerodynamic efficiency.

Jaguar D-Types won the Le Mans 24-hour race in 1955, 1956 and 1957. After Jaguar temporarily retired from racing as a factory team, the company offered the remaining unfinished D-Types as XKSS versions whose extra road-going equipment made them eligible for production sports car races in America. In 1957 25 of these cars were in various stages of completion when a factory fire destroyed nine of them.

Total D-Type production is thought to have included 18 factory team cars, 53 customer cars, and 16 XKSS versions.

Competition

Jaguar D-Types fielded by a team under the leadership of Jaguar’s racing manager Lofty England were expected to perform well in their debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans race. In the event, the cars were hampered by fuel starvation caused by problems with the fuel filters, necessitating pit stops for their removal after which the entry driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt speeded up to finish less than a lap behind the winning Ferrari. The D-Type’s aerodynamic superiority is evident from its maximum speed of 172.8 mph on the Mulsanne Straight compared with the 4.9 litre Ferrari’s 160.1 mph.

For 1955 the cars were modified with long-nose bodywork and engines uprated with larger valves. At Le Mans, they proved competitive with the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLRs, which had been expected to win. Mike Hawthorn’s D-Type had a narrow lead over Juan Manuel Fangio’s Mercedes when another Mercedes team car was involved in the most catastrophic accident in motorsport history.  Driver Pierre Levegh and more than 80 spectators lost their lives, while many more were injured.

Mercedes withdrew from the race. Jaguar opted to continue, and the D-Type driven by Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb went on to win.

Mercedes withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1955 season, and Jaguar again entered Le Mans in 1956. Although only one of the three factory-entered cars finished, in sixth place, the race was won by a D-Type entered by the small Edinburgh-based team Ecurie Ecosse and driven by Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson, beating works teams from Aston Martin and Scuderia Ferrari.

In America, the Cunningham team raced several D-Types. In 1955, for example, a 1954 works car on loan to Cunningham won the Sebring 12 Hours in the hands of Mike Hawthorn and Phil Walters, and in May 1956 the team’s entries for Maryland’s Cumberland national championship sports car race included four D-Types in Cunningham’s white and blue racing colors. Driven by John Fitch, John Gordon Benett, Sherwood Johnston and team owner Briggs Cunningham, they finished fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth, respectively.

Although Jaguar withdrew from motorsport at the end of the 1956 season, 1957 proved to be the D-Type’s most successful year. Jaguar D-Types took five of the top six places at Le Mans;

Ecurie Ecosse, with considerable support from Jaguar, and a 3.8-litre engine, again took the win, and also second place. This was the best result in the D-Type’s racing history.

Rules for the 1958 Le Mans race limited engine sizes to three litres for sports racing cars, which ended the domination of the D-Type with its 3.8-litre XK engine. Jaguar developed a three-litre version to power D-Types in the 1958, 1959 and 1960 Le Mans races but it was unreliable, and by 1960 it no longer produced sufficient power to be competitive.

The D-Type’s success waned as support from Jaguar decreased and the cars from rival manufacturers became more competitive. Although it continued to be one of the cars to beat in club racing and national events, the D-Type never again achieved a podium finish at Le Mans. By the early 1960s it was obsolete.

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