The Jaguar D-Type Returns
Hot on the heels of the “new” E-Types and Land Rover Defender Works V8, the British company is once again putting an old-stager back into production – the D-Type.
If you missed the oddball Grand Tour episode which pitted the D-Type against, of all things, a Civic Type R, this is news. But there’s more to it than Clarkson and company’s quick summary of the situation.
The planned production run for the D-Type was 100 cars but production came to a halt at 75. This new run will complete the ton, which is a kind of homage to the past, I suppose. Homages usually being to the past, but I’m sure you know what I mean.
The D-Types will be built in the same Warwickshire factory as the six “missing” lightweight E-Types and nine XK-SSes, all under the watchful eye of Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic.
“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. 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.”
Seems like third-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but really, who’s counting? It’s absolutely worth noting that the D-Type is a big deal – most of the plans went up in smoke after fire destroyed the original Browns Lane factory in Coventry.
These cars are cool. Jaguar will show a Longnose prototype at the Salon Retromobile (yeah, I’d never heard of it either). This one features the long nose and a set of quick-change brake calipers.
Jaguar says the cars will be “period-correct”, so forget airbags, ABS, catalytic converters or the ability to, you know, road register the car. Seems expensive, and according to the TGT story, will run into the millions of pounds/dollars/euros.
The cars will instantly be worth a packet, too, and the constrained production run will keep current owners happy.
The XK’s lovely straight-six returns, along with the four-speed manual. They won’t all be the same, though – the well-heeled customers will be able to choose from either long or short nose configurations for their D-Type. I have no idea which one will be the favourite, but I’m a fan of the short snout.
My favourite bit of the press release was this nugget – Jaguar’s competition manager in the 1950s was called Lofty England. You cannot make that up.
Kev Riches is the Engineering Manager at Jaguar Classic, so we’ll leave the last word to him. “Recreating the nine D-type-derived XKSSs was hugely satisfying, and an even bigger technical challenge than the six missing Lightweight E-types. 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.”
Peter Anderson is the Editor and founder of the theredline.com.au. He’s been writing about cars for years and finds it difficult to talk about anything else.