After 62 years, Jaguar will finally complete the D-Type’s intended production run. Jaguar Classic announced on Tuesday it intends to build 25 examples of the D-Type racer to complete the originally intended run of 100 cars.
The company only built 75 D-Types when production ceased in 1956, but Jaguar always planned for 100 cars total. Thanks to Jaguar Classic’s painstaking research, every part and body panel will be hand-built to authentic specifications. Truly, these will be vintage race cars built in the modern era.
A storied motorsports history surrounds the D-Type racer, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three straight years from 1955 to 1957. Powering the racer was a 6-cylinder XK engine, which first displaced 3.4-liters, but grew to 3.8-liters by the end of its lifecycle in 1957. Jaguar developed the D-Type with aerodynamic efficiency in mind, and the exterior design portrays many influences from the aviation industry.
Of the 25 D-Types slated for production, Jaguar will allow buyers to choose either the 1955-specification shortnose or 1956-spec longnose bodywork. The first D-Type built by Jaguar Classic, an engineering prototype, will debut at the Salon Retromobile show in Paris this week in 1956 longnose spec.
The D-Type production is the third time Jaguar has undertaken the task of completing a vehicle series’ production. The brand also built six missing Lightweight E-Type models in 2014 and 2015 and nine XKSS models last year and this year. The nine XKSS cars, road-going examples of the D-Type, weren’t completed until the advent of the Jaguar Classic program due to a factory fire in 1957.