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  Jaguar D-Type
 

  Article Image gallery (143) Chassis (4) XKD 501 Specifications User Comments (2)  
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Country of origin:Great Britain
Produced from:1955 - 1958
Numbers built:42
Internal name:XKD
Designed by:Malcolm Sayer
Author:Wouter Melissen
Last updated:August 04, 2016
Download: All images
Chassis: XKD 501
Built early in 1955, this is the very first D-Type specifically built for a customer, and not just any customer but Ecurie Ecosse, who had previously run C-Types with considerable success. The car was acquired for Jimmy Stewart, Jacky's older brother, to race. He did not actually get to racing XKD 501 because he crashed it twice in practice sessions during the month of May. Each time, the D-Type had to be returned to Jaguar for repairs. The second crash also ruled it out for that year's 24 Hours of Le Mans. Later in the year, it was raced with some success on the British Isles by Desmond Titterington and Ninian Sanderson. It scored several overall podium finishes and class victories.

For the 1956 season, it was fitted with a full width windscreen to comply with the latest regulations. A fresh engine was also installed. The car continued its late 1955 form and even scored a win at Goodwood. In the World Championship round at Reims, it placed fourth behind three of the latest D-Type works cars. XKD 501 was then fielded at Le Mans for Sanderson and Ron Flockart. By hour four, the three works cars were already out of contention, leaving the Ecurie Ecosse D-Type to defend Jaguar's honours. By keeping out of trouble and running at a very competitive pace, the Scotish team did just that and clinched victory with this car, holding a seven-lap lead over the second placed Ferrari.

Following its Le Mans victory, XKD 501 was raced at select events in the final months of the season. For 1957, Ecurie Ecosse mostly ran its newly acquired Longnose Works Cars but this seasoned machine did appear in the Mille Miglia. At the end of the year, it was retired from contemporary racing and soon after acquired by one of Ecurie Ecosse backers, Major Thomson. Following several public appearances in the late 1960s, it passed to fellow Scot Sir Michael Nairn. He had the car sympathetically restored, taking great care to retain all the major components of its Le Mans victory. In Sir Nairn's ownership, XKD 501 was regularly exercised but never raced hard in historic events like most of the sister cars.

In 1999, it was sold to a major American collector of historic sports and competition cars. A couple of years later, it was shown at Pebble Beach where it won the Jaguar Competition class and the Road & Track award. It remains as the only one of the Le Mans winning C-Types and D-Types that has no stories attached. Offered for public sale for the first time, it has now been consigned to the 2016 RM Sotheby's Monterey auction where it looks set to become the most expensive Jaguar ever sold auction and by quite a margin.


Chassis details
Manufactured in 1955
First owner Ecurie Ecosse
Major wins
1956 24 Hours of Le Mans (Ron Flockhart / Ninian Sanderson)
Appearances
Most recent auction(s)

2016 Monterey Auctions 2016 Monterey Auctions Jaguar D-Type Jaguar D-Type
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Jaguar D-Type Jaguar D-Type Jaguar D-Type Jaguar D-Type

  Article Image gallery (143) Chassis (4) XKD 501 Specifications User Comments (2)