Jaguar D-Type

The XKD 501 Jaguar D-Type, from Le Mans to Monterey

The Jaguar D-Type is a famous raving car. This one, S/N XKD 501, is quite peculiar and it will be on auction at Monterey, by RM Auctions.

The Jaguar D-Type is the direct descendant of the C-Type. With two winnings at Le Mans in 1951 and 1953 for the C-Type, the newcomer has to be a quite competitive car. The D-Type appears at Le Mans in 1954 and shows potential, even if it does not win.

The XKD 501 D-Type

After building 6 cars for its official team, Jaguar needs to build more cars to have it homologated. 54 more cars are built for private teams. The first one to get out of the factory wears the serial number XKD 501. This car joins one of the most famous private Jaguar racing teams, the Ecurie Ecosse.

Racing debuts in 1955

The car can not be part of its first two races. Jimmy Stewart, Jackie’s elder brother, crashes it during practice sessions at Silverstone and at the Nürburgring. For both accidents, the car has to be sent back to the factory to be repaired.

Ninian Sanderson takes the 6th place of the race opening the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. The following races bring vicotries and second places to Titterington at Chaterhall and Snetterton. He is teamed up with Sanderson for the 9 Hours of Goodwood, where they take the second place!

In August, Sanderson wins both races at Crimond, while Titterington ends in second place at Aintree.


1956, XKD 501 takes the lead

The season starts in April, with a third place for Sanderson & Lawrence at Aintree and Chaterhall. Sanderson retires, while Flockhart and the Ecurie Ecosse get the 2nd and 3rd places, before their first registration to Le Mans.

Jaguar aligns 3 official D-Types, but they are not the ones that prove the performances of the D-Type. They all have troubles during the race and finally, it’s the car from the Ecurie Ecosse, XKD 501, wearing #4 and driven by Flockhart & Sanderson, that ouwits Aston Martin. This car gets into history, winning Le Mans !

The results will be far less exciting, with only a third place at Goodwood.

Since 1957, less races

Jaguar officially retires in 1957. The Ecurie Ecosse manages the official D-Types, but XKD 501 is not used anymore.

It races at the Mille Miglia, driven by Flockhart, but does not finish.

In 1958, the ony race of XKD 501 is a club race at Aintree, where it gets the 7th place. It is used until 1960, before retiring.

The XKD 501 D-Type, outside of the tracks

The Ecurie Ecosse uses XKD 501 for exhibitions until they sell it in 1970. It is then put back to its 1956 Le Mans specifications. It is completely restored, the engine is even sent back to Jaguar for a complete rebuild.

In 1999, the car joins an American collection. It joins the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance where it wins in both its categories: Racing Jaguar and Road & Track.

XKD 501 will be on sale at Monterey, with RM Auctions Sotheby’s

It is the main sale of RM Auctions Sotheby’s auction in Monterey. The lots proposed are astonishing, but this is the most expensive car, according to its estimated price : between $20 and $25 billions!

We will present the whole program of that auction soon.

Photos : RM Auctions Sotheby’s

Posted by Pierre in Auctions, Cars in the spotlight, News, Non classé, 0 comments

The Jaguar XKSS is back !

Jaguar-Land Rover Heritage is no more, this department is now called Jaguar-Land Rover Classic. And their first big annoucement is awesome, they will build 9 brand new Jaguar XKSS.

If you do not know the XKSS, do not worry, it is a car known by well-informed people. In fact, it’s derived from the D-Type which was a successful race car, since its debut in 1954, replacing the C-Type. The D-Type is mainly known for winning the 24 hours of Le Mans in 1955, 1956 and 1957.

By the end of 1956, Jaguar wants to stop its official racing engagement, letting private team race with their cars. However, it does not mean stopping the development, becaus ethe D-Type is not approved as a road car in the US, They need 25 “street version” cars to be approved by the SCCA.

Jaguar’s board decides to produce 25 XKSS, derived from the D-Type, with bumpers, luggage rack, hood and a passenger door. However the factory where it is built burns whereas only 16 models have been produced ! This car is obviously rare and, besides replicas, extremely expensive.

The new lot of Jaguar XKSS to be built will not really be a bargain, though. The price tag for the “brand new” models is £1 million ! Jaguar-Land Rover Classis says it will be the fruit of the best of Jaguar engineering allied with the original look of the XKSS and a XK engine buildt with the greatest of care. 9 cars will be built, to finally reach the 25 cars that were intially planned, back in the day. Production is assumed to start next year.

However, do not try to call your local Jaguar dealer. You will not be allowed to book one, unless you are a huge car collector or one of the best Jaguar-Land Rover customers.

Posted by Pierre in News, Non classé, 0 comments