Revered by Steve McQueen, who drove the road-going XKSS version, and three-time overall winner of the Le Mans 24 hours race, the D-Type is one of the most famous Jaguars ever. Since with fame usually comes fortune, the few remaining D-Types out there command outrageous prices at auctions, and the following example is likely to provide more proof of that when it goes on sale on March 14, 2015. In fact, the car is expected to fetch around $4 million, which would put it right up there with some of the most expensive Ferraris from the era.

One of only 54 cars produced for privateer customers, this XCD 530 chassis has been used mainly for ice racing, believe it or not, as the car was originally sold to a Finnish professional tennis player who was also known for his racing exploits in F3 midget cars and a Jaguar C-Type. Curt Lincoln, the original owner, apparently wanted to circumvent a large import tax on his D-Type and instructed Jaguar to make the model appear used.

Updated 03/16/2015: As expected this 1955 Jaguar D-Type turned out to be a real success: this Saturday it was auctioned at Amelia Island for $3,675,000.

Click past the jump to read more about this 1955 Jaguar D-Type.

  • 1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned
  • Year:
    1955
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    four-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    300
  • Displacement:
    3781 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.7 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    160 mph
  • Price:
    3675000
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
- image 617884
1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
- image 617885
1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
- image 617874

If at first glance you’d think that the D-Type was created by an aerodynamicist or racing engineer, and not by a fully fledged designer, and you would be half right. The body was penned by Malcolm Sayer, who worked for the Bristol Aeroplane Company before Jaguar, and who was also responsible for the immortal C, D and E-Types, XJ13 prototype and the XJS. Some of the lines of the D-Type can be traced back to World War II airplanes, which makes for one hell of a lineage.

Since Sayer was well-versed in aerodynamics, the D-Type has a pretty low frontal area, even though the nose looks a little bulbous. The hood is dominated by three bulges, two of which make room for the wheels and one for the dry-sumped inline-six engine. From the side it looks a bit different than the D-Types that raced at Le Mans, mainly because the distinctive stabilizing fin behind the driver has been replaced with the headrest fairing that was common on 1950s open-cockpit race cars. The rear is also dominated by two bulges that the rear wheels, with the overall look being not unlike that of a bumblebee’s belly.

Interior

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned Interior
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The two seats and their arrangement, along with the green upholstery and British Racing Green body panels keep the WW II airplane reference going even further, especially since each seat has its own curved windshield. The humongous three-spoke wooden steering wheel dominates the driver’s cockpit, while the passenger – more like copilot – is cramped by the handbrake lever sitting on the wrong side of the transmission tunnel. The copilot is the only one who had access to the lap-time equipment — an old-school motorsport stopwatch and watch are mounted on the passenger’s dashboard.

Drivetrain

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned Drivetrain
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This D-Type example was factory-tuned by Jaguar at the request of its first owner, with the 3.8-liter inline-six engine sporting three larger Weber carburetors and a different engine block. The powerplant’s estimated output is around 300 horsepower, which should be downright scary on a car that weighs about as much as a Lotus Elise, sent to the rear wheels via a four-speed manual transmission. The model was among the first race cars with disc brakes, but handling should be on the terrifying side at high speed because of the live rear axle with trailing links and a transverse torsion bar.

Drivetrain Specifications

Type 3,781 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine
Output 300 HP
Transmission Four-speed manual
Top Speed 160 MPH
0 to 60 mph 5.7 seconds

Prices

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
- image 617877

This 1955 Jaguar D-Type was auctioned on March 14, 2015 at the Amelia Island for a total of $3,675,000.

Conclusion

1955 Jaguar D-Type Auctioned High Resolution Exterior
- image 617871

With multiple in-period first-place finishes under its belt, ice racing credentials and a history that includes being sent back to the factory for an increase in power, this 1955 D-Type is likely to fetch quite a large sum at the upcoming auction on Amelia Island. The car was restored to its former glory back in 2003, comes with FIA papers and was featured in Jaguar World Monthly magazine. Whether its new owner will take it to historic races or keep it as a garage queen remains to be seen, but either way its value should only go upward.

  • Leave it
    • * Not exactly a bargain
    • * Live rear axle prone to snap oversteer
    • * Road-going version (XKSS) looks better

Source: RM Auctions

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