Jaguar D-type reborn as legendary racer gets 25 more cars

Jaguar is reviving one of its most iconic models, the stunning D-type racing car, with a limited new production run of just 25 planned. It's the handiwork of Jaguar Classic, flush from the success of its efforts to bring the final eight Jaguar E-type cars to life, along with nine new XKSS models that will be completed this year.

While most of the automaker's attentions are lavished on new vehicles, like the 2019 E-PACE crossover SUV we recently drove, the Jaguar Classic team has a different remit. Tasked with maintaining a supply of authentic parts, performing specialist servicing, and even sourcing full cars for Jaguar and Land Rover owners, it's a small but growing team at the company's facilities in Coventry, UK.

In recent years, however, its attentions have turned from maintaining original Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, to the so-called New Original continuation cars. Built by hand, to the original specifications of the classic vehicles, they're based on the authentic blueprints of the cars. The first "new" D-type has already left the garage.

It comes 62 years after the last D-type from the original run was completed, back in 1956. This new car is an engineering prototype to show just what Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works is capable of. 25 cars will be made, completing the original intended run of 100 vehicles, of which Jaguar only produced three-quarters back in the 1950s.

It's the same strategy that saw eight stunning E-type Jaguars produced in 2014-15, filling the missing serial numbers in the process. A couple of years later it began the same process but for the XKSS – notably Steve McQueen's favorite car – of which twenty-five were intended to be made. A fire in 1957 destroyed both the final nine cars being built, along with all the tools and fabrication equipment needed to make them.

Fast-forward roughly sixty years, and Jaguar Classic reconstructed the destroyed tooling and filled in the nine gaps. The same painstaking process will be followed for the new D-type racers, with the automaker's engineers building every aspect to the same, original specifications from the 1950s.

Those lucky enough to be allowed to buy one of the cars will get to choose between two body styles. On the one hand, there'l be the 1955-specification Shortnose D-type; on the other, the 1956-specification Longnose version. The engineering prototype is one of the latter variants, with a tail fin behind the driver's seat, a wide-angle cylinder head, and quick-change brake calipers.

As you'd expect, demand is easily going to outstrip supply for these cars. Jaguar Classic is likely to use the same sort of qualification criteria as it did with the reborn E-type and XKSS, choosing buyers based on their existing classic collections and dedication to the brand. As for pricing, that's also unknown. Still, a 1954 D-type Works is going up for auction in March, with an estimate between $12-15m.