A couple of weeks ago, we got our wheels in a spin over Aston Martin’s new DB4 GTs. The first of the British brand’s ‘Continuation’ models, Aston’s 25 £1.5 million limited edition cars will hit the road this year, rolling off the same Newport Pagnell production line as the originals. And, as we suspected, this move heralded a wider trend in the automotive industry.
Today, the Jaguar Land Rover Classic Works in Warwickshire – a toy box of a facility visited by Gentleman’s Journal last year – followed in the tyre tracks of the heritage carmaker with their own announcement. This year, Jaguar Classic is restarting production of the iconic Jaguar D-Type in Coventry – a whole 62 years after the last model was built.
The history behind the car
In 1955, Jaguar had planned to build 100 D-Type models. However, when events conspired against them – from being forced to temporarily withdraw from racing to a factory fire that destroyed nine of cars – the automaker abandoned the D-Type, with only 75 completed as intended.
The 25 new D-Types will fulfil the company’s original ambition by creating 25 all-new, period-correct sports cars. And, whilst Jaguar Classic created nine XKSS continuation vehicles in 2017, and complemented the six missing Lightweight E-Types in 2015, this marks the most notable dip back into the history books, with 25 new cars equalling Aston Martin’s order of DB4 GTs.
“The Jaguar D-type is one of the most iconic and beautiful competition cars of all time,” Tim Hannig, Director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, tells us. “With an outstanding record in the world’s toughest motor races, it’s just as spectacular today.”
"The Jaguar D-type is one of the most iconic and beautiful competition cars of all time..."
The new D-Types
Clients’ orders have, understandably, been taken and they can choose between either 1955 specification Shortnose or 1956 spec Longnose bodywork for their D-Types. The rest of the cars will be as original – with Jaguar Classic experts’ painstaking research and exclusive access to original Jaguar engineering drawings ensuring each new D-type is built to the authentic specifications.
Pictured here is the 1956 Longnose specification – the engineering prototype identifiable by its extended hood, characteristic tail fin behind the driver’s head, wide-angle cylinder head and quick-change brake calipers. Under the bonnet, expect a six-cylinder XK engine – the same that powered the Jaguar D-type to victory at the Le Mans 24 Hours race three times between 1955 and 1957.
“The opportunity to continue the D-type model’s success story,” adds Hannig, “by completing its planned production run in Coventry, is one of those once-in-a-lifetime projects that our world-class experts at Jaguar Land Rover Classic are proud to fulfil.”