Journal: Rejoice, Jaguar Is Going To Build 25 Brand-New D-Types

Rejoice, Jaguar Is Going To Build 25 Brand-New D-Types

By Alex Sobran
February 7, 2018
10 comments

Images courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover Classic

Jaguar Classic is more than just an expensive source for manufacturer-certified parts to slap onto your old Mk2, and among the contemporary crop of car companies offering support for their vintage-enthused clientele they are doing by far the most intriguing work when it comes to the projects more ambitious than sourcing a correct set of brake light relays. For instance, they put an electric drivetrain in an E-Type last fall, and they’ve also been steadily “re-releasing” some of their greatest hits over the past few years.

Back in 2014 they constructed six brand-new E-Type Lightweights, then two years later they built nine examples of their exceedingly rare XKSS sports car. These aren’t replicas in the typical sense, as each car in these continuation series as they’re calling them is built from the ground up to the exact specifications of the originals. barring a few immaterial modifications for safety. The reason they give for such projects is that they are simply fulfilling production quotas that were never carried out in the period. To use the XKSS again as an example, the fire at Jag’s Browns Lane factory turned the remaining nine cars from the planned 25-car run into melted piles of metal.

Now Jaguar Classic is doing the same thing with perhaps its most famous machine of all: the D-Type. The three-peat outright Le Mans-winner is still an extremely influential design and its mechanical competence gave it a reputation as a bastion of endurance racing. Starting this year—the first of the new D-Types will be shown this week in Paris at Rétromobile—Jaguar Classic will set off to build 25 examples in their facilities in Coventry, in either short or long nose configuration depending on client orders. The reason for this is the same as given before: 100 cars were slated to be built, but only 75 were. They say they’re fulfilling their ancient duty for the remaining 25 in 2018, but they’re a little wrong here, technically, as the remaining 25 D-Types in the order sheet were actually going to be converted to XKSS-specification, and though nine chassis burned, the remaining 16 were completed. But are we going to complain? Of course not. Be cynical and call it a marketing maneuver or a cash-grab, and let’s say that’s true, I still think this kind of enthusiasm from a prominent manufacturer can only help us hold onto the history of cars like these, even if it’s just to remind us one more time of their original existence.

Jaguar plans to sell these certainly-not-street-legal D-Types for an amount they’re probably shy to mention at the moment, but considering these cars were built by the factory and referenced the original documents for the D-Types, these are going to be flawless and priced accordingly. It will be interesting to see what they will do to the market for the ‘50s D-Types, as recently the examples at auction haven’t been exactly blowing through their estimates as is. What do you think about this car? This trend? Would you like to see more of this or is it better to let history remain history?

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Rhys Nolan
Rhys Nolan(@rhysnolan307)
3 years ago

I have been a little close to this, and attended a family day at Jag Classic. The attention to detail is astounding. Even hidden components are EXACTLY as they were. Some things, even Lucas, and Smiths are near impossible to find, so they are being re-tooled. Apart from anything else, an owner of any Jaguar D type now has genuine, period correct spares available, from Jaguar.
Those of us lucky enough to get close up to a D, or even rarer XKSS in the past know how glorious they look and sound (yes I don’t like an XKSS screen either), now a whole lot more people may get to get close. As long as they don’t get hidden away in private collections.
What next? I guess we will just have to wait.

Richard Milner
Richard Milner(@richard_milner)
3 years ago

Why not, if you can’t afford £3m or so and only have half that and pine for a D type then you’ll be a happy bunny. Good to know these cars can be built the way they were in the day bringing younger men on in the footsteps of the craftsmen in Sir Williams Lyons time. Recreations, replicas, kits, whatever they are called means there’s more to enjoy. I could not afford a GT40 but my GTD GT40 is good enough and close enough to capture the experience of driving the car that beat Ferrari. Bring it on!

Felix Trzetrzelewska
Felix Trzetrzelewska
3 years ago

Call me naive, but I don’t see how this could possibly harm anything…and the originals will always be the originals. I think it’s wonderful, and I cite to Mr. Pilcher’s remark as well.

George Millwood
George Millwood(@sputnik)
3 years ago

I’ve seen a couple of originals and it is still the most beautiful car I have ever seen.

John Pilcher
John Pilcher(@john_pilcher)
3 years ago

If we want to keep the skills of the craftsman alive we need to do things like this! They will have no history & that will set them apart. If i had the money would i have one, yes! I’d put next to the Cobra, 240z, Cooper S, Morris 1000 Van & Pantera.

Chad C.
Chad C.(@chad-c)
3 years ago

Gotta say I’m with the others here, but I wasn’t at all sure of the thoughts of others as I logged in to respond.

There is an argument that the D-Type belongs to history, rather than to Jaguar, which has changed ownership a few times since the discontinuation of the D-Type. But then you see it here. Better yet, you see it in person; were the people who resumed production of this car any less passionate about its production than the original group of people? Considering the successes the car had, the current group is arguably more so. To me, that’s what both the history of the car and the car itself are all about. Passion.

So, is it not a genuine Jaguar? If not, how so? And, did they really need a reason to produce more of these? Is the reason not clear based on everything we know about this car, and the photos we just saw?
With that in mind, I agree that there’s a strong argument for 25 more Porsche 550A Spyders, 25 more Maserati Birdcage Tipo 63s, and some tube-framed Heritage goodness from Maranello.

I’ve seen one original D-Type in my life, ten years ago, and I still feel lucky I got to see it. It seems my chances of seeing another one some day have just increased, that can’t be a bad thing…

Todd00000
Todd00000
3 years ago

Let history be history, no. Too many cars these days have the same Bosch this, and Brembo that, and carbon skin, with computers that control too much. The driving experience is similar, safe, and easy. That’s is why there is a market for very expensive, new, old cars.

Aldo Michel
Aldo Michel
3 years ago

Cal me when they re-release the XJ-13

jackc
jackc
3 years ago

I hope it’s a resounding success, and I hope Porsche is watching. Anyone for a NEW Speedster? 911S 2.2?

Gavin Langier
Gavin Langier(@laniger)
3 years ago

A lot of people, whether they are car lovers or not, truly appreciate the D-type. It’s iconic status is a result of it’s achievements on the track as well as the fact it’s a great piece of automotive design, from a golden era. I see this continuation as entirely positive, it perhaps takes the pressure off people inclined to over restore originals as well as hopefully ensuring more “D-types” actually get used and appreciated by a wider number of people. I personally cannot see any logic to the argument that 25 new cars would dent the price of the original, if I had the money for an original I’d probably buy a continuation as well. If values for the originals are on the wane it’s simply down to the fact they have risen so high in the first place and that trend can’t last forever. There have been plenty of previous D-type replicas made, these just happen to be the best.