1956 Jaguar D-type Roadster
|Written by Sports Car Market|
|Monday, 30 September 2002 16:00|
Jaguar's magnificent legend was enhanced at Le Mans during the 1950s, where their initial C-type specialized roadsters first won the 24 Hour race in both 1951 and 1953. For 1954 a far more sophisticated sports racing car was developed, which became known as the "D-type." Entered at Le Mans as factory team cars in 1954, the first D-types were only narrowly beaten by a much larger-engined Ferrari V12. Jaguar quickly got their revenge a few weeks later when the D-types came in first and second at the 12 hours of Reims at an average speed of 104.55 mph. The works team won the 1955 Le Mans and this was repeated twice more by the private Ecurie Ecosse team in 1956 and 1957.
This D-type hat-trick of Le Mans victories against the strongest opposition sealed the Jaguar marque's charismatic image, and these handsome machines have been acknowledged ever since as one of the greatest classic sports racing cars. In addition to its outstanding competition capabilities, the D-type can also be used as a remarkably docile yet extremely exhilarating road car.