The first works Jaguar D-Type, OKV 1, which finished second at Le Mans in 1954, was back at the circuit for the 90th anniversary of the race last weekend to pay homage to all Jaguars that have competed in the famous event.
OKV 1 was invited by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), who created and organised the first “24 Heures du Mans” in 1923, and was part of a select group of just eleven original Le Mans cars with great history that drove two parade laps around the circuit prior to the start of the race.
Under a grey sky, the extraordinary cars that joined the D-Type ranged from the 1930 Speed Six Bentley that finished second in that same year to an Alfa Romeo 8C from the Alfa Museum, the rarely seen winning GT40 and a present day Audi.
Classic Motor Cars’ Chairman, Peter Neumark, drove the famous D-Type that his company restored back in 2000 and he commented afterwards: “It was a great privilege to be asked to take part. The second lap was truly amazing, at every marshals post, each group of at least twenty orange clad marshals stood in line waving and cheering as we drove past.”
He added: “This culminated in driving back down the start/finish straight where every team stood in line, including drivers, pit crews and management applauding and saluting us as we drove slowly past. It was remarkable and something that will linger in the memory bank for a long time.”
True to its spirit, OKV 1 is not just a museum piece as it had a great racing record since CMC’s restoration that peaked when it won its grid in the 2010 Classic Le Mans.