*This is a translation done by a machine.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans in the 1950s was undoubtedly the era of Jaguar. It won the overall championship five times, beating such powerhouses as Ferrari, Mercedes-Benz and Aston Martin. The most outstanding was the three consecutive victories starting in 1955. The D-type was the star of the show.
As the XK 120 series sports models gained popularity in the market, William Lyons, Jaguar's chairman and founder, decided to participate in Le Mans to further enhance the sport aspect. Based on the XK120, the chassis structure was changed from ladder to multi-tubular, and the engine was also upgraded. The chassis structure was changed from a ladder type to a multi-tubular type, and the engine was increased in power and replaced with an aluminum body for better aerodynamics. The official name of the car was XK120-C, but it later became known as the C-type.
The C-type won Le Mans twice. In order to compete with its more powerful rivals, Jaguar developed the D-Type, a further development of the C-Type, in time for the 1954 season. the D-Type featured an innovative aluminum monocoque body, a success that would later lead to the famous E-Type. The aerodynamic style with the characteristic tail fins was created by Malcolm Sayer, just like the C-type. Because it was a racing car, there were several different styles, including different nose shapes.
Production of the D-type was 75 units. Another 25 road cars, the XKSS, were also produced. Incidentally, the production of the C-type is said to be 53 units.
|Jun Nishikawa's Highlights!|
Only 75 units were produced. A racing car from a long-established and prestigious brand with a glorious history is not something that can be easily found on the market. If it were to be released to the market, even a car without a racing history would easily exceed 500 million yen, and if it had a history of racing at Le Mans, the price could be over 1 billion yen. If it was sold on the street, it would definitely be a replica. Incidentally, the manufacturer also produced a reproduction D-type, but the price is said to be around 200 million yen.
Of course, this car is not the real thing either. It is a very well-made replica. The body (skeleton) is of the multi-tubular type made by Reynard, a company famous for manufacturing formula cars, and is covered with FRP body panels that incorporate Jaguar's genuine powertrain for the E-Type and other components to reproduce the dynamic style of the car.
There is an anecdote that a famous ex-F1 racer who had raced a real D-type test drove a D-type replica with Reynard's framework and said, "This runs better than the original!". It's a well-made replica model.
This is exactly how I felt during my short test drive. The 4.2-liter straight-six engine for the E-Type Series 1 with its rigid chassis that doesn't feel old is a great performer, and even though I was in Aichi Prefecture, I felt like I was driving on a straight line in Le Mans.
If you know the pun, you can enjoy running better than the real thing with a good replica. I think such a classic car life is wonderful. If you have a model like the D type that people know they rarely see the real thing, it's actually not confusing.
If I were to buy this one, I would change the color immediately. A bright red or an austere titanium gray would be interesting.
Originally written by Jun Nishikawa
Photo by Hidehiro Tanaka
Published on October 2021
|Year of Purchase||Sep 2021|