1954 Jaguar D-Type Works
After winning Le Mans twice in three years with the C-Type, Jaguar realised that 1954’s contest would require a freshly designed model. The result was the legendary D-Type, one of the first cars to feature monocoque construction and all-wheel disc brakes, which would go on to win Le Mans three consecutive years between 1955 and 1957.
This example, chassis no. XKD 403, was the lead car of the three Works entries prepared for Le Mans in 1954. It was registered for road use as OKV 2 and was entrusted to principal Jaguar drivers Stirling Moss and Peter Walker (the same team that placed 2nd at Le Mans the previous year). Designated number 12, XKD 403 was the fastest car in practice, heightening expectations that Coventry would triumph over Maranello once again.
Unfortunately, at Le Mans all three team cars experienced an engine misfire issue that was traced to contaminated fuel (oddly, Jaguar was the only team provided with polluted fuel). Regardless, Moss managed to take the lead during the earlier hours, also setting the fastest time with 172.97 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. However, around the twelfth hour after 92 laps, at the end of another high-speed run down the straight, the D-Type’s brakes began to fail and Moss deftly swung into the safety road to the pits, where the car retired.
RM Sotheby's will be offering this Jaguar at their upcoming Arizona auction between the 18-19th January 2018. The estimated value is between $12,000,000 - $15,000,000. For more information on this and other vehicles at the sale, click on the link below. Photos: Patrick Ernzen ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby's.