If you’re looking for the car that began Jaguar’s ascent to worldwide adoration amongst motoring enthusiasts of all ages, then the Le Mans D-Type is that car. Their E-Type and F-Type models we know and love today all had their roots in this revolutionary sports car.
Designed by Jaguar’s then chief engineer William Heynes, with additional input from former WWII aviation expert Malcolm Sayer, the D-Type was built in 1954 to compete for entry in 24 Hours of Le Mans that same year.
From 1955 onwards, it went onto win the annual championship a record three times in succession. It’s success was down to two factors; a monocoque construction of aluminium alloy combined with aviation style technology that made it a winner.
For a car of that time, it is surprisingly powerful, with a 3.4 litre Straight 6 engine roaring out 320 bhp. It helps the Le Mans D-Type to scorch from 0 - 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, 0 - 100 mph in 12.5 seconds, and achieve top speeds in excess of 173 mph.