It's still in practically original condition.
The Jaguar D-Type debuted in 1954, and remains one of the most iconic Jags ever built. Production only lasted three years, but the D-Type earned its racing pedigree in that time with wins at Le Mans and Sebring, among other famous race tracks. Only 53 customer cars and 18 factory team cars were built, and now one road-going example is heading to auction this month tipped to sell for between $10 and $12 million. But how do you justify spending that much money on a vintage Jaguar?
Well, this 1956 D-Type was once owned by former Formula One head Bernie Ecclestone, who sold it after a year to British racing driver Peter Blond. For Blond, it was love at first sight. "It was early 1956 that I was struck by the sight of this amazing red D-Type and the young man called Bernard Ecclestone," he recalls. Blond went on to describe how Ecclestone had a small office on Warren Street, "a sort of box with a secretary in it. It was already registered KDB 100 when I bought it. It was brand new and was offered to me for £3,500, which was not a bad price as Brian Naylor in Stockport was offering one for £3,750 at about the same time."
Blond and famed racing driver Jean Bloxham raced the D-Type at various British circuits including Goodwood, Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, securing several first place victories. "My first race with the D-Type was on 14 April, 1956, when I drove it in the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park," Blond explained to historian Anthony Pritchard in an interview. "It was a proper road circuit, and I liked the fact that the D-Type seemed very happy there, particularly in the dry. It was my local circuit and I came to know it quite well. It was a very testing circuit – if you went off, you were quite likely to go into the lake or hit a tree.
"I finished fifth in the heat for cars over 3,000 cc, ahead of Ken Wharton with Joakim Bonnier's Alfa Romeo Disco Volante." One of approximately 24 examples delivered to the UK and one of only two finished in a distinctive red livery, it still has its original and four-speed manual transmission and 3.4-liter inline-6 engine developing 250 hp and 242 lb-ft of torque, with a top speed of over 162 mph. Given its racing pedigree, famous owners and near-original condition, you can see why it's estimated to sell for as much as $12 million when it goes under hammer at this month's Gooding & Co. Scottsdale auction.