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This Little Jaguar Is Britain's Most Expensive Car Ever Made

And it's worth every penny.

At times the prices some classic cars go for nowadays can be genuinely terrifying. Seriously desirable classic Ferraris often change hands for well over $10 million, and a Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic sold for a record sum at auction six years ago and could very well have gone for as much as $44 million when you factor in today's inflation rates. There's an off chance that, assuming the classic car market bubble doesn't violenetly burst anytime soon, this Jaguar D-Type's record auction price (for a British car) of $21.8 million could very well be topped in the years to come

What can never be taken away from the "XKD 501" Jaguar D-Type is its significant place in not just Jaguar's heritage documentation but indeed the history of sports car racing. To think this car was already a year old when it was entered by the tiny Ecurie Ecosse privateer team into the 1956 24 Heures du Mans, and was expected to play second fiddle to the factory-supported "long nose" D-Types that the automaker was fielding in the race. And yet the blue Jaguar D-Type you see here was the vehicle that crossed the finish line first after completing 300 laps and 2,510 miles of the Circuit de la Sarthe. It's a victory that rightfully went down in the annals of motorsport history.

Better still, the XKD 501 Jaguar D-Type that took the checkered flag at that historic race is also the most original D-Type anywhere in the world. A combination of being withdrawn from racing less than a year after its Le Mans win and a restoration in 1970 that set out to preserve as much of the original vehicle's fabric as possible, this particular D-Type has survived to the present day in almost the exact same form as when it won Le Mans. With a back story like that, it's no surprise that XKD 501 went under the hammer for over $21 million. In fact, with the rate in which classic cars are inflating, that price could be seen as a bargain in the decades to come! Pictures courtesy of RM Sotheby's.

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