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

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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 A combination of being withdrawn from racing less than a year after its Le Mans win and a restoration in 1970 that set out to preserve as much of the original vehicle's fabric as possible,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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