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Jaguar D-Type 1955 XKD 520-Paris 2014-02-05

Year:
Chassis number:
XKD 520
Engine number:
E2021-9
Body number:
Unknown
Paris
Auction House: RM Auctions
Registration number:
Unknown
Sold for: € 3.696.000

Approx. 300 bhp, 3,781 cc dual overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder engine with three Weber 36 DCO3 carburettors, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension, live rear axle with trailing links and transverse torsion bar, four-wheel disc brakes, and steel-tube sub-frames bolted to a monocoque body. Wheelbase: 2,300 mm
Highly original example with period race historyThe seventh customer D-Type producedDelivered new and raced by four-time Australian Drivers’ Champion Bib StillwellOwned by 1970 Le Mans winner Richard AttwoodDecades of care by marque expert Chris Keith-LucasJaguar’s most iconic sports racing modelThe mighty D-Type succeeded Jaguar’s C-Type with a smashing debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans, where it roared to a 2nd overall finish. Although the model was powered by a further developed version of the C-Type’s long-running 3.4-litre XK competition engine, the D-Type varied from its predecessor with completely different construction, which featured two chassis sub-frames bolted to a monocoque. The coachwork was a beautiful study of aerodynamics that was penned by Malcolm Sayer, and it had the unmistakable suggestions of the forthcoming E-Type, including the introduction of the iconic oval-mouth grille. Just 54 customer cars and 6 factory team cars were built over a three-year period. On the endurance circuits of the period, few cars could match the D-Type, with multiple dominating performances at Nürburgring, Reims, Sebring, and, most importantly, three consecutive victories at Le Mans between 1955 and 1957. The D-Type is an aesthetic masterpiece that sealed Jaguar’s position in post-war racing lore, and it will forever be considered one of the era’s most important and beguiling sports cars. Chassis number XKD 520 is the seventh customer D-Type built, and it was ordered new in June 1955, through Australian importer Jack Bryson, on behalf of its first owner, Bib Stillwell, a local sports car racer and future four-time consecutive winner of the open-wheel Australian Drivers’ Championship. After arriving in Melbourne in January 1956, this car was used extensively by Stillwell, setting numerous sports car records at local circuits, including the Bathurst 500 and the Rob Roy Hill Climb, and it took an outright victory at the South Australia Trophy in Port Wakefield. After briefly being prepared for a run at a landspeed record, XKD 520 returned to sports car class competition, winning the Bathurst Road Racing Championship in 1956.The slate of triumphs continued with the D-Type’s performance at the Moomba Tourist Trophy at Albert Park in Melbourne, where the car roared to a 2nd place finish in March 1956, as well as the Australian Tourist Trophy at the same location in November, where the car finished 5th. Mr Stillwell’s career in XKD 520 essentially concluded the following spring on 24 March 1957, when he took 3rd place at Albert Park.A short time later, this beautiful D-Type was purchased by AMPOL (the Australian Motorists Petrol Company), on behalf of Jack Davey, who was a wartime radio personality of great regional renown. It was entrusted to Bill Murray, of Surfer’s Paradise, and was prepared for the AMPOL-sponsored speed trials, but unfortunately, an accident during transport prevented the car’s participation in the race. The D-Type was then sold to enthusiast Frank Gardner, who rebuilt the still-capable race car and undertook a competition campaign of his own, taking 2nd place at Bathurst in 1958, 1st place at the Mount Druitt Hill Climb, and 3rd place at both of the Orange Racing Car Scratch Races (where he notably only lost to grand prix cars).In November 1958, XKD 520 was sold to David Finch, who soon fitted the car with a factory-supplied 3.8-litre engine, which was a more powerful motor that was equipped on later D-Types and sometimes sold as a replacement engine. The new engine prolonged the car’s competitive ability, allowing it to gamely participate in the Longford event of 1960 and to take 1st overall at the Queensland Tourist Trophy of 1961. Around this time, a minor incident necessitated work to the front end, and Mr Finch took the opportunity to replace the nose with a long-nose bonnet crafted by Sydney body-man Ian Standfield, in the style of the Le Mans-winning long-nose D-Types.In May 1962, this outstanding Jaguar was purchased by Ash Marshall and treated to a thorough freshening, which included chroming multiple components. Over the next few years, the car passed through ownership by Peter Bradley and Richard Parkinson, before being acquired in 1967 by racing great Richard Attwood, the future Le Mans winner. Attwood would keep the car for some 10 years, before selling it to Sir Angus Spencer Nairn.In 1977, Chris Keith-Lucas picked the car up from Mr Attwood’s residence on behalf of the new owner. In a letter, of which a copy is included on file, Keith-Lucas recalls the car fondly: “It was generally quite well-presented, but [it] needed a straight forward recomissioning before being sent to the new owner”.Few businesses could be better prepared to treat XKD 520 to a light freshening. Whilst under Lynx’s care, the car was tended by managing director Chris Keith-Lucas—a recognised marque expert who would later go on to found the well-known and highly regarded CKL Developments—commencing nearly 30 years of attention by Mr Keith-Lucas.Angus used his D-Type lightly, taking part on several track days and competing in the Mille Miglia retrospective, although the car was never seriously raced during that time. In 2004, XKD 520 was acquired by Clive Jarman. It was sent back for maintenance work by Keith-Lucas, who, by this time, had founded his own company, CKL Developments. Jarman decided to correct one feature of XKD 520 that had remained unsatisfactory to him for many years. As mentioned, the original short-nose bonnet had been replaced in 1961 with a long-nose version. As it was not entirely correct, CKL managed to source an original short-nose bonnet that had been discarded decades ago during the restoration of an XKSS. It should be noted that the Australian crafted long-nose bonnet is supplied with the car, as it remains a part of its notable history. Now with a correct-type bonnet, Mr Keith-Lucas states: “In my opinion, [this] car remains one of the best production D-Types in existence today. To the very best of my knowledge, [it] has retained its principle components since the end of the 1950s. It is one of my favourite D-Types”. XKD 520 has been recently serviced, once again, by CKL, and it is accompanied by extensive documentation, including a FIA Historical Technical Passport. It is one of the earliest and most original examples of a customer-specification D-Type, and it is eligible for the most desirable events in the world. The Jaguar D-Type will always have its place in history as one of the all-time greats. At the pinnacle of the Jaguar spectrum, the D-Type is delicate yet aggressive, mixing style with performance and proving itself in race results. XKD 520 is one of very few cars that boast a great provenance, making it a great addition to any stable of collector cars.

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