Despite only being in production for four years, between 1954 and 1957, the Jaguar D-type has gone down in history as one of the most iconic sports racing cars of the 1950s. Conceived with one specific purpose in mind – to win the prestigious Le Mans 24-Hour race – the D-type accomplished this on three consecutive occasions from 1955 – 57.
With 2017 marking the 60th year since the car won its final Le Mans race in June 1957, publisher Haynes has launched the Jaguar D-type Owners’ Workshop Manual, providing enthusiasts with an unprecedented look at this incredible sports car.
Driven by some of the biggest racing stars of the 1950s, including Mike Hawthorn, Stirling Moss, Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt, its competition career continues today in top historic events such as Le Mans Classic and the Goodwood Revival.
Written by motor racing historian, Chas Parker, the manual follows the full restoration of a D-type from the ground up at the premises of CKL Developments, covering every aspect of the car’s construction. Further insights and expert views are given by Jaguar specialists, including Chris Keith-Lucas and Gary Pearson, as well as drivers and owners of the D-type.
Aided by numerous photographs and illustrations, the manual details the origin and development of the D-type. It also covers the history of the car’s predecessors – the XK120 and the Jaguar C-type – along with its competition history, both for the works team and in private hands.
Talking about D-type, Chas commented: "With this classic sports car still being highly revered by fans today, it’s no surprise that the Jaguar D-type that won the Le Mans 24-Hour race in 1956 became Sotherby’s seventh most expensive car of all time last year, selling at auction for £16.4m. Not only was the car innovative and technically advanced for its time, with the use of aircraft-industry thinking and techniques, it was also a thing of beauty, with its aerodynamic oval cross-section and tail fin."
Chas added: "Having full access to CKL’s full restoration of the D-type was a great opportunity for me to take exclusive photographs at every stage of the procedure. This meant that I could truly get under the bonnet and bring this manual to life. With the launch of the book coinciding with the start of the 2017 motor racing season, I really hope that motor sports fans and Jaguar enthusiasts enjoy reading the book as much as I have enjoyed writing it."
The Jaguar D-type Owners' Workshop Manual is published in March.
About the author
Chas Parker swapped a career in astronomy, including contributions to Patrick Moore’s Yearbook of Astronomy and the Philip’s Astronomy Encyclopaedia, to become a motorsport writer. He spent seven years as sub-editor on Motorsport News, also reporting on events such as the Goodwood Revival and Festival of Speed. He is the author of several books including comprehensive and acclaimed histories of Brands Hatch, Silverstone and Jaguar D-type XKD 504.
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