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The Magazine

Another D-type makes it to the market

Another D-type makes it to the market
When a prestine Tucker Torpedo that starred in Tucker’s 1948 promotional film, that was Preston Tucker’s private car and that was owned by Governor Rockefeller of Arkansas later-on is estimated to make just one tenth of the price of another car sold on the same day – then you know that other car has to be something rare and desirable indeed. And it is. The last time we saw an original D-type being offered for auction was last year, when chassis number XKD510 was for sale in Australia.

That car remained unsold at 7- to 8 million dollars but RM Sotheby’s auctioneers trust they have one that could double that price. Could they? Well, it’s all about heritage, and this car certainly is hard to beat when it comes to that. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the legendary ex-works car ‘OKV 2’, one of five factory competition D-types built in 1954 and perhaps even the best known of them all? Chassis number XKD403 was entered for Le Mans in 1954 and driven by Stirling Moss and Peter Walker in traditional British Racing Green that year. It made the fastest time but had to retire with failing brakes half-way the race.

It didn’t end there, though. According to RM Sotheby’s the car was campaigned in at least 55 races and had 24 podium finishes, of which five were overall victories during the 1950s alone. ‘XKD403’ underwent use as the factory’s development car for the 1955 Le Mans and played a key role in Jaguar’s success over the next several years. The car became a ‘mule’ for test driver Norman Dewis and notes of his test work, as well as later correspondence, are all in the car’s file. More modifications and races followed, plus a sale to Jaguar’s PR man and a former pilot in Canada, amongst others. Some real mystery and suspense was added when a mechanic was killed behind its wheel in June 1963. The car was restored in the UK in the early 1980s and stayed there for the next couple of decades. Then it headed to the US in 1999 with the new owner using it very well until 2011. Up until then it was driven and/or raced by Stirling Moss, Peter Walker, Mike Hawthorn, Duncan Hamilton, Jack Fairman, Peter Whitehead, Ken Wharton, Bob Berry, Jimmy Stewart, Desmond Titterington, Don Beauman, Peter Blond, Ivor Bueb, Norman Dewis, Ron Flockhart, and Ninian Sanderson – ‘the who’s-who of Jaguar racing!’

It also comes with a spare works engine with correct markings. Now, if you did win that New Year Lottery, you should perhaps not look any further…?

(Words editor, picture courtesy RM Sotheby's)

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