Dusty D Type – Recent Find
Under the bonnet mice had made their home and between the battery box and brake salvo other animals had made thrir home as well.
The spare wheel was white with mould, but the Woodhead shock absorbers were the originals.
It has been bought by undisclosed buyers in the UK, but nearly disappeared again when theives were discovered trying to remove it from it’s private hideaway on landing.
It was under specific instructions from its new owners to the relative transport companies that it was not to be washed during transit.
This is a short nosed D Type version and was supplied as chassis XKD 537 to a Mr Mirinda in El Salvador but two years later in 1956 he returned it to the works for repair after a serious shunt.
Unfortunately when the factory caught fire in February 1957 XKD 537 was melted beyond salvation and so he was compensated by XKD 549.
But to avoid import duties, it was renumbered 537.
549 was scheduled for XKSS conversion prior to its identity swap and shipping to El Salvador.
Mirinda eventually sold it to the USA and later painted red, it again appeared on the market advertised as 537 in 1967.
By the 1970′s it had been acquired by Paul Petty and after his death, the D Type remained in storage until its recent discovery. It’s totally complete and basically just needs an oily rag taken to it.
D Type Jaguar History:
D Types were produced by Jaguar between 1954 to 1957 and in all it’s thought that 71 were produced for customers, primarily for racing.
Perhaps its most ground-breaking innovations were the use of disc brakes, and the introduction of a monocoque chassis. Engines were carried over from the C Type and were initially the twin camshaft 3.4 litre with later models getting the 3.8 litre.
The earlier 3.4 litre with triple weber carburetors had 245 BHP and a top speed of around 170mph.
Although three works cars were entered for the 1956 Le Mans 24 Hour race, non finished, however a small private team entered by Ecurie Ecosse actually won and won again in 1957 until Le Mans changed the regulations to maximum 3 litre engines. Jaguar did enter some 3 litre D Types but they were not competitive.
In 1955 Jaguar fitted the D Type with long nose bodywork and larger valves were fitted to the engines. At Le Mans they were competitive with the Mercedes 300SL’s that were expected to win, but an unbelievable tragedy was about to strike when early in the race, Pierre Levegh in an SLR just clipped the tail of an Austin Healey driven by Lance Macklin. Levegh’s SLR first hit the hay bales, exploding on imapact and then soured into the crowd, killing not only Levegh but more than 80 spectators as well. Mercedes immediately withdraw from the race with Juan Manual Fangio in the lead and Jaguar elected to continue the race with Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb eventually winning the race.
It left a bitter taste in the mouths of many as the cause of the horrific crash in the first place was Mike Hawthorn swerving his D Type in front of the Austin Healey in the first place.