Senior Specialist, Private Sales Manager
Sold for £799,000 inc. premium
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Senior Specialist, Private Sales Manager
The Jaguar D-Type sports-racing car series with its record of no fewer than three consecutive Le Mans 24-Hour race wins 1955-57 needs little repetition here.
These cars were constructed to a highly-sophisticated design, not just by contemporary standards when first produced for the 1954 24-Hour race. In an era when primitive ladder-frame chassis were the norm, the hybrid-construction D-Type with its multi-tubular forward frame supporting engine and front suspension, a stressed-skin monocoque central 'tub' accommodating driver, and a separate tubular rear frame providing rear suspension and rear subframe/fuel tank support, owed as much to aeronautical engineering as to any motor industry norm.
The fact that the complete assembly was clad in a supremely beautiful, flowing, aerodynamic enveloping body, styled by unsung artist Malcolm Sayer, then made 'the D-Type' into the enduring legend it has come - so widely admired, adored and respected to this day.
As with any series of truly great classic cars, surviving examples vary in individual provenance and contemporary sporting history. This eminently useable, high-specification example offered here, bears the identity of a genuine in-period D-Type which was fully assembled but then dismantled for parts by the Jaguar company. Beyond that brief initial period as a completely assembled and finished sports-racing car 'XKD 570' has no further 1950s history.
This fact is reflected today in BONHAMS' estimate of pricing, and in assessing 'XKD 570's true value today we emphasise that it is offered here as a wonderfully useable, raceable, enjoyable, roadworthy - and extremely competitive - item of Historic-racing sports equipment which could be yours for a fraction of the cost of an entirely genuine, frontline race-history D-Type - if one could be found... We will now explain further.
Long-time Jaguar press officer and historian Andrew Whyte, in his magnificent book 'Jaguar - Sports-Racing & Competition Cars from 1954' (Haynes, 1987) recorded chassis 'XKD 570' in this manner:
"XKD 570 - Bare metal (body finish) - E2078-9 (engine number) - Car into Service Dept in bare metal state, 18 July 1956, with instructions to remove engine and gearbox and pass them to Bob Smart, the man in charge of Service Dept engine and gearbox administration. The timing of this work coincides with the period during which the badly damaged XKD 403 was being dealt with - mainly in the Competition Shop as opposed to the Service Dept. Jack Broadhead (403's owner) was charged £1,645 11s 1d - a fairly high sum then - and it is known that the result of 403's rebuild was much more like a production car. This supposition is, of course, based only on the circumstances..."
Now consider Andrew Whyte's published researches regarding 'XKD 403' - which began life as a Jaguar works team car in 1954. It was famously UK road-registered 'OKV 2' and it led that year's Le Mans 24-Hour race when co-driven by Stirling Moss and Peter Walker. It was later sold to private owner Jack Broadhead for his budding young driver Bob Berry - and of it Mr Whyte wrote: "Car painted lighter green for 1956, when Berry came third at Silverstone and first at Goodwood, virtually writing-off car later on in that Whitsun meeting. Engine believed retained and fitted into new 'OKV 2', created from XKD 548? - or 570? - or another? New structure painted dark green, usually called BRG...".
The later research work of Jaguar authority Philip Porter, published in his book 'Jaguar Sports-Racing Cars' (Bay View Books, 1995), includes the following register entry re 'XKD 570':
"Engine number E2078-9 Registration number n/a Colour Unpainted History On 18/7/56 Service Dept instructed to remove engine & gearbox, and pass same to Comp Dept", Mr Porter then describes how the date of this work coincided with the repair process on Jack Broadhead's 'XKD 403' and concludes with this observation (this) "...led Andrew Whyte to reason that 'XKD 570' (or 'XKD 548') may have changed identity to XKC 403".
There is in fact evidence that '548's forward frame was used in '403's rebuild, while '570' was reduced to parts in January 1957. However, this entity known today as 'XKD 570' has been prominent within the classic and Historic car world for at least the past thirty or so years, since it has been owned, entered and campaigned very widely upon the Historic car scene by owner Valentine Lindsay, son of the late Hon. Patrick Lindsay who was of course one of the most prominent of all Historic and classic car collectors and racing drivers within the British scene from the mid-1950s until his passing in 1986.
Patrick Lindsay was renowned for his handling of such cars as his magnificent ex-Prince 'Bira' ERA 'Remus', the perpetual Brooklands lap-record holding ex-John Cobb 24-litre Napier-Railton and the 'Lightweight' Maserati 250F '2527'. He also acquired D-Type 'XKD 554' in 1970 (UK registration '2 HYY') which was subsequently inherited by son Valentine in the mid-1980s. The Lindsay clan know their D-Types.
Patrick was both a Director of Christie's auctioneers and head of its Old Masters Department, and his impeccable connoisseurial taste certainly extended to fine competition cars of great significance - that taste and interest passing to his sons Ludovic, James and Valentine who have all been involved within the Classic and Historic car movements over many years.
Valentine Lindsay acquired 'XKD 570' as now offered here from the respected dealer Peter Bradfield in April 2009 and his competition career with the car has included the Mille Miglia Retrospective recalling the legendary 1,000-mile round-Italy races of 1927-1957, plus numerous appearances at such classic and highly-regarded prestige events as the Goodwood Revival and Member's Meeting, the Silverstone Classic, the Le Mans Legends and Spa. This car is accompanied by RAC MSA/FIA HTP documentation, the circumstances of its history are very well known and it has been fully accepted for high-profile competition anywhere in the prestige classic and Historic motor sporting world.
This finned 'Shortnose' Jaguar D-Type began life in the 1980s assembled from assorted Jaguar and reproduction parts and was acquired by the well-known Italian motoring artist Francesco Scianna who asked the British leading marque specialists Lynx Engineering to fit a more period-correct D-Type rear subframe and live rear-axle system. This work was completed and the car formed part of Scianna's collection in Italy. Scianna would go on to compete in the 1988 edition of the Mille Miglia retrospective with Peter Hannen as co-driver. And, as the official artist for that edition of the Mille Miglia, it is perhaps no co-incidence that that year's marketing poster features a certain D-Type...!
We understand the car offered here was subsequently sold to American East Coast Jaguar enthusiast Gary Schaevitz around 1993, apparently comprising some genuine D-Type components which had been fitted along the way. The car participated in several American events in its new owner's hands and became quite familiar around the American classic car scene.
It was then acquired around 1997 by British former Formula 2 and sports-racing car driver Alistair Walker who bought it with the intention of "making it better". Incidentally – and since the current marketing of this D-Type commenced – no less than Simon Kidston contacted us to reminisce about an epic trip he undertook in the 1990s with the car across a snow bound Europe! The current UK V5 registration document cites 1997 as the date of British registration (the date of registration having returned from the USA), that it was previously registered/used overseas and declared date of manufacture as 1956.
Walker had an original-to-drawing front frame made and installed which was not a simple task of exchanging the already-modified existing frame for the replacement, but quite a complex process requiring modification to the tub itself and some reskinning. This was because the underfloor-to-bottom of the original E-Type-derived front frame differed from that required for the correct-form D-Type-design frame. This work also saw the car enhanced with even more than the correct-form front frame and tub, since during the conversion some genuine period parts, such as front suspension wishbones and also correct D-Type brakes, had been located, acquired and fitted. Such genuine period spares could well have been removed originally in 1956-57 from the initial Coventry-built 'XKD 570' when it had been "reduced to produce".
During that factory procedure, the engine number 'E2078-9' had been removed and installed in the factory rebuild of 'XKD 403' - the famous 'OKV 2' - for contemporary owner Jack Broadhead.
While in America, it appears that 'XKD 570' was reunited with its original engine block ex-'OKV 2', the original period unit for that important car having been found. The engine now installed in 'XKD 570' is now considered to be based upon the original cylinder block from that unit – it bears the correct, and correct looking, serial number – and in specification it was certainly considered by its immensely experienced restorers, Lynx Engineering, to be "all true D-Type".
Mr Walker also had Jaguar specialist Pearson Engineering fit a genuine-specification D-Type gearbox, before selling the car in December 2006 to well-known former historic racer Chris Drake. Drake would then sell the car via Peter Bradfield to Valentine Lindsay, for Historic racing and touring use - the Jaguar D-Type being not only an accomplished and extremely capable circuit racer but also a magnificently entertaining and truly inspiring sports car for enthusiastic use upon the public road.
Mr Lindsay then had new-generation Jaguar specialists CKL Engineering - headed by Chris Keith-Lucas, ex-Lynx - continue work to ensure that 'XKD 570' conformed ever more closely to the original works specification of a production D-Type.
Consequent modifications to this car's rear end replaced its initial aluminium fuel tank with a current FIA-accepted original-style tank with rubber fuel bladder. Thus 'XKD 570' emerged as a fully FIA accredited, entirely raceable Historic sports car specified to an extremely high standard.
During this lengthy and expensive process the car's internal panels were also replaced and/or corrected to original factory specification as in 1956, and many other finest technical details were adjusted, corrected or replaced to period form. The car is described as having emerged as "Not a tool-room copy - better than that" - and over the long years it is plain that numerous original parts - not least of course the largely ex-'570'/ex-temporarily-'OKV 2' engine - have coalesced into the car now offered here. Mr Lindsay also had the engine rebuilt and tuned for competition use by leaders in the field, Sigma Engineering.
We would emphasise that the car has since featured in such top line International Historic racing events as the Goodwood Revival and Member's Meetings, the Le Mans Legends support race and Spa, driven most notably by Harry Wyndham, Ben Shuckburgh, Sam Hancock and Ludovic Lindsay. And in their hands over the years the car has proven to be an overall race winner including regular podium finishes in the prestigious RAC Woodcote Trophy race series.
While its record has not been incident-free the car has not only been expertly repaired each time by CKL Engineering but it has also benefited from the opportunity being taken "to put in better bits" - and overall today 'XKD 570' actually presents upon visual inspection as being one of the more true-to-period finned 'Shortnose' D-Types within the entire Historic racing scene.
As indicated earlier, the auction estimate of this Lot takes into complete consideration the interrupted early provenance of 'XKD 570', its present acceptance for Historic competition, and we very much commend it to both Jaguar collectors and historic motor sport competitors as being realistically valued, properly described and - with its career record of FIA documented acceptance and recognition - a magnificently useable, thoroughly enjoyable and extremely competitive Historic sports-racing classic. Ownership is just one bid away...