This brief but excellent video history chronicles one of the most successful—and most beautiful—sports racing cars in history: The Jaguar D-Type.
REVISED AND UPDATED — This little film is only four minutes long, but it still manages to catch all the key points of one of the great stories in motorsports: the Jaguar D-Type. Lighter, faster, better than the Jaguar C-Type it replaced, the D-Type employed advanced monocoque construction and sleek, feline bodywork designed by aircraft engineer Malcolm Saylor. Jaguar experts say the total production included 18 factory team race cars, 53 customer cars, and 16 XKSS road cars—a relative handful of cars that had a large and lasting impact on the motoring world.
After finishing second in its Le Mans debut in 1954, the D-Type dominated the 24-hour classic for the next three years, winning comfortably in 1955 and 1956 and, in privateer hands, sweeping five of the top six places in 1957. Of course, it’s not just the stellar race record that makes the car so compelling and coveted today, with auction values recently touching the $20 million mark. The D-Type is also celebrated as one of the most beautiful sports racing cars ever built. Video follows.