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Formerly the Property of Peter Blond and Jean Bloxham | Extensive Period UK Racing HistoryBernie Ecclestone, London, England (acquired new via Henlys of Manchester in 1955)Peter Blond, London, England (acquired from the above in 1956)Jonathan Sieff, London, England (acquired from the above in 1957)Monty Mostyn, London, England (acquired from the above in 1959)John Houghton, England (acquired from the above circa 1959)Jean Bloxham, England (acquired from the above in 1960)John Houghton, England (re-acquired from the above circa 1962)John Coombs and Richard Wilkins, Surrey, England (acquired from the above circa 1967)Clive Lacey, England (acquired from the above by 1974)Peter Grant, Sussex, England (acquired via Adrian Hamilton circa 1977)George Stauffer, Blue Mounds, Wisconsin (acquired via Adrian Hamilton in 1982)Chris Cox, Chapel Hill, North Carolina (acquired from the above in 1996)Roger Willbanks, Denver, Colorado (acquired from the above in 1998)Bill Jacobs, Joliet, Illinois (acquired from the above in 2005)Current Owner (acquired from the above in 2008)
British Empire Trophy, Oulton Park, UK, April 1956, Blond, No. 56 (15th Overall)Aintree 200, April 1956, Blond, No. 27 (7th Overall)Silverstone Daily Express, May 1956, Blond, No. 11 (10th Overall)Goodwood, May 1956, Blond, No. 54 (DNS)Snetterton National 100, June 1956, Blond, No. 48 (2nd Overall, 1st in Class)Aintree 100, June 1956, Blond, No. 37 (5th Overall)Oulton Park, August 1956, Blond, No. 26 (6th Overall)Snetterton National, September 1956, Blond (1st Overall)Goodwood Trophy, September 1956, Blond, No. 15 (9th Overall)Snetterton National 100, March 1957, Blond (2nd Overall)Snetterton National Jaguar Handicap, March 1957, Blond (3rd Overall)Oulton Park British Empire Trophy, April 1957, Blond, No. 55BARC Goodwood, August 1957, Sieff (5th Overall)National Oulton Park, October 1957, Sieff (5th Overall)Oulton Park British Empire Trophy, April 1958, Blond, No. 60 (DNF)International Auto Flugplatzrennen Wien-Aspern, May 1958, Sieff, No. 2 (DNF)Crystal Palace National Open, July 1958, Sieff, No. 43Full Sutton, July 1958, Sieff (2nd Overall)Full Sutton Formula Libre, July 1958, Sieff (2nd Overall)National Brands Hatch, August 1958, Sieff, No. 81 (6th Overall)Goodwood Tourist Trophy, September 1958, Sieff and Maurice Charles, No. 12 (9th Overall)Oulton Park International Gold Cup, September 1958, Sieff (8th Overall)Aintree 200, April 1959, Blond, No. 20 (11th Overall)Goodwood Easter Monday, April 1961, Bloxham (DNF)Silverstone, May 1961, Bloxham, No. 101 (3rd Overall)
In 1953, Jaguar began to develop a replacement for its C-Type, the model that had established the Coventry firm’s international reputation with wins at Le Mans in 1951 and 1953.
Under the direction of company founder William Lyons and chief engineer William Heynes, a state-of-the-art sports racing car began to take shape, the likes of which had never been seen before. When it made its official competition debut at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in June 1954, the Jaguar D-Type took the racing world by storm.
Inspired by the latest advances in aircraft technology, the D-Type featured a high-strength alloy monocoque chassis, with load-bearing external panels and tubular subframes fore and aft. This new approach represented a radical departure from conventional automotive design; more traditional manufacturers did not implement similar technology until decades later. In addition to its revolutionary chassis, the D-Type benefited from numerous other aviation-inspired features, including Dunlop disc brakes, a deformable fuel bladder, and dry sump lubrication.
Malcolm Sayer, an expert aerodynamicist who had left the Bristol Aeroplane Company to work for Jaguar, was given a free hand to create the shape of the D-Type. He described his design brief as “functional efficiency at all costs.” Nevertheless, the car’s highly effective bodywork, rendered in lightweight aluminum and perfected in the wind tunnel, was undeniably beautiful, with ideal proportions and compound curves.
While so much of the D-Type’s design broke new ground, the latest Jaguar was powered by a development of the proven twin-cam, straight-six XK engine that debuted in 1948. Equipped with three Weber carburetors, high-compression pistons, and high-lift camshafts, the D-Type’s engine produced at least 250 bhp and allowed for a top speed in excess of 170 mph.
Campaigned at the highest levels of motor racing, the D-Type achieved tremendous success during its career. Notable highlights include three overall wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1955, 1956, and 1957), two wins at the 12 Hours of Reims (1954 and 1956), and outright victories at the 1955 12 Hours of Sebring and the 1956 Grand Prix of Spa.
Building on the success of its works cars, Jaguar decided to offer a D-Type for customers eager to buy a proven winner. A production line was set up at Browns Lane that produced 67 customer cars, including 16 examples of the road-going XKSS. With few exceptions, production D-Types were identically equipped – in the short-nose, Weber-carbureted configuration – and sold to privateers beginning in fall 1955.
The Jaguar offered here, XKD 518, is a superb example of a customer D-Type, and possesses a well-documented UK racing history and a rich, unbroken provenance.
One of approximately 24 production D-Types delivered in the UK, XKD 518 was completed in December 1955 and dispatched to Jaguar-Rover dealer Henlys of Manchester. According to factory records, this car was originally finished in a striking red over red color scheme, making it one of as few as two D-Types delivered this way.
Henlys had difficulty finding a buyer for the new sports racing car and disposed of it through the trade, selling it to Bernie Ecclestone. The car’s first private owner was Peter Blond, a talented amateur racer who had established his tradition of Jaguar ownership with an SS100 – a 21st birthday present from his father as a reward for not drinking or smoking. He eventually upgraded to an XK120 and then to a “lightweight” C-Type.
In an interview with historian Anthony Pritchard, Blond recalled his acquisition and first race outing with XKD 518:
“I used to go to Warren Street quite frequently, and with new cars in short supply and the bulk of production being exported, it was a haven for available cars. It was early 1956 that I was struck by the sight of this amazing red D-Type and the young man called Bernard Ecclestone, who had a small office there, a sort of box with a secretary in it. It was already registered KDB 100 when I bought it. It was brand new and was offered to me for £3,500, which was not a bad price as Brian Naylor in Stockport was offering one for £3,750 at about the same time.
“As I had enjoyed my C-Type so much, it seemed a natural progression, and it didn’t cost all that much more money. It had of course a single windscreen round the cockpit and an alloy cover over the passenger seat. I think it was the best road car that I ever owned. If it started to rain, then at any speed over 50 mph you weren’t aware of it. I used to wear a crash helmet with a visor, which was so much better than goggles because you could wipe the visor and if it started to mist up, you just lifted your head and the breeze cleared it.
“My first race with the D-Type was on 14 April, 1956, when I drove it in the British Empire Trophy at Oulton Park. It was a proper road circuit, and I liked the fact that the D-type seemed very happy there, particularly in the dry. It was my local circuit and I came to know it quite well. It was a very testing circuit – if you went off, you were quite likely to go into the lake or hit a tree. I finished fifth in the heat for cars over 3,000 cc, ahead of Ken Wharton with Joakim Bonnier’s Alfa Romeo Disco Volante.”
Peter Blond went on to race XKD 518 about a dozen times through mid-1957, with highlights including a 5th Overall at the Aintree 100, a top 10 finish in the Goodwood Trophy, and a win at the Snetterton National Race.
Blond’s cousin, Jonathan Sieff, purchased the Jaguar from him in summer 1957 and immediately entered it in the BARC race at Goodwood in August, placing 5th Overall. He and Blond campaigned the car with good results through 1959, even taking the car to Austria in May 1958 for the Aspern airport race.
After the 1959 season, Monty Mostyn of Speedwell Garage purchased the Jaguar, registered it as MM 2, and sold it to John Houghton, creator of the Biota, a Mini-based sports car. After a brief period, Houghton sold the car to Jean Bloxham, one of the most prominent female race car drivers of the era.
Having successfully raced examples of the Aston Martin DB2 and DB3S throughout the late 1950s, Bloxham bought the D-Type on the advice of Jaguar’s competition manager “Lofty” England. She raced XKD 518 at Goodwood and Silverstone and recalled that “it was a very comfortable road car, smooth, powerful and with a superb gearbox.”
In 1962, after her husband Roy was killed driving a Lister-Jag, she sold the D-Type back to John Houghton. In 1967, it passed to John Coombs and Richard Wilkins, who, in turn, sold it to Clive Lacey. During Mr. Lacey’s ownership, XKD 518 attended the first International E-Type Day, held at Donington Park in 1974. Later, the D-Type was sold, through Adrian Hamilton, to Peter Grant, the manager of rock band Led Zeppelin.
In 1982, American collector George Stauffer acquired XKD 518 and reportedly kept the Jaguar as a display in his office. It remained in his care until 1996, when it was sold to Chris Cox of North Carolina, who sold it, two years later, to Roger Willbanks of Denver. The current owner acquired the D-Type in 2008 from well-known enthusiast Bill Jacobs, and it has since resided among other exceptional sports racing cars in his collection. Due to relative inactivity in recent years, the Jaguar may require servicing before providing optimal performance.
Today, this wonderful example of Jaguar’s most iconic and charismatic sports racing car is being offered for public sale for the first time in a decade. Finished in its brilliant red livery, XKD 518 is equipped with the correct 3.4-litre engine, stamped E2028-9 on the block and cylinder head, matching both the factory build record and the data plate. Similarly, the chassis number is stamped in the correct location on the front subframe and the original body tag is riveted to the rear bulkhead.
Presented here is a rare opportunity to acquire a highly regarded D-Type. XKD 518 possesses an impressive competition history, including many successful outings at British events, and an unbroken provenance that counts noted racing drivers and collectors among its former owners. It has been thoroughly documented by leading Jaguar historians and features prominently in the most important books on the marque and model. Its distinctive original livery and superb reputation will always distinguish this car from its brethren, whether on the road, track, or concours field.
Any collector determined to own a D-Type is strongly encouraged to give serious consideration to XKD 518. After all, a Jaguar sports racing car with only the right kind of stories is hard to come by. Very few examples possess the outstanding qualities of this car, which has been an object of desire since Peter Blond first spotted it in London in 1956. For the true collector – one who has a deep appreciation for extraordinary automobiles and the fascinating lives they have led – this D-Type is a unique prize.