The ‘real’ XKD 530 is up for sale next week and the former ice-racing British Racing Green 1955 Jaguar D-Type looks set to attract the big hitters with its controversial backstory…
Highly regarded many as one of the most beautiful and iconic sport racing cars ever built, the illustrious Jaguar D Type was developed specifically to win the most prestigious of motor racing events of the day, Le Mans 24 Hours, and is expected to bring around $7,000,000 – $10,000,000 when the hammer falls next week at RM Sotheby’s Monterey Sale.
One of only 54 to roll off the production line back in 1956, the Jaguar was delivered new to Curt Lincoln, a tennis player on Finland’s Davis Cup team, known in the racing world for his exploits in F3 midget cars and, Jaguar C-Type. In a bid to avoid any vehicle tariffs, he instructed Jaguar to fit a noticeably used steering wheel, ‘worn’ pedals, and even a discreetly tweaked speedometer.
XKD 530 competed in the Eläintarhanajo, but its primary exploits after 1956 were in that most uniquely northern motorsport: ice racing. Running 1¾-inch studded tyres, XKD 530 and Lincoln managed to achieve 1st Place on the ice on 24 February and 10 March 1957.
Jaguar D-Type ‘XKD 530’
Just as England brought football home in 66′, the car was sold to the British collector, vintage racer, and prolific D-Type acquirer, Nigel Moores who decided bolting a front and rear chassis sub-frame to the body monocoque was the most cost-efficient way forward which, in turn, offered the opportunity to remove the damaged body while also preserving as many original chassis components as possible.
Chassis tub separated and all-new bodywork mounted in the factory long-nose style, the car was then fitted with the wide-angle head D-Type engine originally used by the Briggs Cunningham team.
The separated monocoque body, original factory-upgraded 3.8-liter engine, and gearbox were put aside and eventually sold in the mid-1980s to historic racer John Harper, who repaired the coachwork and mounted it to an all-new chassis consisting largely of various original Jaguar factory components.
This is where things got complicated… both cars had been inadvertently stamped with chassis number ‘XKD 530’, meaning there were now two cars wearing identical chassis numbers.
It seems difficult to rectify the situation, unless some benevolent person should decide to purchase both cars and exchange the front sub-frames and the legal documents, resulting in only one single car claiming to be XKD 530.
Fast forward to the late 90s and Sommer’s thought process became a reality when Gary Bartlett acquired both cars in 1998 and 2002 respectively. Following expert analysis in 2002 by D-Type historian, Chris Keith-Lucas, both cars were fully disassembled, with all part numbers noted, and after comparing them to original factory parts numbering, supplied by a longtime D-Type expert, the parts were separated and color-coded to identify which were original to XKD 530.
Any doubt over which piece belonged to which car were put to rest when experts, CKL Developments of East Sussex coupled the repaired original monocoque with the original chassis frame and found that the original factory bolt holes, fortuitously not uniformly drilled, matched precisely for a form-fitting connection. As such, XKD 530 was finally completed in mid-2003, whole again once more.
Images – RM Sotheby’s
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