Wraps come off 'new' D-type

Jaguar unveils £1m continuation model in Paris

Forget Brexit, the entente cordiale between Britain and France appears to be as warm as ever – among car enthusists at least. The latest sign of continued friendship came last month at the Salon Rétromobile, the annual jamboree for all things vintage in Paris: among the rows of 2CVs, Alpines and Pikes Peak Peugeots, the star of the show couldn’t have been more British.

Jaguar chose the French capital to unveil the first of its D-type continuation models. The marque’s most successful racer, a product of the 1950s, is to restart production in Coventry some 62 years after the last of the original models came off the production line – and the first of them made its debut in front of adoring Gallic fans.

Parked on a raised platform in front of the Jaguar Land Rover stand, the all-new D-type in gun-metal grey attracted more attention than anything else in the cavernous hall. “We’ve been pretty busy showing people around it, and everyone wants our technical guys to explain how it has been reborn,” said one of the JLR workers on the stand. “People can’t seem to get enough of it.”

Jaguar is promising that each of the 25 continuation cars will be period correct, meticulously hand built using the original drawings and some of the original production techniques. Each car will cost “in excess of £1 million” or roughly £15m less than one of the famous cars that won the Le Mans 24 Hours in 1955, 1956 and 1957: last year the D-type that won Le Mans in 1956 became the most expensive British car ever sold, when it was auctioned for £16.64m during Monterey Car Week in California.

Jaguar has said the newcomers will be a mixture of the original short-nose cars and the later long-nose versions, depending on customer preference.