Classified spotlight: Jaguar D-type

History

Commissioned by former Grand Prix driver Henry Taylor, this Wingfield recreation mirrors the original TKF 9 D-type – a car made famous by Taylor’s own success at its wheel, not to mention Jim Clark’s history with the iconic British sports car.

The TKF 9 D-type was originally purchased in 1954. Initially unloved, it was quickly shuffled to a second owner before arriving with Jaguar dealer Tony Murkett in ’56. The year after, Murkett, along with three cousins, entered TKF 9 in a series of international events. Although the family team were experienced club-racers, they required a top-line driver for the ’57 sports car GP at Spa.

Mike Hawthorn tested the car but Henry Taylor was given the nod over the Yorkshire driver. Hawthorn was rather expensive and Taylor’s talent was shining bright in national 500cc events. The decision was justified as Taylor went on to finish third at Spa after leading for a time in the wet. It was the start of a successful campaign in the D and one which helped propel Taylor into Formula 1.

In ’58, TKF 9 travelled over the border to its new home in Scotland. Run by Border Reivers for Jim Clark, the young Scot took 12 wins from 20 starts in the milky white car – a colour scheme chosen by the Murketts on account of blue and green D-types being too common.

The Scottish connection with the D had already been firmly established by Ecurie Ecosse at Le Mans. Based in Edinburgh, the team’s D-types won in ’56 and secured a one-two finish in ’57. The results also ensured a hat-trick of wins at la Sarthe for the British machines, adding to Jaguars own efforts in ’55. To cap it off, D-types secured five of the top six positions in ‘57, a remarkable feat.

Taylor evidently had fond memories of TKF 9 as he commissioned Bryan Wingfield (another Scot) to build a replica in ’86. It is this car you see pictured here, advertised by Duncan Hamilton. Wingfield had worked for Ford Motor Company, including on their GT40 project, before setting up his own business in ’74. He specialised in Jaguar recreations and expanded the business to incorporate GT40 rebuilds in ‘86. Although Wingfield is now retired, you can still purchase GT40 spares, manufactured to original Ford drawings, from Bryan Wingfield Racing. Regrettably, his days of recreating pristine Jaguars are behind him.

The actual specifications of the TFK 9 recreation are unlisted, but flick through the photos and the quality of the build is plain to see. Wider reading reveals this D-type is based on a ’55 XK I 40 and uses the 3.4-litre variation of the XK straight-six fitted to all D-types between ’54-57. Although the ’57 Le Mans winner was mated to a 3.8-litre unit, TKF 9 ran with the smaller capacity example.The Le Mans engine produced in excess of 250bhp, a figure significantly less than many of its immediate competitors. The D-type countered with a minimal frontal area, creating very little drag. This Wingfield example is no exception, with lovingly sculpted panels everywhere you gaze. It is, I think you’ll agree, rather easy on the eyes.

Fittingly, the car built for Taylor was used and enjoyed by the man himself on numerous European rallies. It has recently spent time in Switzerland but is now back on home soil and ready for its next chapter.

 

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