The structural design, revolutionary at the time, applied aeronautical technology. The tub, or cockpit section, was of monocoque construction, mostly comprising sheets of aluminium alloy. Its elliptical shape and comparatively small cross-section provided torsional rigidity and reduced drag.
To the front bulkhead was attached an aluminium tubing subframe for the engine, steering assembly, and front suspension.

Jaguar D Type

Rear suspension and final drive were mounted to the rear bulkhead. Fuel was carried in the tail and the designers followed aviation practice by specifying a deformable Marston Aviation Division bag in place of a conventional tank.
The aerodynamic bodywork was largely the work of Malcolm Sayer, who had joined Jaguar following a stint with the Bristol Aeroplane Company during the Second World War and later worked on the C-Type.
For the D-Type, he insisted on a minimal frontal area. To reduce the XK engine's height, Jaguar's chief engineer, William Haynes, and former Bentley engineer, Walter Hassan.

Jaguar D Type Gallery

1955 Jaguar D Type

Their debut at the 1954 24 Hours of Le Mans race was hampered by fuel starvation caused by problems with the fuel filters, necessitating pit stops for their removal, after which the entry driven by Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt speeded up to finish less than a lap behind the winning Ferrari.
The D-Type's aerodynamic superiority is evident from its maximum speed of 172.8 mph on the Mulsanne Straight compared with the 4.9 litre Ferrari's 160.1 mph.



1955 Jaguar D Type