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
Jaguar D Type Gallery
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.