Technical specifications and production

Jaguar D-type specification of 1954 works team

This specification corresponds to serial numbers from 401 to 406

An open, aerodynamic, two seat bodywork with a headrest for the driver and a fin for stability. The bodywork consists of three sections – the first section is aluminium tubing sub frame with front suspension, engine and gearbox. Central section is aluminium-magnesium monocoque with open cockpit. Rear section contains a fuel tank and a spare wheel. Rear suspension is attached to the back part of monocoque.


Type: Straight six Jaguar XK type, modified for racing, distribution DOHC, dry sump, oil cooled by a special radiator. Engine cooled by water

with an aluminium radiator grill.

Tank: 3442 cc – (83x106mm), ratio 9.0:1

Fuel system: Horizontal carburettor Weber DC03 45mm with aluminium intake on cylinder heads.

Horsepower: 250 hp with 6000 rev/min, torque 248 lb ft with 4500 rev/min

A single car in 1955 Tourist Trophy race was equipped with 2.5 litre engine:

Tank: 2483 cc – (83x76.5mm), ratio 9.66:1

Horsepower: 193 hp with 6000 rev/min, torque 173 lb ft with 5000 rev/min


Gearbox: Fully synchronized 4-gears

Gears: 1.00, 1.28, 1.645, 2.144, backward speed 2.194:1

Differential gear: Limited slip differential 2.79:1 – 48.48 km/h with 1000 rev/min on the highest gear.

Brakes: Four hydraulically operated cylinder brakes

Wheels and wheel rims: moulded aluminium wheel rims with a central nut 5.5 x 16, racing tyres Dunlop 6,50x16

Wheelbase: 2300mm

Track - front: 1270mm

Track - rear: 1220mm

Length: 3910mm

Width: 1660mm

Height: 1120mm to the tip of the fin (more than 240 km/h)

Turning radius: 9.8m

Headroom: 140mm

Weight: 875kg – empty car


Jaguar D-type specification of 1955 and 1956 works team

1955 works team included car serial numbers from XKD501 to XKD508.

XKD501 to XKD503 corresponded to the 1954 series without any changes.

There were following changes and modifications to serial numbers XKD504 to XKD508:

A new cylinder head was used with modified valves which enabled to increase horsepower to 270 hp with 6000 rev/min, turning radius was increased to 256 lb ft with 4500 rev/min. 17-inch wheels were used for certain races. Bodywork was 4100 mm long – the elongated long nose modification. Windshield and air supply for front brakes were modified.

Further mechanical modifications were made in Scottish Ecurie Ecosse team.

Other modifications were made to serial numbers XKD601 to XKD606 which took part in 1956 Le Mans race. All bodyworks were modified to the “long nose” version; a bigger windscreen for better protection was installed and new door was added. For some races the engine was fitted with Lucas injection. The engine after this modification reached 272 hp with 5750 rev/min and 270 lb ft torque with 4000 rev/min. Tank capacity was reduced from 168 to 127 litres.

The car XKD604 was experimentally fitted with DeDion rear axle. Nevertheless, the car was seriously damaged in Silverstone race and original Jaguar axle was installed.

Jaguar D-type, serial number XKD 505, which won the 1955 Le Mans race was experimentally fitted with a rear axle later used in Jaguar E-type. This adjustment was before selling returned to the original specification.

In 1957 new engines were supplied to Ecurie Ecosse team. Their 3781 tanks with compression rate 10:1 were fitted with Lucas injection. This

engine’s horsepower was 306 hp, 5500 rev/min and its turning radius was 312 ft with 4500 rev/min.

1954 Jaguar racing team

XKC 401 (registration OVC501) - first prototype

XKC402 (registration OKV1)

XKC403 (registration OKV2)

XKC404 (registration OKV3)


XKC406 - first car marked XKD (D-type) with 2.5 litre engine.

1955 racing works team

XKD501 (registration MWS301)

XKD502 (registration MWS302)


Cars XKD501 to XKD503 were standard specifications from 1954






Cars XKD504 to XKD508 fitted with modified cylinder head and “long nose” elongated front part


1956 Jaguar racing team




XKD604 – experimentally used DeDion axle

XKD605 – later sold to Ecurie Ecosse

XKD606 – later sold to Ecurie Ecosse 


Technical specifications and production of Jaguar XKSS

All Jaguars XKSS were converted from racing Jaguars D-type, which were left unfinished and unsold.

Mechanical components and engine output corresponded to those of 1955/56 Jaguar D-type. The bodywork was modified for cosmetic, safety and legal reasons – the car was specified as roadster with folding roof, full-width windshield, passenger side door, bumpers, headlights etc. 

The first Jaguar XKSS was assembled in January 1957 and the last one in November 1957.

Jaguar XKSS serial numbers were marked by numerical series XKSS-700, from the number 701 to 769. Two more Jaguars D-type were later modified to the XKSS model, XKD533 and XKD540 specifically.

Unlike D-type, Jaguar XKSS serial numbers were not successive. It appears that any D-type available was modified to XKSS. Jaguar XKSS began with the number XKSS701, then followed XKSS704 and every third number followed – from XKSS707 to XKSS728. Strangely enough, following number was XKSS754 and the whole series ended with XKSS769.

Reasons for such chaotic numbering are unknown; it is believed that Jaguar Cars wanted to make the impression, that they produced more XKSS models than they actually did. Most of the XKSS series, 12 cars, were exported to USA, two cars were exported to Canada, one to Hong Kong and one model remained in London for a Jaguar Cars dealer.

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