1955 Jaguar D-Type that won Le Mans sets $21.78 million record price at auction

  • Image Credit: Drew Phillips
There's simply no denying that the Jaguar D-Type is one of the most noteworthy race cars ever devised. Jaguar pioneered the use of the monocoque chassis design, and D-Types won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1955, 1956, and 1957. And with its bodywork pulled taught over the wheels, engine, and passenger compartment, not to mention the massive fin behind the driver's headrest, the D-Type also one of the most stunning.

The car you see above, Jaguar D-Type chassis number XKD 501, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1956, narrowly defeating a team from Aston Martin. Along the way, this D-Type completed 2,507.19 miles at an average speed of 104.47 miles per hour, and a maximum speed of 156.868 mph on the Mulsanne Straight. It was entered by the non-factory team Ecurie Ecosse, and therefore painted in the team's traditional Scottish blue with a white cross.

That kind of provenance, coupled with its pristine original race-winning condition, makes XKD 501 extremely valuable. In fact, it just sold at RM Sotheby's Monterey auction for $21.78 million (a $19.8 million bid plus auction fees), making it the most expensive British automobile ever sold at auction. Take a gander at our high-res image gallery above to soak up all its low-slung goodness.

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