The red D-Type sports racer was previously sold by Bernie Ecclestone
The red D-Type sports racer was sent to Jaguar-Rover dealer Henlys of Manchester after leaving the production line in Coventry in December 1955.
But when Henlys struggled to sell it, future F1 billionaire Ecclestone – then a car dealer in his mid-twenties – took the 170mph D-Type off the dealer’s hands at a trade price.
Ecclestone, who worked out of an office on Warren Street in London, quickly sold the D-Type to amateur racer Peter Blond for £3,500.
Blond, who had owned a number of high-end Jaguars, described the D-Type as the best car he ever owned, racing it at events across Europe.
A rare opportunity to acquire a highly regarded D-Type
The D-Type, known as XKD 518 and believed to be one of just two in red, is now one of the world’s most sought-after classic cars thanks to its looks, rarity and performance.
Gooding & Co will be selling the D-Type in Arizona, US, over the weekend of January 19 and they have given it a guide price of almost £9 million.
In a statement, the auction house said: “Presented here is a rare opportunity to acquire a highly regarded D-Type.
“XKD 518 possesses an impressive competition history, including many successful outings at British events, and an unbroken provenance that counts noted racing drivers and collectors among its former owners.
The D-Type is believed to be one of just two in red
The D-Type was inspired by the latest advances in aircraft technology
“It has been thoroughly documented by leading Jaguar historians and features prominently in the most important books on the marque and model.
“Its distinctive original livery and superb reputation will always distinguish this car from its brethren, whether on the road, track, or concours field.”
The D-Type, one of 24 UK production model, rolled off the line in Coventry during December 1955.
Inspired by the latest advances in aircraft technology, the D-Type featured a high-strength alloy monocoque chassis. With a 3.4-litre engine developing more than 250bhp, it was capable of a staggering 170mph-plus.
Gooding & Co will be selling the D-Type in Arizona, US, over the weekend
Peter Blond raced the Jaguar 12 times, finishing fifth at the Aintree 100, picking up a top ten finish in the Goodwood Trophy, and winning the Snetterton National Race.
Over the next 20 years, the D-Type had a number of British owners including Peter Grant, the manager Led Zeppelin.
More recently, it has been based across the Atlantic and its US owner, who bought it a decade ago, is now set to make a fortune when the car is sold.
D-Type values have rocketed in recent years and they are among the world’s most valuable cars.
A 3.4-litre engine developing more than 250bhp
Gooding & Co added: “Any collector determined to own a D-Type is strongly encouraged to give serious consideration to XKD 518.
“After all, a Jaguar sports racing car with only the right kind of stories is hard to come by.
“Very few examples possess the outstanding qualities of this car, which has been an object of desire since Peter Blond first spotted it in London in 1956.
“For the true collector – one who has a deep appreciation for extraordinary automobiles and the fascinating lives they have led – this D-Type is a unique prize.”