Jaguar D-Type headlines RM Sotheby Phoenix

12:02:00 PM



RM Sotheby’s, will present more than 100 hand-selected motor cars from some of the most iconic automotive marques at its 17th annual Arizona sale, returning January 28 – 29 to Phoenix. Held at the stunning Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, the two-day auction will build on RM’s strongest performance at the venue to date in 2015, an event which generated an incredible $63.7 million and witnessed the sale of the most valuable automobile in Arizona auction history. In keeping with past tradition, entries for the 2016 sale offer tremendous diversity, ranging from pre-war classics through to important sports and racing greats and contemporary supercars.


Coming out of the gate strong, early highlights for the January auction are led by a 1956 Jaguar D-Type Works ‘Long Nose’, chassis no. XKD 604, the first of just six works long-nose examples built for the 1956 season, the final year of Jaguar’s D-Type racing effort. Throughout 1955, the Jaguar experimental department had been developing an independent, de Dion rear suspension, along with fuel injection for petrol delivery, and decided to incorporate these innovations into the first car built for the 1956 Jaguar works team.


Following testing by Jaguar’s famed test engineer, Norman Dewis, XKD 604’s first competitive outing came at the Daily Express Silverstone event in May 1956; with Desmond Titterington behind the wheel, the featured Jaguar competed alongside two other works team cars. While the length of the Silverstone race did not warrant using the still novel Lucas mechanical fuel injection over the tried and true Weber carbs, XKD 604 was the only D-Type raced with an independent rear axle. At season’s end, the team cars were retired and XKD 604 was acquired by renowned Scottish racing team, Ecurie Ecosse, where it remained in storage until the team closed its doors in 1971. The Long Nose was eventually obtained by Scotsman Jim Tester in the 1970s, and later passed onto Michael Fisher of Britain, who commissioned its restoration by marque experts to original fuel-injected specification in 1986. It was then imported into the U.S. in 1992, landing with the vendor in 2004.


In recent years, the D-Type has been displayed at numerous hobby events, including the 2011 Monterey Motorsports Reunion, where it was part of the Jaguar Heritage Display, as well as at the 2012 Dana Point Concours d’Elegance, where it received the Featured Marque Award. XKD 604 comes to auction as a fantastic example of a very rare breed, ready to return to the track (Estimate available upon request).

“We’re thrilled to return to the Biltmore following what has been another record-setting year for RM Sotheby’s,” says Ian Kelleher, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s West Coast Division. “Arizona represents one of our strongest venues on the auction calendar, and we’re always working to secure the most desirable, fresh-to-market vehicles for this true collector car destination. The long-nose D-Type is a perfect example, as it has not changed hands in more than a decade, and offers a number of untapped historic event participation opportunities for its next enthusiast owner.”

For further information, or to discuss limited consignment opportunities for the Arizona sale, please visit www.rmsothebys.com or contact an RM Sotheby’s car specialist at +1 310 559 4575.

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