Story by Howard Walker
Photography by Howard Walker and Jaguar Classic

A buck and a quarter in a Jag D-Type racer feels a little like wrestling with Hulk Hogan in a hurricane. Every follicle on your head has the sensation of being wrenched from its roots. Tears stream from your eyes as if there’s a fire hose attached to each cornea. And your ears bleed from the rasping, snarling, snapping exhaust seemingly inches from your right lobe.

And you know what? It feels just incredible.

To get a drive in a D these days, you either have to be good buddies with Ralph Lauren, who owns a fabulous ’55 long-nose, or have at least $5 million of disposable loot to buy one at auction or privately. The ’55 D-Type from the Harburg Collection sold at a Paris RM auction a couple of years back for right on $5 mil, and in Monterey we just saw one top $21 million.

There’s an arguably better, more achievable alternative: Jump on a plane to merrie olde England, head to the industrial English Midlands, and enjoy a breathtaking day at the new Jaguar Classic Track Experience.

Here, for the princely sum of £650–that’s roughly $850–you can climb behind the wheel of a race-ready D-Type and hurl it around the famous MIRA proving ground where, back in January 1971, legendary Jaguar test driver Norman Dewis went end over end in the one-off Jag XJ13 supercar. Then come back and take your pick from an utterly mouthwatering lineup of other famous classic Jags for more hot laps.

How mouthwatering? How about a stunning C-Type racer? Or an original 1961 Series 1 E-Type roadster once owned by British motorcycle ace Mike Hawthorn? Perhaps you’d prefer a 1974 E-Type Series 3 V12 convertible–one of the super-rare last-of-50 commemorative models–or even a hardcore 1961 Coombs-built Jag Mk2 3.8 tin-top campaigned by twice F1 world champ Graham Hill.

Read the rest of the story

Our Preferred Partners