1957 Jaguar D-Type Pilots: I. Bueb, R. Flockhart Team: Ecurie Ecosse Race: 1st overall (S5.0 class) at Le Mans in 1957 Spark - 43LM57 (resin)
Designed to replace the winning C-Type, the D-Type first raced in 1954. In the 24 Heures du Mans of 1954 Duncan Hamilton and Tony Rolt steered their D-Type to a solid second place. Though a great result, #14 was the only D-Type that finished the race. In 1955, Jaguar was back with three D-Types again. And once again only one car finished, but in first this time. The following year the works team counted on three cars, and, again, only one finished (in sixth). But the D-Type’s grace was saved by Ecurie Ecosse, however. Their #4 managed a first place overall.
Feeling that the D-Type had proved itself, 1956 was the last year of a Jaguar works team. The manufacturer would only be officially back to La Sarthe in 1984… So with no factory team for 1957, the D-Type came to La Sarthe only by the hands of privateers. With that, Ecurie Ecosse, Duncan Hamilton and Equipe Nationale Belge all had the car at Le Mans. The 1957 cars were basically the same as the previous ones, but with a bigger engine. They used the same trustworthy XK6 inline-6, but now with 3781 cm³.
The 1957 edition of Le Mans was a very fast event. To the point that the average speed of the winning car in the previous year went from 168 km/h to 183 km/h. And for the first time a car did a whole lap with an average speed of 200 km/h. But the 1957 race was a D-Type affair, and Ferrari, Aston Martin and Maserati just couldn’t keep up. The first six places were occupied by D-Types, with a lone Ferrari in fifth. But it was a specially good race for Ecurie Ecosse. Their D-Type #3 (chassis #xkd 606) finished in first and #15 (#xkd 603) finished in second.
This is the third D-Type in my collection. I already had the 1955 #6 and 1956 #4, so now I have all the winning D-Types. Once again Spark delivers a heckuva car, and I can’t honestly ask for more. It’s a brilliant 1:43 model, period. So I would be pressed to say which one is the best. Well, AUTOart’s specimen is in a league of its own, so I don’t know if it’s a fair comparison. But between my two Sparks maybe I would choose the #4 just because of the matte paint job. Still, the D-Type #3 is a very close second.