Jaguar entered the 1955 Le Mans 24-hour race with a version of the D-Type which has a bonnet seven inches longer than the standard model. Hence the name "Long nose D-Type". The car had a cover above the passenger space, a fin behind the driver's head and a higher windscreen.
Under the bonnet the XK engine had a new wide-angle head and larger valves, which boosted the 3.4 litre 6-cylinder engine with three Weber carburettors to 265-270 bhp. The construction of the car combined a front chassis frame with an all-aluminium monocoque for the bodywork.
Mated with a 4-speed gearbox, front and rear disc brake and 6.5 x 16 tyres, the car could reach a maximum speed of over 300 km/h and was able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in less than 5 seconds.
The three factory teams competing in the race were Ferrari, Jaguar and Mercedes-Benz. The outcome was overshadowed by the worst accident in the history of motor sport. About two hours after the 24-hour L.M. race had begun, two cars collided on the race track. A Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR was catapulted into the air and crashed amongst the crowd. The car disintegrated, killing the driver and seventy-seven spectators and injuring many others. The race was allowed to continue in order to prevent departing spectators from crowding onto the roads and obstructing the approaching ambulances. Mike Hawthorn and Ivor Bueb won the race in the Jaguar D-type, which had achieved a record average speed of 107 miles/hour (172.3 km/h). The remaining Mercedes cars were withdrawn from the race as a sign of respect to the accident victims.
AUTOart is launching the legendary Jaguar D-type in scale 1/43 diecast under Signature series. Despite the size which is only 3.8” (9.7cm) long, it has full opening of door, bonnet, detachable passenger top cover and the rear spare tire cover with metal hinge. The front grill mash is made of photo-etched plate. The engine's complex spark plug harnesses and carburetors with inlet ram-pipes have been reproduced in great detailed. The steering wheel is made of photo-etched spokes injected with plastic rim printed with wooden texture.
The model consists of 58 diecast and plastic injection parts, 13 chrome-plated parts, 62 metal screws/nuts/wires and 11 photo-etched parts.
The trimming and polishing of the diecast metal parts are time consuming and labor intensive processes in model making. Every single edge and corner of the casting must be slowly trimmed by hand.
In order to achieve a perfect paint finishing in consistent shading and to show no ripple or orange peel effect, the entire body surface must be polished evenly and smoothly by hand before applying the paint. After the painting process, the surface of the model is once again buffed with wax to give it a perfect finishing.
Coloring of the model alone requires close to a hundred workers involving 78 free spray paint and mask spray paint processes and 31 tampon printing processes.
In order to maintain the continuous level of high quality when making a model with so many intricate components, the production is engineered or split into hundreds of processes so that each worker will handle only one or two tasks. Every model is in fact crafted and handled by more than two hundred workers along the production line.
The whole development of the model takes more than one year to complete involving dozen of engineers.