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Boxes And Boxes: 1950s Jaguar D-Type Project

For heaven’s sake don’t let the children look over your shoulder at this car’s post for fear they’ll have night sweats about aliens! Well, hopefully, this big-boy car kit in YOUR garage doesn’t give YOU night sweats of a different kind wondering how you can get off the family room couch and back on good terms with the spousal unit. Whether it’s the alien- or the relationship-straining night sweats, this “1953” Jaguar Type-D is currently for sale here on eBay.  With 40 bids in and the sale ending on THURSDAY at 11:50 p.m., still plenty of time to muster up the courage to hit the “Place Bid” button at something north of the current $15,088 bid. THERE IS NO RESERVE–this car is going to sell. Just wait until you see this seller’s collection of boxes of 50s Jaguar and XK120 parts. Get out the good solar-powered calculator and start adding up the parts inventory you’re about to see.

Before we look at boxes, here is a shot of the car body kinda mocked up with the skeleton-frame just ahead of the alien snout.  At this time, we need to try and explain a few things for our Jaguar experts looking in whose heads are spinning 360 degrees: it’s true that the D-Type short nose Jaguar wasn’t made in 1953.  Yet Seller’s post indicates that he has title for this car that identifies it as a 1953 XK120.  Hmm.  Obviously, it’s a fiberglass kit and not the aircraft skin-like aluminum that the originals were made of nor does it have any semblance to an Xk120.  So:  gotta be a kit car, then, just looking like a 1954-55 short nose D-Type as a clever disguise for what the DMV thinks is a 1953 XK120 with a VIN plate from such a car?  Do you read the post the same way?–The puzzle of figuring out what this thing finally identifies as may just be enough to get you out of the first few traffic tickets.  Feast your eyes on this picture:

“Humina, humina” as Jackie Gleason once said. Does Seller have the goods on Jag powerplants? Seller is conveying three (3) 3.8l straight six dual-overhead-cam engines and another 3.4l in this auction!  Four Jag engines. One of the 3.8l engines is configured with the three dual throat Webers and another has three single throat carbs.  Click some more on that calculator, friend.  Just behind this 3.8 beauty is a nicely welded fuel tank and to the rear of the engine, it looks to be a transmission on a separate dolly–Seller is conveying three XKE transmissions in this sale, two with OD!  Keep clicking! And don’t forget the three XKE rear ends that come with this sale!

One shot of the boxes o’ parts, but some choice ones at that–the clever Jaguar D lettering, the shift knob, gauges, spinners.  Let’s not bore you with more boxes o’ parts shots, but look carefully at the eBay posting and click away on that tabulator!  FYI, this Jaguar parts warehouse is located in Ventura, California. When you’re there, you can ask Seller if he wants the plastic dishes with the red lids back.

Two of the favorite things about this car are in this blurry photo: (i) the Dunlop style racing wheels with knockoffs developed for the D-Type racers (could they be real or are they repros?); and (ii) that wicked vertical stabilizer that set the D-Type apart from anything else in its day short of airplane tails. No finer designs than the curves and ideas coming out of the Jaguar racing department of the early 50s can there be?  There are claims written that the aerodynamics of this tail fin increased the car’s slipperiness in the wind to power the D-Type to a top speed of 172.8 mph at Le Mans, topping the Ferrari 4.9l racer’s 160.1.  That’s a lotta aerodynamics and some very, very unhappy Italian racing boys.

Aw, could not resist one final shot of engines and boxes.  If your calculator hasn’t melted or if you are not really shaking any more over the list of parts included in this sale, you’re the level headed person who needs to own this project.  With all kidding aside, no telling the looks this completed car would get at the McDonald’s parking lot summer car cruise: Ah-ha, look–a tricked out ’66 Pontiac GTO, well, a nicely painted ’57 Chevy, what’s this? A ’53 Jaguar D-Type?  Yes, it would indeed cause temporary mental instability.  Might be loads of fun to ask the gas station attendant to fill ‘er up and check the oil to just see the expression and panic on that unsuspecting, poor person’s face after five or six minutes of hunting for the filler cap and the dipstick.  Ok, it’s time, just go along now, go ask the spouse for the 16-17 grand–really nicely.  Bring along the calculator.  Perhaps start with this: “How does a nice trip to sunny LA sound, honey?”


  1. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Leaving this comment:

    I’m here to see what people who know Jags have to say.

    Like 3
    • Mike Tarutis Member

      I am looking for Jag enthusiasts as well to weigh in DayDream.

      Hoping someone does make a quick calculation on the round about value of all those parts.

      Up to $17,500 at 9:45 am EST

      Like 1
  2. Derek

    Oddly enough, I’ve seen more real ones than replicas!

    20/30K is probably fair enough for all that kit. A lot of work to do, though.

    Like 3
  3. rdxblast

    I saw this in craigslist for $8k a month ago. The listing was taken down in couple of days. I guess this may be the resale.(or the seller changed his mind and put it on ebay?)

    Like 3
    • Mike Tarutis Member

      Whatever the price, maybe this garage sale will get this guy some relief from the guilt of having such a big collection taking over the place–finally having some peace every time he decides to watch a ball game and not work on the car or straighten up the inventory.

      Would love to hear the owner’s story.

      Like 2
  4. JohnfromSC

    If I had the space this would be on its way to my garage. At current $17 K the parts alone are worth more than that, plus you get a XK120 title. Those engines don’t look abused either and 3.8s are arguably the best of the XK variants.

    A D body recreation done well is a valuable car and can be enjoyed in non-sanctioned vintage racing. I hope for the current owner that the final price is higher, but this is not the best day to end an Ebay auction.

    Like 4
  5. Joe Haska

    My only experience with Jags is I brokered a couple of XKE’s a number of years ago and got to drive them. I don’t know why but My feelings are just Mikes , I want it but I know I can’t have it and if I did have it I am fairly confident I would never get it finished. It is just a project to day dream about. e

    Like 1
  6. DayDreamBeliever DayDreamBeliever

    Apparently finished out at $17,885.98

    An odd amount, but a good buy for someone with knowledge and skill.

    Like 1
  7. TouringFordor

    eBay shows a “winning bid” of $17,886 at midnight 31 December, and relisted for $26 with 6 days to go. What?

    Like 1
  8. jdoc

    Relisted with a reserve. This just gets more alien as it takes up space on BAT.

    Like 2
  9. tompdx

    I sold a genuine 3.8L XK150S engine (no pistons) and OD tranny for $4,500 a few years ago. I should have auctioned it – might have fetched twice that. I don’t know what’s going on with the auction, but it seems like $26k is a pretty good deal for this package.

    Like 0
  10. travis escalante

    HI, MY NAME IS TRAVIS ESCALANTE AT 805-340-5225, AND I AM THE OWNER OF AL LTHIS WONDERFUL JAGUAR STUFF, THERE IS 40-60K IN PARTS AND STUFF HERE, AND THE AUCTION IS NOW RELISTEDhttps://www.ebay.com/itm/1953-Jaguar-D-TYPE-race-car/174579561749?_trkparms=aid%3D111001%26algo%3DREC.SEED%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20160727114228%26meid%3D5746a50c19c144a3963cc6a4e8d14b0f%26pid%3D100290%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D4%26mehot%3Dpp%26sd%3D174579561749%26itm%3D174579561749%26pmt%3D0%26noa%3D1%26pg%3D2060778&_trksid=p2060778.c100290.m3507

    ITEM #174579561749


    Like 2
  11. Jaker76

    E type transmissions with OD? Uh, those may have been XK but not E type! Lot of parts and a lot of work but if someone has the ability and the money hopefully they could make a car out of this!

    Like 1

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