Evaluation: Of the 71 original D-Types built, 18 went to factory teams. According to Bonhams this started out as one of those factory cars but with a different chassis number – XKD403 – and it was wrecked in 1956 while under privateer ownership. The rest of its early history is a bit convoluted and not entirely clear, but the actual car sitting in the Bonhams tent at Goodwood was assembled in the 1980s from assorted original and reproduction D-Type parts. It was built with historic racing in mind, and it has been an active historic racer ever since, receiving restorative work in more recent years to make it as authentic as possible.
Condition-wise the bodywork looks straight and true with a recent flashover respray. The wheels look smart in fresh grey paint, while the knock-ons look original and show their age proudly. The seat leather is stretched and worn and fitted with modern harnesses. The steering and pedal controls all aged superbly. It presents exactly like what it is, a well-used racer.
Bottom Line: It may have been the highest priced lot of the Goodwood Revival sale this year but, being something of a bitsa, this D-Type didn’t have the star power of a more significant example with cleaner, unbroken history. It sold quite a bit under its low estimate and it is the cheapest D-Type we’ve seen at auction in years. By far. In fact, this result is closer to what good D-Type replicas sell for than it is to what real ones do. A factory D-Type continuation car actually sold for more ($1.325M) at auction last October.
Unlike those cars, though, this one gets a pass from the FIA for historic competition. And all concerns about its legitimacy should at least be somewhat alleviated by its acceptance to (and participation in) events like the Mille Miglia and Goodwood Revival. The new owner will now get to mix it up with prominent Ferraris, Maseratis, Astons and other Jags at such events, and for that alone the car seems like a great value at this price.