You could own Bernie Ecclestone's old red D-Type

11th January 2018
Bob Murray

Picture a Jaguar D-Type: sensuous, perfectly proportioned, aerodynamic… and either British Racing Green or Ecurie Ecosse blue. So whoever wanted a red one? 


That would be Bernie Ecclestone. In the late 1950s, before he ruled Formula 1, he worked in the motor trade and, the story goes, when he saw the unusual red Jag sitting unsold (it was red!) at Jaguar dealer Henlys of Manchester he snapped it up.

From his office in Warren Street – London’s top people’s car trade centre at the time – Bernie didn’t waste time finding an owner for it. He sold it on in 1956 to the amateur racer Peter Blond – who immediately took it racing: to Oulton Park, Aintree, Silverstone, Snetterton and of course Goodwood, where the red car was ninth overall in the Goodwood Trophy in September of ’56.

Then began this most uncommon D-Type’s distinguished racing career, one that continued via other successful owner-racers like Jean Bloxham into the 1960s. Later owners included Peter Grant, manager of Led Zeppelin, and a succession of keepers in the US after the car crossed the pond in 1982.

Today the car’s unbroken provenance and stand-out appearance – as our pictures show, in red you really do have to look twice to see that it is a D-Type – have made it one of the most original and well documented of the 53 customer D-Types made. 


XKD518 was always strikingly red and is believed to be one of just two D-Types finished in that colour by the factory. As a customer car, it came in short-nose, triple Weber form, with the 3.4-litre XK straight-six pumping out 250bhp for a top speed around 170mph. 

In 1956 Peter Bond paid Bernie Ecclestone £3500 for the red D-Type. “I was struck by the sight of this amazing red D-Type and the young man (selling it) called Bernard Ecclestone,” Blond is quoted as saying. “It was the best road car that I ever owned.” Now the car is for sale again, as one of the star lots in the Gooding & Co Scottsdale Auction in Arizona on 19-20 January.

And the price today of standing out in the D-Type crowd? US$10-12 million (about £7.4-8.8m). Bernie would be proud!

All images copyright and courtesy of Gooding & Company. Photos by Mathieu Heurtault


  • Jaguar

  • D-Type

  • gooding and co

  • 1970-porsche-917k-rm-sothebys-2-main-goodwood-09082021.jpg


    Multi-million dollar auction stunners at Monterey

  • scottsdale-rm-sothebys-2020-mclaren-speedtail-main-goodwood-29012021.jpg


    Secondhand Speedtail sells for £2.4m

  • porsche_gt1_gt2_turbo_gt3_gooding_16012017_999.jpg


    $8.5million 911 GT1 leads the ultimate road-going Porsche quartet to Amelia Island auction