The public was eagerly awaiting the 1954 event for which the first-ever television broadcast of that race added a further appeal. Jaguar and Ferrari are the favorites, symbolizing a competition between technology and power.
The Jaguar D-Type model is ready just in time to enter three prototypes. It has been developed in the wind tunnel to improve the stiffness and reduce the drag. It is spectacular with its unprecedented stabilizer fin. The cockpit is monocoque and it is made lighter by the use of an aluminum alloy. The 3.4-liter engine is unchanged from the C-Type.
The D-Type driven by Stirling Moss records the highest top speed at 278 km/h but the over-powered Ferrari 375 Plus with its 4.9-liter engine is the best on the full lap and wins the race.
The Moss-Walker team must give up after a brake failure. For one year that D-Type continues in competition but is mostly used as a development and training car to prepare the 1955 season.
In 1958 the engine and the gearbox are changed. This D-Type which otherwise remains highly original despite its intensive use in competition is estimated $ 12M for sale by RM Sotheby's in Phoenix on January 19, lot 250.