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Sunday, December 20, 2015

This Tempero Jaguar is a D-Type, Minus the Million Dollar Price


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

Film reels. For vintage racing fans these grainy black-and-white strips have become veritable automotive pornography. Sports cars from the golden age of racing can be seen rounding bends at breakneck speed and sprinting head-to-head against equally celebrated icons. 

To own one of these sports car legends is…well, the stuff of legend. ‘50s icons like the Jaguar D-Type, Ferrari 375, and Mercedes-Benz 300SLR all cost multiple millions of dollars. Happily, an inch-perfect recreation doesn’t need to.

This is one such car—a recreation 1957 Jaguar D-Type, built by Tempero of New Zealand. Its current price on eBay of $250,000 is by no means what you’d call cheap, however it’s hardly close to the $4 million required to buy a real one in similar condition. And as you’ll see, it’s just about as jaw-dropping in appearance.


Tempero, which has been in the construction of coachbuilt cars since 1946, builds each D-Type using traditional methods—hammering and shaping each aluminum body panel by hand across wooden bucks. It’s a process that can take months to complete, and often times only the keenest of eyes can pick out a Tempero from an original, making these more of a “recreation” than “replica.”

The wheels are faithful reproductions of the original Dunlop “knockoff” alloys, as are the tires. The bonnet comes latched with authentic leather straps, and inside, the driver is greeted with the classic three-spoke steering wheel and offered a throw at a Jaguar four-speed gearbox. As is common on top-quality recreations, the engine, transmission, and rear axle are all original Jaguar components, and these trace their origins back to a Jaguar saloon donor car.


In fact, the engine is one of the few indicators that not all is as it seems. The straight-six under the bonnet still breathes through a trio of Weber carburetors, but this time it’s a larger 4.2-liter six. All the better for assaulting the Mulsanne Straight with.

This British Racing Green short-nose variant is said to be one of about 25 cars built by Tempero in the 1990s on behalf of a classic car dealership in Florida. Given the rarity of surviving D-Type Jaguars…cars such as this might be the only versions enthusiasts can feel remotely comfortable about driving…well, enthusiastically.