Cars for Sale

1956 Jaguar D-Type Ecurie Ecosse

1956 Jaguar D-Type Ecurie Ecosse ex- Ron Flockhart, Ninian Sanderson, Jock Lawrence

  • The final short-nose Ecurie Ecosse D-Type
  • Raced by ‘56 Le Mans winners Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson 
  • Formerly part of the famous Dick Skipworth Ecurie Ecosse collection 
  • Lately appearing at Goodwood, Le Mans Classic and other events 
  • Recent meticulous bare metal restoration by marque experts CKL Developments 

The third and final short-nose D-Type for Ecurie Ecosse, this sports-racing Jaguar was campaigned by Scotland’s famous privateer racing team throughout 1956. Among the most important surviving artefacts of Ecurie Ecosse, she is a perfect symbol of the team’s world-beating triumphs at Le Mans in 1956 and 1957.  

Founded by Edinburgh accountant David Murray with the aim to bring some national prestige in motor racing home to Scotland, the team’s lone entry of Ron Flockhart and Ninian Sanderson unexpectedly triumphed at Le Mans in 1956 after the Jaguar works team was knocked out. Their short-nose D-Type MWS 301 was a sister team car to MWS 303 sharing the monocoque construction, Malcolm Sayer lines and magnificent XK engine that made the D-Type a race-winner and an icon of modern design.

Wearing the team’s famous Flag Metallic Blue, XKD 561 was dispatched from the Browns Lane factory on 28 February 1956 and registered MWS 303. Based from the cobbles of Edinburgh’s Merchiston Mews, an accomplished season followed including appearances with Le Mans winners Flockhart and Sanderson, with Ulsterman and honourary Scot Desmond Titterington, and with Jock Lawrence of Cullen in Banffshire, also 2nd at Le Mans in ‘57. 

Highlights for that 1956 season included two 1sts with Flockhart at Snetterton and Goodwood, and 2nds at Oulton Park, Aintree, and Charterhall, with full results as follows:

March 25, 1956:          Snetterton, Ron Flockhart – 1st and 2nd (two races)

April 2, 1956:              Goodwood, Ron Flockhart – 1st 

April 14, 1956:            Oulton Park, Ron Flockhart – 2nd and 7th (heat and final)

April 21, 1956:            Aintree, Desmond Titterington – 2nd 

April 29, 1956:            Charterhall, Peter Hughes – 2nd (two races) 

May 5, 1956:               Silverstone, Ron Flockhart – 5th 

May 13, 1956:             Spa-Francorchamps, Desmond Titterington – retired

May 21, 1956:             Goodwood, Jock Lawrence – retired

June 23, 1956:             Aintree, Ninian Sanderson – retired

July 8, 1956:                Rouen-les-Essarts, Desmond Titterington – 7th 

July 14, 1956:              Silverstone, Ron Flockhart – 3rd 

September 3, 1956:    Charterhall, Jock Lawrence – not known 

With the ex-works longnose D-Types on their way to Ecurie Ecosse for 1957, in February MWS 303 was acquired by racer Max Trimble of Walsall, a BRDC life member who also owned and raced the ex-Sir James Scott-Douglas C-Type XKC 046. After a fine third at Snetterton and other entries at Oulton Park and Goodwood, Trimble went to Belgium to compete in the Grand Prix de Spa, but an off in practice at the La Carrière bend resulted in the sale of the D-Type to Berwyn Baxter of Kieft, then later to Maurice Charles, a racer and dealer from Cardiff, who rebuilt MWS 303 and also owned Ecurie Ecosse sister car MWS 302.

In May 1959, she was acquired by Clive Unsworth in a swap for C-Type XKC 050, beginning an extraordinary period of nearly forty years of long-term ownership. Initially used as a road car, from 1970 she was reportedly displaced by an ex-John Surtees Lola-Aston T70, and placed in long-term hibernation. Emerging in 1997 after Unsworth sadly passed away, she was profiled as “The Sleeping D-Type,” hidden from the public gaze for decades, remaining essentially unchanged from period.  

Acquired by Amalia and Julio Palmaz of Texas, an Argentinian-American couple with a significant collection of Porsche sports-racing prototypes, MWS 303 was then fully restored in the workshops of noted expert John Pearson. 

In 2002 MWS 303 joined the famous Ecurie Ecosse collection of electronics entrepreneur Dick Skipworth, with noted expert Chris Keith-Lucas helping find “more nice blue cars.” She appeared at numerous historic race meetings, including the Goodwood Revival and Le Mans Classic, in the hands of Skipworth, son Steve, and well-known racing character Barrie “Whizzo” Williams. Superbly, totally appropriately, she was often conveyed to these meetings aboard the Ecurie Ecosse transporter by then also part of the Skipworth stable.

When the Skipworth Ecurie Ecosse collection was dispersed by a major auction house in 2013, American art collector Adam Lindemann acquired MWS 303, together with the famous Commer transporter, appreciating all they represented as works of design. Remaining in Britain, MWS 303 notably appeared at the 2014 Goodwood Revival in the hands of five-time Le Mans winner Derek Bell, and in the 2014 Le Mans Classic piloted by Alain de Cadenet and Brian Redman. 

From 2015 she joined a prominent and outstanding collection of significant competition Jaguars, alongside other Ecurie Ecosse examples XKC 006 and the famous Commer Transporter. In the hands of her owner-driver, she has continued to appear at Goodwood and other historic racing events, prepared and maintained by CKL Developments.

MWS 303 is presented in outstanding condition having just completed a substantial programme of works at CKL including a bare-metal paint and body restoration, complete with her three identifying “sergeant” stripes across the nose. The opportunity for inspection afforded by these works has been invaluable in helping confirm her substantial degree of originality, referring also to an extensive cache of photographs of the earlier works carried out at Pearons. MWS 303 is accompanied by a fresh detailed report by noted expert Chris Keith-Lucas. 

Symbolizing the giant-killing triumphs of Scotland’s privateering racing team, and presented as part of our Ecurie Ecosse collection, this highly important Ecurie Ecosse Jaguar D-Type would be a superb acquisition for one of the world’s greatest collections, and is eligible for racing at Goodwood and other historic competition events.