Jaguar D-Type Bonnet

Every Curve. Every Rivet. Every Latch. Everything. Handmade.

A charity auction to benefit the Piston Foundation.

You’re not just preserving history. You’re preserving the skills necessary to keep the collector car industry thriving. Up for auction on Bring a Trailer. View the auction »

A Gift from the Collection of Racer, Joel Finn

This D-Type long-nose bonnet comes from the collection of Joel E. Finn, award-winning author, race-car driver, and computer industry pioneer. Joel became one of the country’s foremost historians of motor racing and, as an active competitor, raced for 55 consecutive years at Watkins Glen and on the storied tracks across the US and Europe.

Piston Foundation Blog
Piston Foundation Blog

Joel owned and raced two Jaguar D-Types: chassis XKD528 and chassis XKD558. Both cars were fitted with long-nose bonnets at one time or another.

The bonnet was graciously donated to the Piston Foundation by Joel’s wife, Ann Smith Finn, who discovered it tucked away in the couple’s 18th century barn after Joel’s passing in 2017.

Proceeds from this auction benefit the Piston Fund which provides skilled-trade education scholarships for students and apprentices pursuing careers in collector car restoration.

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A Handmade
Jaguar D-Type Long Nose Bonnet

This Jaguar D-Type bonnet was handcrafted of aluminum for Jaguar restoration specialists Lynx Engineering by the well-known coachbuilders, Williams & Pritchard, suppliers in the 1950s to Lister and Lotus. According to Chris Keith-Lucas, founder of CKL Developments, it was formed over an ex-Works / Briggs Cunningham D-Type long-nose bonnet and should be extremely accurate in shape to the original.

Piston Foundation Blog
Piston Foundation Blog
Piston Foundation Blog

“The workmanship is phenomenal. I don’t think there is a flat surface anywhere. There is one continuous curve and I’m impressed by the metalworking skill needed to create that amazing sculpture in three dimensions.” – Ann Smith Finn

The all-aluminum bodywork is finished in British racing green with a painted white number roundel. The bonnet retains its grille, latches, working vintage Lucas Le Mans 24 headlamps and signal lamps. The headlamp covers are attached with dzus fasteners, and the buckets are adjustable. Brake cooling ducts are incorporated on either side of the center radiator opening.

A pair of riveted aluminum louvers flank the center bulge needed to accommodate the D-Type’s 3.8-litre engine. The bonnet was secured by a metal latch on each side along with leather straps for good measure.

Piston Foundation Blog
Piston Foundation Blog
Piston Foundation Blog

The underside reveals that this long-nose was used in anger. Untouched since it was last on track, dirt, scrapes and imperfections can be seen. Spot welds are evident throughout, and the handformed air intake tunnel draws fresh air from the oval opening in the oval grill opening.

A Charity Auction on Bring a Trailer

Proceeds from the auction of this rare and beautiful piece of racing history benefit the Piston Fund which provides skilled-trade education scholarships for students and apprentices pursuing careers in collector car restoration.

A full description including documentation, in period and current pictures, can be found on the Bring a Trailer charity auction page.

Thank you to everyone who helped share this piece of automotive history.

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CKL Engineering
Revs Institute
Black Horse Garage
MM Garage

This Jaguar D-Type Bonnet will Help Future Generations.

This 1956 Jaguar D-Type long-nose bonnet represents the ultimate in craftsmanship and adventure. Every curve, very rivet, every latch, is handmade. Read the full story »