Jaguar's success with the C Type , straight out of the box , recording a maiden win in 1951, repeated in 1953, gave it the impetus to maintain its superiority in the 24 hour race.
Aerodynamicist Malcolm Sayer, who designed the radical new body , took inspiration from the Alfa Romeo "Disco Volante" for his first prototype.
By the time Le Mans came along the XK 120C Mk.4( the D type), had undergone a rigorous testing programme. 3 cars were entered, and Peter Walker showed its potential in practice with the fastest time.
In the race the D types were bedevilled with problems caused by dirty fuel. Our subject, OKV 1 , driven by Rolt and Hamilton lost time changing a fuel filter, but recovered to chase the winning Ferrari home , less than 90 seconds behind, to finish at 105.04 mph.