RCR D-Type FAQS
Building a car sometimes raises lots of questions. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the RCR D-Type. Please contact us if you'd like to see a specific question answered here.
What engines can be fitted?
The car is designed to accept the original-style XK-series of engines, as found in most Jaguar cars from 1954 to 1986. These are readily available, and inexpensive. You can fit any other engine that will fit, but the only factory supported engine is the Jaguar XK-series.
What transmissions can be used?
There are two supported options: the standard 4-speed manual transmission as used in the E-Types or a Tremec T5 5-Speed.
Tremec: The advantages of the Tremec transmission include a more modern architecture, better synchros, stronger gears, a wide range of gearing choice from very close to very wide, broad availability (these are available on the used market for very little money, rebuilds are commonly available on eBay, and they can be bought new from the usual suspects including Jegs and Summit). The two links below detail some options for using the T5 with an XK-series engine.
- Vintage Jag provides a complete package that includes the specific bell housing, starter, TO bearing and clutch in a variety of gear ratios.
- 5 Speeds provides a bell housing that can be used in the conversion.
E-Type: The primary advantages of the E-Type transmission are that no conversion parts are needed and that it is relatively original in appearance. The disadvantages include a weaker architecture, only 4 forward gears, less support available for this relatively unloved transmission, and generally greater cost.
Do I need a special shifter?
You can use the stock shifter with the Jaguar transmission, and a wide range of aftermarket shifters with the Tremec T5 transmission.
Exhaust systems for the D-Type are relatively easy to fabricate, but you need to consider the following options:
- Exhaust exit at the rear or on the side. Rear exits are almost always quieter, all things equal, but the side exits look very period. Just watch your shins on hot exhaust pipes if you choose a side exhaust – it's easy to get burned.
- Exhaust manifold or headers; the former is less expensive and the later provides more power and a proper race look when front clip is open.
- Material: mild steel or stainless steel
- Coating: chrome, powder coat or ceramic.
Any competent exhaust shop can build something to your specifications. Alternatively, if you send your engine and transmission to us when we're building your kit, wecan mount them, and fabricate an exhaust to your requirements for an extra fee. Please contact us for more information.
Why are seats not included in the kit?
There are no seats per se in the D-Type. Instead, the aluminum tub has a seating position molded in, and the interior options provide padding and provisions for upholstery. This is consistent with the original cars, and looks very period. The optional seat squabs and upholstery make for a comfortable and attractive seating setup.
But since the seats are essentially fixed, you may want to consider using sliding pedals with the D-Type so that drivers of different sizes can easily fit in the car. Sliding pedals are an option from RCR- call the factory to discuss.
Why are carpets not included in the kit?
Because the original cars never had them. They were designed to be race cars, and fripperies like carpet just weren't part of the vision. But you can add a carpet set pretty easily – just make up a paper template of the floor area you want to cover and use it to cut out automotive carpet. Bind the edges and glue it down and you are done. Most builders will leave the aluminum chassis exposed, as it is very attractive, and weathers well, especially with a bit of polish. It also looks very original.
What wheel options are there?
Any wheels that fit can be used, but there is really only one choice for the D-Type that looks authentic, and that is the optional Dunlop-style wheel available from RCR (and possibly others). RCR makes these wheels in house from billet, and while they are somewhat expensive, they look perfectly correct, are very stiff, and are new (using 50+ year old wheels on a car with extreme performance isn't a great idea).
Some builders may choose to use wire wheels; these are inauthentic, as the Dunlop-style wheels were the only wheels fitted by the factory, but do look like the period. RCR does not supply wire wheels for this car.
How authentic is it?
Very. The bodywork is molded from an original car, and unlike any other D-Type replica we know of, the RCR D-Type is the only one with an aluminum monocoque chassis with bolt-on steel subframes, just like the original.
You can get the same steering wheel, visually original gauges, wheels, etc. to make the car indistinguishable from the originals to all but the most expert. With a few miles on the car, you can even get a patina that makes it look like it just popped out of the 50s.
Although the body is fiberglass instead of the original aluminum (hardly anyone could afford the car with an aluminum body nowadays), RCR can also supply genuine aluminum aircraft rivets that can be bucked into the body for even more authenticity.
I only see a right-hand-drive version, when will a left-hand-drive version be built?
It won't. There were no left-hand-drive (LHD) Jaguar D-Types, and authenticity demands that all of our D-Types will be right-hand-dive (RHD) as the originals were.
Although it may seem daunting, it's not that hard to drive a RHD car in LHD countries. It's made a bit easier than most because there is no roof on the D-Type, so side and rear view visibility is unobstructed. You get used to driving on a different side of the car pretty easily.
What about gauges?
The original D-Types had large tach and speedos, mixed with "normal" 52mm ancillary gauges. RCR can provide very close replicas of the 6" tachometer and speedometer, or you can source other similar-looking gauges from a number of sources. We recommend Speedhut for modern internals, and classic looks if you don't want the larger gauges.
Will I fit in the car? I'm a big guy!
Well, the good news is that headroom is unlimited!
Even better, the chassis has very good legroom as well, so even very tall people will fit. If you are extra wide, that really isn't a problem, either. Just use less padding in the seat squabs and you'll fit fine. The D-Type will fit almost anyone. If you still need more legroom, there is a sliding pedal option.
What else do I need to complete my D-Type?
The following are the primary components that you'll need to complete the kit. Please contact the factory to discuss your requirements for any or all of these.
- Transmission, clutch, flywheel, adapter plate, starter
- Gauges, if you didn't order the optional Nisonger set
- Engine and related parts (fuel pumps, hose, fittings, etc.)
- Exhaust- available from RCR, depending on your engine choice
- Wheels (available from RCR)
- Seat belts
- Mirrors- there are so many variants that these are left out of this kit
- Miscellaneous fasteners, adhesives, fluids, terminals, etc.