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Top Gear loves the Goodwood Festival of Speed. Top Gear especially loves the Goodwood Festival of Speed when it’s invited to drive something up the hill. But this isn’t just something, this is a Jaguar D-Type. And not just any Jaguar D-Type but the original 1954 prototype, powered by a 3.4-litre straight six with about 245bhp. Top speed is around 175mph, it’s utterly unique and is worth millions. Literally. Many millions.

This made Top Gear nervous. But you know what? Although almost entirely original, right down to the frayed and baggy gearlever gaiter, it was an absolute honey to drive. OK, so as you can see in the video it bogged down a bit off the line, but then pulled so hard down the first straight that it was genuinely quite shocking. So Top Gear forgot the price and got totally swept along by the driving experience which was just stunning: beautifully delicate steering, snickety gearshift and friendly handling. It was totally delightful and a massive, massive privilege.

Gallery: the 2011 Goodwood Festival of Speed

So enjoy the video, a fine example of how thrilling the Goodwood hill actually is (apologies for the sound, it was rather windy, as you can imagine). Top Gear would like to close by proposing a quick round of ‘Hip Hip, Hooray’ to the lovely, trusting, generous people at Jaguar Heritage. Also, we seemed to have spotted an imposter at 1m 30s. Could it be?

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