In 1956 when Jaguar withdrew from the world of Motor Sports they had a remaining stock of D-Type Le Mans race cars which, were quickly turned into road cars. These road cars spawned the XKSS, one of the most beautiful machines to grace our streets, and a true race car for the road. Today the remaining examples are locked away in the garages of collectors where they spend their days amassing value and dust. Up until this year, there was a limited supply of XKSS until Jaguar announced a revival series to replace 9 examples lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane Factory.
Replicating one of the greatest Jaguars of all time took over 18 months of pouring over documents and scanning the remaining originals to get these cars exactly right. These new XKSS will be exactly the same as the originals right down to the brass knobs in the interior. They will use the VIN numbers from the 9 lost examples completing the originally intended run of 25 cars.
The hand formed body will use the same magnesium alloy and These new XKSS will use the same 3.4-liter straight six from the D-Type race car, good for 242bhp. The soundtrack of a vintage racing straight six from the side pipes will once again welcome the arrival of a truly special machine. To complete the original drive train, these cars will use the same 4-wheel disc brakes and Dunlop tires of the originals forgoing modern performance parts in favor of authenticity.
The interior is trimmed in the same leather and uses the exact wooden steering wheel as the originals keeping all the touch points identical to the originals. The gauges will also be the same and promise to keep the simplicity of motoring in the 1950’s for going to complex displays from modern cars. In fact, the only change to this car is a motor stable fuel tank to improve passenger safety.
Reviving these vintage sports cars will take over 10,000 man hours and will cost the lucky owners $1,000,000. They are already sold and show Jaguars commitment to honoring its heritage even as it presses toward the future with cars like the I-Pace. These highly sought after machines remind us of a time when cars could be simple and chose beauty over safety.