- Jaguar Classic division re-launches XKSS
- Nine ‘new’ models will complete the original build list
- Priced from £1m; all examples have already been sold
Iconic XKSS re-born 60 years later by Jaguar Classic division
A prototype XKSS, codenamed ‘car number 0’, was unveiled at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles this week.
This was a genuine racing car for the road, primarily because it was based on the Jaguar D-Type, a car that dominated the motor racing headlines like Team Mercedes-AMG do in Formula One today.
It won the Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race in 1955, 1956 and 1957, but following Jaguar’s withdrawal from factory-backed motorsports, the company was keen to utilise the remaining engines and chassis. And so the road-going XKSS was born, limited to just 25 units.
Unfortunately, on the 12th February 1957, a fire broke out at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry, destroying nine of the 25 cars and ceasing production. Until now.
A staggering 60 years later, and thanks to the dedication of the newly-formed Jaguar Classic division, the remaining nine cars will now emerge from the ashes using period chassis numbers from the original XKSS chassis log. A prototype XKSS, codenamed ‘car number 0’, was recently unveiled at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles, to show the world’s media as well as the nine incredibly lucky owners a sign of things to come.
Everything you see on this new Jaguar XKSS, from the Sherwood Green paint, to the hand-wheeled magnesium alloy body, the re-cast cylinder heads used to create the 3.4-litre straight six engine, the Dunlop disc brakes, even the number of rivets used on the body – it’s precisely as it would have been in 1957.
The Peterson Museum houses an original 1956 XKSS – formerly owned by Steve McQueen – which features quilted seats. Riches explains, “They’re actually non period. McQueen bought a white XKSS, but he had this car re-painted in a bottle green. He also removed the luggage rack, side windows and had the seats re-upholstered for extra comfort.”
With the McQueen XKSS insured by the Peterson Museum for £30m, it makes the new car’s £1.2m asking price a bit of a steal. The first customer deliveries are expected to start in early 2017.