Jaguar will be building an ultra limited edition of the 1956 Jaguar XKSS, the road-going version of the fabled D-Type racing Jaguars that won Le Mans between 1955 and 1957.
Although it continued to support privateers for a couple years, Jaguar withdrew its factory cars from racing in 1956 and proceeded to convert the remaining 25 race cars for road use. The modifications included the removal of the high fin behind the driver and the separator between driver and passenger, and installation of a full windshield and a door on the passenger’s side.
In the middle of production at Browns Lane in 1957, however, a fire destroyed nine of the cars and prevented completion of the limited run. Almost 60 years later, Jaguar Classic will be completing the unfinished task by hand building nine cars to the exact specifications of the originals.
“The XKSS occupies a unique place in Jaguar’s history and is a car coveted by collectors the world over for its exclusivity and unmistakable design,” said Tim Hannig, Director Jaguar Land Rover Classic. “Jaguar Classic’s highly skilled team of engineers and technicians will draw on decades of knowledge to ensure each of the nine cars is completely authentic and crafted to the highest quality. Our continuation XKSS reaffirms our commitment to nurture the passion and enthusiasm for Jaguar’s illustrious past by offering exceptional cars, services, parts and experiences.”
Dubbed the world’s fist supercar, the XKSS was intended for the lucrative North American market that had developed a taste for high-end European touring cars, but only 16 were ever delivered. The nine remaining cars will now be finished and sold off to established collectors and Jaguar customers. The price tag is expected to be in excess of £1 million (roughly $1.875 million Canadian).
The team at Jaguar’s new “Experimental Shop” in Warwick will employ techniques and lessons learned from the construction of the Lightweight E-Type. Deliveries are expected to start early in 2017.