Legendary Jaguar XKSS reborn
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Just nine 'lost' Jaguar XKSS have been built
It is the legendary ‘lost’ Jaguar supercar enthusiasts thought would never be made again after fire ripped through its factory in 1957.
Only 16 of 25 famous XKSS convertibles were completed when nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry. Six decades on these nine 'lost' vehicles have been built at last.
But you'll need around $NZ1.8million to buy one - although it is still considerably cheaper than an original XKSS, which is likely to cost more than $18million.
The ’new’ streamlined XKSS sports car is based on the original plans and will be the template for nine lost ‘leaping cats’ to be brought back to life, with deliveries to super-rich customers starting next year.
Each car will take a craftsmen roughly 10,000 man hours to complete and include 2,000 rivets, with all the measurements in traditional imperial rather than metric form.
Jaguar showcased the newly-built model at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles and said this XKSS model was the first genuine version of its kind to be built in over 60 years.
The streamlined XKSS was originally created as a road-going conversion of the Le Mans-winning D-type racing car built from 1954 to 1956.
Hollywood actor Steve McQueen was among the owners of an original XKSS.
But, nine cars earmarked for export to North America were lost in a fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane factory in Coventry in 1957. This meant that just 16 examples of the XKSS were ever built – until now.
Jaguar says it has gone back to its vaults and blueprints to enable Jaguar Land Rover Classic’s expert craftsmen to authentically hand-build the car to an ‘exact 1957 specification’.
The car unveiled at the show in Sherwood Green paint will be the template for the missing nine XKSS’s which will be built for wealthy customers across the globe and cost around $1.8million each.
Every single one has already been sold.
The nine cars will be ‘completely new’ with period chassis numbers from the original XKSS chassis log.
They are being built by the Classic Division of Jaguar Land Rover’s Coventry-based Special Vehicle Operations arm.
The price for the original XKSS was just $8,800 – compared to $1.8million plus for the the reincarnated models.
The car accelerates from rest to 60mph in just 5.5 seconds and to 100mph in 13.5 seconds powered by its 3.4 litre XK straight six engine and helped by its lightweight aluminium body.
Jaguar said its engineers could have tweaked the car – using advances in technology that iron out some of the challenges of the 1950s – but decided against that to keep the feel and performance as authentic as possible.