2017 Jaguar XKSS Continuation Series Sold Out Before Production Begins

1957 Jaguar XKSS 11 photos
Photo: Jaguar
1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS
Remember the Jaguar Lightweight E-Type? The British manufacturer built six of these babies, from the ground up, to finish up what the company couldn’t in the 1960s. The newly created Jaguar Land Rover Classic outfit won’t stop at this, though.
The next classic in line for a continuation series is the XKSS, the road-going variant of the D-Type racecar.

Boiled down to its core, the 1957 Jaguar XKSS is an afterthought. You see, Jaguar decided to withdraw from endurance racing at the end of 1956. This left a handful of completed and partly completed race cars at the historic Browns Lane plant. Sir William Lyons, in a moment of brilliance, proposed to get the most out of this situation by converting the remaining D-Type racers to road-legal cars. And so, the XKSS was born.

25 units were more or less completed when a fire broke out at the factory, destroying nine of the cars. As such, 16 examples of the breed survived. Six decades later, Jaguar Land Rover Classic will complete production of the XKSS with nine continuation vehicles, the first being slated for delivery next spring. Exciting stuff, I know, right? The thing is, all nine Jaguar XKSS continuation vehicles are spoken for, even though customers had to pony up in excess of $1.5 million. That’s right! One. Point. Five. Million. Bucks.

Jaguar managed to track the original drawings, but the problem is that “drawings don’t tell you how the shape was created.” Tim Hannig, the director of JLR Classic, says that the company “borrowed two original cars from owners and scanned the lines digitally. The bodies we are creating are quite remarkable.”

Each continuation car will take approximately three months to build by hand by some of the most talented and experienced automotive craftsmen in the business. Another reason why it takes so long to make an XKSS is the fact that JLR Classic has to reverse-engineer many parts, including the suspension.

After the Lightweight E-Type and XKSS continuation models, what should we expect next from JLR Classic? The one-off XJ13, also known as the greatest Jaguar racecar that never was, is a fine candidate in my book.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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