Rare 1957 Jaguar XKSS Is the Most Expensive Car To Be Auctioned at Monterey in August

1957 Jaguar XKSS 17 photos
Photo: RM Sotheby's
1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS1957 Jaguar XKSS
There are cars out there that are just like the wine. The older they grow, the better they become. And more expensive, too. Way more expensive. And this 1957 Jaguar XKSS is just like that.
The European sports cars rolling out the factories after World War II were the American dream. Young customers wanted the latest and greatest cars out there. They wanted cars with sexy silhouettes, powerful engines, and everything in between. The economy was booming, they had money for whatever they wanted, and they weren't willing to compromise.

Europe was ready for what they were dreaming of. That is how cars like the exhilarating Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, the Ferrari 250 GT California Spider, or the Porsche 356 Speedster saw the light of day.

And then there was the Jaguar XKSS. Jaguar had given up racing after the 1956 season. But they were left with several unsold D-types. What were they supposed to do with them? Development and manufacturing had been expensive. But America gave them this crazy idea. And they thought that it might just work out for them.

What they had to do in order to sell them was convert them into street-legal cars and export them to the US. And that is exactly what they did. They put in a passenger door, a full windshield, chromed bumperettes, and a folding top, the simplest they could make.

1957 Jaguar XKSS
Photo: RM Sotheby's
Only a year away from the victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Jaguar had 25 of those ready to roll. But disaster struck. Nine of the 25 were lost in a fire in the Browns Lane factory. So the company was left with just 16 cars.

One of them is this Jaguar right here, a racing XKD 564 converted into an XKSS 707, which was to change hands several times. Finished in cream over red leather, it was purchased by racer Lou Brero Sr. The car was to be sent to America to its new owner. But he died prior to the delivery. So the Jaguar eventually ended up with Sammy Weiss, sports car dealer and driver. His dealership eventually sold it to Sidney Colberg in San Francisco in 1960.

The car was first purchased new in California. It soon became a regular sight on the tracks of the state in the early 1960s. He pampered it year after year, took it racing up and down the West Coast, and proudly kept it until 1973, when he decided to sell it to British connoisseur of performance cars, Anthony Bamford.

This is how the Jaguar joined an exclusive car collection, sharing the garage with several Ferrari 250 GTOs, Alfa Romeo 8Cs, and many others. In 1975, Bamford sold it to Geoffrey E. Marsh of Hampshire. He was the one who chose to remove the body from the chassis to replace the bulkhead behind the seats in order to get rid of the holes left in there after cutting the roll bars of the former race car. He also chose another paint for the body and upholstery.

After carrying out these mods, he sold it to Chris Steward from Essex, and later on, in 1976, it was I.G. Campbell McLaren in Glasgow, Scotland, who bought the Jaguar. And it was also he who registered it with the JAG 1 registration number. McLaren replaced the hood that displayed some dents achieved in the early racing career of the car. He also had it repainted from black to metallic blue. The Jaguar would not just be a garage queen. It took part in the first historic race at Le Mans in June 1978, and – since it absolutely loved stardom – it showed up in several newspapers and magazines.

1957 Jaguar XKSS
Photo: RM Sotheby's
McLaren sold it to Allen Lloyd of Staffordshire in 1992. When servicing the car, Lloyd discovered that the engine block had been replaced. It had probably happened during the early years of track time in the United States. But he managed to locate the matching engine block fast and reinstall it in the car. It is still there today.

Under his ownership, the Jaguar got a new radiator and aluminum header tank made from patterns taken from the original components. It also got a new fuel tank, the cylinder head was overhauled, and new valves and springs were fitted.

The car remained with Allen Lloyd for 19 years, being treated just as it deserved. It went to Mille Miglia in 2004 and was displayed at the Jaguar Heritage Museum.

Then it ended up in the hands of an enthusiastic collector, a connoisseur of competition Jaguars, who is selling it now for a fortune.

The odometer shows 25,535 miles (41,095 kilometers), all authentic. Just as pretty much everything about this car, from engine to brake calipers. The 1957 Jaguar XKSS comes with a history file, numerous magazine articles, photographs made throughout its life, and many, many invoices and partial registrations, but also an original D-type service handbook and original XKSS maintenance instructions.

The automobile is labeled as one of the absolute most original and best-preserved XKSS examples. It comes with the numbers-matching engine block and head, gearbox, rear axle, and bodywork.

1957 Jaguar XKSS
Photo: RM Sotheby's
And to confirm that it is the most sought-after street-legal Jaguar, here is the price. It goes under the hammer at the Monterey Car Week in August, and it is estimated to fetch between $12 million and $14 million. Exclusivity included, since only 15 other such Jaguars are left in the world.
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