Only nine models will be built, each priced at $1.5 million

Following the success of the of the Jaguar E-Type lightweights back in 2014, Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicles Operations, the same performance division that also gave us beauties like the Jaguar F-Type Project 7 and the Range Rover Sport SVR, has now set its sights on another iconic Jaguar: the XKSS.

For those who are too young to remember, the Jaguar XKSS was the road-going version of the D-Type race car. The British automaker really had no plans to build the model and the decision to do so only came about as a last-ditch attempt to recoup the investments made to the D-Type after the automaker withdrew the car from racing competitions. That decision eventually led Jaguar, under the directive of co-founder Sir William Lyons, to convert the remaining unsold D-Types sitting in the company’s Browns Lane factory into road-going cars. In truth, "conversion" might seem like an overstatement because Jaguar really didn’t do much in the process. It merely added a passenger side door and removed the divider between the two front seats. It also removed the large fin behind the river’s seats. Side screens were also added on both sides of the car and a standard-issue, foldable fabric roof was thrown in for good measure. Despite the changes, the XKSS was essentially the D-Type in road-going clothing. Jaguar ended up building 25 units of the XKSS, but was only able to sell 16 of those models. The other nine were all destroyed in a fire at the Browns Lane plant back in 1957, never to be seen again.

That story leads us to today, where the story of the burned down XKSS models comes full circle. Jaguar’s announcement that the nine XKSS models that were burned down 59 years ago will be rebuilt for a select group of customers and collectors. Each of the nine XKSS units that will be rebuilt is expected to cost at least $1.5 million with deliveries scheduled to begin in early 2017.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

Jaguar To Restart Production Of Classic XKSS High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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The legacy of the Jaguar XKSS is interesting because most of the people I’ve talked to that remember the car have different recollections of what it was and what it meant to Jaguar’s legacy. It’s rare for a car to be talked about in that way, especially one that, on the surface, had a lot of history tied into it.

The rarity of the XKSS is unquestioned, especially with Jaguar only selling 16 units. Of those 16, one was actually owned by Steve McQueen, who famously gave his British Racing XKSS the name “Green Rat”. That car is still around today and is actually on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, California. Another famous owner of the XKSS is James Hull, the British dentist and entrepreneur. Actually, Hull doesn’t own his XKSS anymore after selling his collection of 543 British cars, including the XKSS, to Jaguar back in 2014 for an undisclosed sum.

As far as the nine XKSS models that Jaguar plans to bring back, you can expect each of those models to find an owner quickly. Much like the E-Type Lightweight that Jaguar brought back in 2014, these XKSS models will carry the distinction of being one of the last few remnants of a thriving era for the British automaker. Collectors from all over the world are going to be fighting amongst themselves to get any one of the nine units JLR’s Special Vehicles Operations plans to build.

Rest assured, they may go for $1.5 million now. But give them a few years and the value of these cars will increase significantly.

Press Release

Jaguar is to build the stunning XKSS as an ultra-exclusive continuation model.

Nine new XKSS’s - often referred to by experts as the world’s first supercar - will be hand built by Jaguar Classic to the exact specification as they appeared in 1957, replacing the cars lost due to the famous Browns Lane factory fire.

Tim Hannig, Director Jaguar Land Rover Classic, said: “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.

“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.”

The original cars were earmarked for export to the USA, however, just 16 were completed before disaster struck. Now 59 years later, Jaguar is going to build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars for a select group of established collectors and customers.

The expertise gained during the construction of the Lightweight E-type project will be transferred to the construction of the nine ultra-exclusive continuations. Each one will be hand-built at Jaguar’s new ‘Experimental Shop’ in Warwick.

Every car will be constructed to the same specifications as those first 16 made in 1957 – every aspect fully certified by Jaguar. The price will be in excess of £1 million.

The story of the XKSS began following Jaguar’s three successive Le Mans victories in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the all-conquering D-type.

After the hat-trick of wins, Sir William Lyons took the decision on 14 January 1957 to convert the remaining 25 D-types into road-going versions with several external modifications - creating the world’s first super car.

These modifications included the addition of a new higher windscreen, an extra door on the passenger side, taking away the divider between driver and passenger and the removal of the famous fin behind the driver’s seat.

The first deliveries of the new continuation Jaguar XKSS will commence in early 2017.

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