Jaguar To Restart Production Of Classic XKSS
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.
Jaguar Classic Challenge Adds Le Mans To 2016 Racing Calendar
Some of the most iconic Jaguar race cars in history are all set to return for the second season of the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the automaker’s exclusive racing competition. This season, the Classic Challenge welcomes the Le Mans Classic as the newest round in its racing calendar. Considering the company’s long and illustrious history at Le Mans, it’s only fitting that one of the world’s most important race tracks will become a part of the racing series.
The race will be called the “Le Mans Classic”, and will run from July 8 to July 20, 2016. It’s inclusion brings the total number of races in Classic Challenge to five. The season-opening race will be take place at the Donington Historic Festival from April 30 to May 2, 2016. That will be followed by the Silverstone International Trophy (May 21 to 22), the Le Mans Classic, the AvD-Oldtimer-Grand-Prix at the Nurburgring (August 12 to 14), and the Oulton Park Gold Cup (August 27 to 27).
In addition to the inclusion of the Le Mans Classic in the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the series will also be introducing new technical regulations that will be based on the FIA’s Appendix K frameworks for cars that compete in international historic racing competitions. According to the FIA, regulations in Appendix K “may be used for Competitions under a set of rules that preserve the specifications of their period and prevent the modifications of performance and behavior which could arise through the application of modern technology.”
With the inclusion of Le Mans and the adoption of new technical regulations, this year’s Jaguar Classic Challenge should be able to build off of the success of last year’s inaugural season. So, expect the see the usual classic Jaguars, including Mk1s, Mk2s, C-Types, D-Types, Xk120s and 140s, XKSS, and various vintage versions of the iconic E-Type, all lining up on the track when the season starts in April.
Continue after the jump to read the full story.
When talking about cult icons, adjectives usually stream in an overwhelming fashion, making it hard to discern fact from fabrication. The Jaguar E-Type is one of these cars, earning an invitation to the Pantheon of motoring just as quick as the first journalists laid eyes on it. The long hood belied the size of the white two-door sports car as it was sitting on an exquisite animal print wall-to-wall. The public was elated, so much so that a second car was driven from Britain to Switzerland as Sir William Lyons, the company’s founder, was already receiving orders for the new ,,Big Cat’’.
Such was the initial impact of the E-Type that even the Italians, who were famed for putting together some of the most beautiful cars in existence, were left dumbfounded. One Italian in particular eulogized the styling of Jaguar’s new two-seater. His name? None other than Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, who is quoted to have said that the XK-E, as it was marketed in the USA, is "the most beautiful car in the world".
Despite of early reliability issues that pushed the debut date of the racing version further into 1962, the E-Type proved handy on race tracks around the world, especially the 12 lightweight chassis. Away from the track, the first E-Type, known as the S1, was built in far greater numbers, nearly 40,000 cars coming out of the Coventry-based plant between 1961 and 1968. The figure includes all variations, including the less fluid 2+2.
While the E-Type stayed in production until 1975, the S1 is the most distinguishable, as the latter versions lost the headlight covers as well as adopting larger fender flares, on the S3, that somehow messed with the original shape. This is mainly why the first iteration is also the most sought-after, with prices rising each year.
Continue reading to learn more about the 1961-1968 Jaguar E-Type.
The Jaguar XJS has an odd sort of niche as a classic car. As the replacement for the 1961-1975 Jaguar E-Type, there was a lot of misunderstanding about what kind of a car it was supposed to be. A lot of people think it was a terrible sports car, when in reality it was built as a grand tourer/executive coupe. It was also first built at a time when emissions regulations strangled the engine, 5-mph bumpers disrupted the flow of the lines in the bodywork and Jaguar’s reliability as a whole was not quite where you’d want it to be. But the XJS was in production for a long time, from 1975 to 1996 (for a total of 115,413 units, a huge number for car in this price range), so it clearly offered something to those who bought them.
Harry Metcalfe, formerly of EVO magazine, has put out a new video talking about the history of the XJS and taking a look at a well preserved Series I example.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar XJ-S V12.
It was 1950, and the postwar sports car racing scene was beginning to heat up. In some ways the scene wasn’t too different from now: the only way to be taken seriously as a purveyor of sporty vehicles was to go racing. Jaguar’s lovely XK120 was in the performance spotlight, thanks to its 120-mph top speed making it the fastest production vehicle of its day, and so it was only natural that the car hit the track.
Three nearly stock XK120s entered the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1950, modified by the factory but helmed by private drivers. The cars were reasonably successful, with one getting as high as second place before retiring while running third, and the other two finishing 12th and 15th. William Lyons, managing director of Jaguar, was impressed with the showing, and speculated that with a more rigid body and a significant weight drop, the cars would be even more competitive. The key to racing success was a dramatic makeover. Jaguar designed an aerodynamic lightweight body over a tube-frame chassis, retuned the engine, transmission and front suspension, and the XK120C, later known simply as the C-Type, was born.
Three C-Types entered Le Mans in 1951, and one of them won the race outright. Jaguar set record race speeds along the way. A more ambitious effort in 1952 fell flat, but in 1953 Jaguar won Le Mans again, with its three entries coming in first, second and fourth. The effort was more impressive because of Jaguar’s low-key approach; the factory team didn’t show up with a lot of fancy equipment like Ferrari or Alfa Romeo, and quietly went out and beat the established marques. This racing success didn’t just cement Jaguar’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with on the track; it also catapulted Jaguar to international fame. The C-Type is arguably responsible for Jaguar’s legendary status. A total of 53 C-types were produced from 1951 to 1953, and replicas are still being built today.
Continue reading to learn more about the Jaguar C-Type.
Back in the ’50s, Jaguar was the company to beat at Le Mans. Between the C-Type and the later 1954-1957 Jaguar D-Type, no other manufacturer took home as many wins as Jaguar during the ’50s, and even the mighty Mercedes-Benz 300SL only got one win. That’s because, as is often the case, Jaguar had a technological advantage that started with the debut of the XK120. For a car built so soon after WWII, it was highly advanced, and so Jaguar’s competition version of the car, the C-Type, won Le Mans the first year it raced there.
In the video, we get to see a C-Type that is going up for auction soon, and hear some of its history from David Swig, car specialist for RM Auctions. This is a 1953 model, a works lightweight, and it is a bit different than the original 1951 cars. That’s because that win by Mercedes in 1952 forced Jaguar to makes some changes in order to stay competitive. Those changes worked, and one of these 1953 works lightweights won again that year. From there, Jaguar developed the D-Type that took three Le Mans wins in a row.
Prices on C-Types vary quite a bit, but none of them are cheap. They tend to start at about $600,000 and will go up just over $3 million if it’s one of the two that won Le Mans. This car did not win, but it did come in 4th in 1953, and that makes it more valuable than most. RM Auctions hasn’t posted an official value estimate, but it will likely be in the upper end of the price range. And like all Petrolicious videos, this one is worth watching even if you don’t plan on buying the car.
Jay Leno loves a good Jaguar XK, and there plenty scattered around his glorious garage. When it comes to restoring these historic machines and keeping them in top condition, Jay turns to Jason Len, one of the most respected XK restorers in the world. But this video isn’t about one of Jay’s cars, rather its about a car that belongs to Jason Len. See, when you spend your life working on restoring the same cars to the same factory condition over and over, you get a little tired of the monotony. To break up this never-ending stream of cars, Jason decided to create a one-off custom XK that is unlike any other on the road.
What started life as a 1951 Jaguar XK 120 has been converted into a custom speedster with a modified engine from an E-Type, custom bodywork and killer side-exit exhaust outlets molded into the front fender. Underneath is a custom tube-frame and a modern manual transmission, and the engine is fed from a race-spec fuel cell in the back. Most of the video is dedicated to a close in-shop look at the car and all of the modifications, but toward the end Jay finally takes it for a spin and it is glorious. The sound quality is a bit rough thanks to the wind noise, but hearing that straight-six engine bellow and howl as Jay drives around is the best. This is a rolling piece of modern art with a classic twist and a great noise. Press play and enjoy this great one-of-a-kind machine.
Some of us can’t afford to buy a brand new Jaguar F-Type R Coupe, let alone a fully restored Jaguar E-Type. But Jaguar Land Rover Special Operations is doing all of us a big favor by launching the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience. The name is as it sounds; starting November 2014, visitors can get access to drive some of their favorite Jaguars on an established 200-acre testing facility, Fen End, in Warwickshire, England.
Many of these cars are going to be driven by the public for the first time, which in itself is incredible considering the level of access Jaguar is offering to the public. Hopefully, it’s got insurance for some of these classic vehicles. Some of these cars were actually owned by James Hull before Jaguar bought his entire collection of cars — all 543 of them — back in July 2014. At the very least, you can expect these classics to be in premium shape relative to their ages.
If any of you has a chance to experience the Jaguar Heritage Driving Experience, I’m going to be the first ones to ask you how it went. That, or I might just head over to the attic and wallow in my jealousy.
Click past the jump to read more about Jaguar’s new Heritage Driving Experience.
Car collecting has taken on a whole new meaning thanks to one British dentist who amassed the largest private collection in Britain with multiple warehouses stocked full of antique Jaguars, Bentleys, Austins, and Minis. However Dr. James Hull’s collection is now in the care of Jaguar Land Rover after the automaker purchased the entire fleet for an undisclosed amount.
The collection consists of 543 classic cars dating back to the 1930s and is estimated to be worth some £100 million, or roughly $168,346,500 U.S. dollars as of August 7, 2014. Among the collection are cars like Sir Winston Churchill’s Austin, Lord Mountbatten’s Mini Traveller, and even Sir Elton John’s Bentley.
Besides the sheer number of vehicles, the collection’s breath of variety is also intriguing. It ranges from million-dollar Jaguars down to the must humble Morris Minors, a plane-Jane economy car produced from the 1940s through 1970s.
Included are even pristine examples of a super-rare 1950s-era Jaguar XKSS and a D-Type worth more than $6.7 million together. Hull’s vehicles even include classic pedal cars dating back to the 1920s to present day. Perhaps the most special one is a Ferrari example that was hand-built in Maranello, Italy in the 1950s.
It’s unclear what Jaguar Land Rover plans to do with the massive collection, but it’s a sure bet that all 543 cars are in good hands. Perhaps those vehicles not wearing a Jaguar badge will end up at auction, possibly fetching a profit for the British automaker. Be sure to check out the video below the jump.
Click past the jump to learn more about this private collection.
As the Jaguar product renaissance continues full-steam ahead with the XQ-type crossover’s reveal, there is even more excitement back home with the debut of the Eagle Low Drag GT.
Sharing the lawn with dozens of other priceless exotics, the Eagle Low Drag GT applies the same priceless supercar restoration and upgrade that makes its Speedster such a showstopper.
Finished in gorgeous hand-polished aluminum for the panels and chassis, the Low Drag GT revives one of the most celebrated Jaguar racing concepts ever: a fastback E-type that was wider, more powerful and far more streamlined than any production Jaguar coupe from then or now.
The original E-type was many things during its prime, including a super-rapid, high-speed express that could reach huge top speeds for a fraction of the price of its competition from Italy.
For all this beauty and heritage that flows into the F-type today, the E-type was surprisingly never a truly successful racing machine or a good-looking two-seat coupe.
As Jaguar puts the final touches on the F-type Coupe ahead of its arrival this spring, the Eagle Low Drag GT is the perfect example of Jaguar fastback style.
With pricing likely to be in the seven digits and a total production run of perhaps five cars, the 2013 Eagle Low Drag GT writes a new chapter in the celebrated Jaguar E-type legacy.
In the latest episode of his show, Jay Leno got the chance to review a 1964 Jaguar E-Type, not a stock one, but still a pretty enjoyable drive, at least according to Jay Leno. The model was brought back to life by Jason Len from XKs Unlimited, who wanted to bring the flavor of the track to this E-Type, while keeping it totally streetable.
This Jag was updated with a roomier interior, a new alloy hood, factory-built Le Mans racing lights, a custom front bumper to accommodate the racing lights, knock-off wheels, Le Mans winglets and a new exhaust system with side pipes. The model is powered by a 3.8-liter inline-six engine that delivers a total of 300 horsepower — a 70 horsepower increase over the stock E-Type.
Check out the video to see if Jay Leno thinks all these updates are suitable for the 1964 E-Type. We think it’s an interesting ride!
Chris Harris has long entertained us by reviewing some of the greatest cars out there, and the latest episode of Drive is no exception. This time around, Chris stepped outside of his comfort zone of modern-day sports cars and supercars to get behind the wheel of a classic Jaguar C-Type. To take him further out of his zone, Chris is driving the classic Jag in the famous Mille Miglia event, which forces him to drive slow and calculated speeds, as opposed to full-tilt, as he is used to.
The C-Type (with "C" coming from competition) was a racing sports car built by Jaguar and sold from 1951 to 1953. There were only 55 units built and all of them raced in competitions like the Le Mans 24 hours race, which it won twice. The C-Type was driven by legendary men like the Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman, Leslie Johnson and three-time Mille Miglia winner, Clemente Biondetti.
The C-Type is powered by a DOHC in-line six-cylinder engine with two SU carburetors. This powerplant delivered a total of 210 horsepower in its heyday.
At recent auctions, the model was auctioned for an amazing price of $3.7 million.