Finally, at long last, the day has come. Jaguar is going to make good on its promise to finish a very limited production run of the converted XKSS 1950s racer. And it’ll be worth the wait.
Jaguar originally planned to sell 25 converted versions of the Le Mans winning D-Type racer to the public. But those plans went awry when nine of them burned up in a 1957 factory fire.
Now the British carmaker says it will build nine replicas from scratch and they’re destined for a select group of “established collectors” and customers. The price tag? $1.4 million. Even at that price, five are already spoken for: two to customers in the United Kingdom, two to Americans and one to a New Zealander. That leaves only four still up for grabs.
The sportsters will be built by the Jaguar Land Rover Classic unit, which also handled the Lightweight E-Type project. They’ll be hand built to the exact specifications as those made in 1957, replacing the cars lost due to the famous Browns Lane factory fire.
As for some history, the story of the XKSS began with the D-Type that won three successive Le Mans victories in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Jaguar’s founder then decided to convert the remaining 25 D-types into road-going versions with several external modifications – creating what Jag considers the world’s first super car.
Road ready modifications included adding 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 take place in early 2017.