Just in time for the New York Auto Show, Jaguar announces the new production of a “classic car”! Yes, you read correctly, a classic car. Because Jaguar wants to produce up to 2016 nine vehicles of the Jaguar XK-SS. Why, explaines the retrospective on the history of the Jaguar XK-SS.
Between 1955 and 1957 the Jaguar D-type were very successful at Le Mans. However, already in 1955 the small series of the D-type has been stopped. Over a dozen bodies remained in the plant and it was decided to build street worthy super sports car at Jaguar from the leftover D-Types, the Jaguar XK-SS series. This series was intended mainly for the US market. One renounced the distinctive tail fin of the D-types, removed the strut between the passenger and driver and added a door on the passenger side. Also chrome bumpers were added, a higher windscreen and a fabric roof. Otherwise the features of the Jaguar D-type were kept, the big covered headlights, the curved aerodynamic shape and the oval radiator opening. Also under the bodywork, everything remains. The body is build as partly self-supporting body. Only the front consists of a tubular frame, which continues to the rear along the transmission tunnel for safety reasons.
As also the D-types, the XK-SS powered by a with a 3442 CC six-cylinder engine of around 240 HP. A top speed of approximately 250 km/h is possible due to the light weight of only 900kg. Only the high windscreen somewhat slows down the vehicle and in the adverse case, the XKSS achieved only a Vmax of 230 km/h. Nevertheless, the Jaguar XKSS was the fastest street worthy super sports car. 1958 Steve McQueen bought one of thes British cars and drove him up 1969. Eight years after he had sold the vehicle in 1969, he bought it back for $10,000. This special vehicle with its prominent history is in the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles today.
25 Jaguar XKSS should be produced as a whole. But it did not. On February 12, 1957, there was a fire in the factory hall in the Jaguar factory, in which also the pre-conversion Jaguar D-types stood. 270 vehicles and 9 D-types were completely destroyed.
Now, 60 years after the debut of the XKSS on the New York car show in 1956, Jaguar announces, to rebuild exactly these nine cars which were destroyed in the fire, until 2017. The chassis numbers have again surfaced recently, Jaguar can now finish its production. It is not the first time that Jaguar completed a canceled series. Also some scheduled Jaguar E-type Lightweight vehicles were newly manufactured. Their chassis numbers have surfaced some time ago,
The newly fabricated Jaguar XKSS should be models priced at about £ 1 million.