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The Jaguar XKSS to be Built Again After Nearly 60 Years

With the passing of one bill last December, a plethora of small manufacturers have started making plans and preparing manufacturing to build low quantity retro rides. Of the many, we have highlighted the aspirations of the new DeLorean, Superperformance, and even Cord. But who says large manufacturers can’t jump on the old-school bandwagon too? Case in point is Jaguar Classic’s brand new XKSS which debuted at the LA Auto Show.

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Back in 1957, the original Jaguar XKSS was built as a road-going version of the famous LeMans-winning D-Type. Initially, 25 cars were built and in 1957 9 of those were to be shipped to the United States. Unfortunately, a fire at the Browns Lane Factory in the British Midlands destroyed the cars before they were to be exported. This means only 16 original XKSSs ever made it to market.

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This is where Jaguar’s Classic division comes in. Building upon the success of their six, light-weight E-type builds back in 2014, the engineers set out to make the new XKSS exactly the way it was 60 years ago. To do so, the team digitally scanned several original cars to create a full 3-D visualization of all the necessary parts. They then create a new bespoke styling buck which will be used to form the bodies using the traditional hand-wheeling process.

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Magnesium alloy is used to make up the body of the vehicles and the two-piece wheels just like it was in 1957. The original build process was recreated so effectively they even bronze-welded the frame. Additionally, the 3.4-liter straight six D-type engine uses new cast iron blocks, cast cylinder heads, and Weber DC03 carburetors. The level of detail which was put into this build process is absolutely astonishing. Even the Plessey pump for the Dunlop disc brakes was used.

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The interior continues the brand-new 1957 look and feel of the XKSS. The dash, steering wheel, seats, knobs, and even gauges are recreated just as they would be on the original. In fact, unless it posed a significant safety risk (like using new materials to build a fuel tank that can take modern fuel) it was all does as it would have been back in the day.

The homage to the original doesn’t stop at the body and the interior though. Do you remember those 9 cars which were lost in the fire that I mentioned earlier? Well this continuation series will consist of only nine vehicles to commemorate the original loss. These new cars will be going to “established collectors and customers” for over £1 million each.

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With period chassis numbers from the XKSS catalogue, and an estimated 10,000 man hours put into each build it’s no wonder this car looks so perfect. I love it when manufacturers remake some of their “greatest hits”. The amount of craftsmanship and detail that will be going into these hand-built cars is absolutely astounding. I hope at least a couple of the new owners take them out for the occasional drive so they can be enjoyed as they should be.

Categories: Production Cars

Eric Climer
About Eric Climer

I haven't always been a car fan, but if you ask my wife I never shutup about them. I'm always eager to see what is new while appreciating and admiring the classics. As with every car lover, I dream of having a garage larger than the house!