It looks classic and its specs are based on a classic car from nearly 60 years ago. But to clear things up, it is a new car, and it’s on display at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show.
Dubbed as the New Original Jaguar XKSS, this classic-looking car is a product of a continuation program initiated by Jaguar Land Rover Classic. It continues the original Jaguar XKSS built in 1957. Ironically, the 1957 Jaguar XKSS is also a road-going continuation of the Jaguar D-Type racing car built from 1954 to 1956. After Jaguar withdrew from the race at the end of the 1956 season, it was faced with a number of completed and partly completed D-types. Jaguar eventually determined that it would convert these D-types to road-going specs, implementing only minor revisions.
For instance, Jaguar removed the large fin behind the driver and the divider between passenger and driver seats. The carmaker also added a passenger side door, a full-width windscreen, side-screens a folding fabric roof. Jaguar also added chromed bumpers on the front and rear. Unfortunately, a fire broke at the plant where the Jaguar XKSS was being built, destroying nine of them (lost cars) with the surviving 16 examples sold off in the United States.
Thanks to the XKSS continuation program, these nine lost cars are now bound to be reincarnated into nine New Original Jaguar XKSS units – all of which will be authentically produced to exact 1957 specs by Jaguar Land Rover Classic and are now ready for delivery for their respective owners around the world in 2017. This one-off Original Jaguar XKSS -- finished in Sherwood Green paint – has been showcased at Petersen Museum in Los Angeles and it’s now displayed at the 2016 LA Auto Show at the LA Convention Center. A result of 18 months of research, this New Original Jaguar XKSS will be used as a blueprint from which the nine continuation cars will be produced. These nine cars will bear the period chassis numbers from the XKSS chassis log and are being sold at over £1 million each.
To create the New Original Jaguar XKSS, Jaguar Land Rover Classic employed both original drawings from Jaguar’s archive and modern technology. In fact, several versions of the 1957 XKSS were scanned for the complete digital image of the classic car. First off, Jaguar Land Rover Classic worked on the body. Since original styling bucks are now non-existent, a bespoke version was built using the original bodies as basis. Just like the 1957 XKSS, the bodies of the nine New Original XKSS units will be made from magnesium alloy and will be formed on the new styling buck through hand-wheeling.
Then, Jaguar Land Rover Classic produced CAD from the original frames and from there produced its CAD. These bespoke frames were then crafted in partnership with Reynolds and then bronze-welded in the same manner as the 1957 XKSS chassis tubing. Powering the New Original Jaguar XKSS is a 262-hp 3.4-liter straight six-cylinder engine found in the Jaguar D-type racer.
Jaguar classic also perfectly recreated the interior of the 1957 XKSS, including the steering wheel, the leather seats, the brass knobs on the XKSS dashboard and the original Smiths gauges. Moreover, the New Original Jaguar XKSS rides in period-spec riveted two-piece magnesium alloy wheels wrapped in Dunlop tires, with braking employed through four-wheel Dunlop disc brakes with a Plessey pump. Of course, minor revisions were made to ensure both driver and passenger safety.
Jaguar Land Rover Classic expects to spend around 10,000 man-hours in building each of the New Original Jaguar XKSS.