One cool cat, the Jaguar XKSS has come back from near extinction, as evidenced by a recent sighting at the Petersen Automotive Museum, where it made its world debut earlier this month. The one-off work carries the exact design DNA as the 1957 model, an extremely limited line comprised of only 16 examples after nine cars fell to fire at the marque’s Browns Lane Factory before they could be shipped stateside.
The result of 18 months of exhaustive analysis and replication from Jaguar’s Classic division, the roadster that premiered at the Petersen is a period-correct continuation developed after extensive scans of original vehicles. For its construction, the same materials and methods (including parts fabricated to imperial measurements) used on the former have been featured again. The car consists of a bronze-welded aluminum chassis covered by a magnesium alloy body (formed on an authentically designed, custom styling buck) that features hand-wheeled curves.
Underneath the hood lies a 262 hp, 3.4-liter straight-6 engine (with three Weber DC03 carburetors) generating power, while both Dunlop tires and four-wheel disc brakes help with handling. When it comes to the cockpit, a genuine 1950s driving experience is assured with the aesthetic accuracy of Smiths gauges, a wood steering wheel, era-appropriate leather seats, and a brass-knobbed dashboard. The only contemporary considerations incorporated were necessary for modern safety requirements and to conform with the advances in current fuel technology.
As a tribute to the nine sportsters lost almost 60 years ago, the same number of hand-built beauties will be made, each representing about 10,000 hours of labor. Priced at $1.4 million, the Jaguar XKSS continuation will be available for delivery in 2017. (jaguar.com)