The story started in the 1950s. D-type was nearing the end of its racing life, and XKSS was the solution. Inspired by a request from the North American market for a class C production racer, the 25 remaining D-type monocoques were planned for conversion, closely based on the multiple Le Mans winner. XKSS was a true super car, with all of D-type’s power but it added essentials like a full-width windscreen, bumpers, and a redesigned rear section. The result was stunning.
One of the most iconic XKSS owners was Steve McQueen. Though his original XKSS was white with red interior, he requested it be re-finished in a much subtler green - nicknaming it the ‘Green Rat’. McQueen loved the car so much that although he sold it in 1969, he ended up rebuying it in 1977 and it then remained with him until his untimely death. It now resides at the Los Angeles Petersen Museum.
This was a tragic chapter in the XKSS story. In 1957, a fire ripped through the Browns Lane factory with catastrophic results. Early in the evening of 12th February 1957, when all but a few staff had gone home, fire broke out in one of the main assembly halls and rapidly consumed a third of the whole factory. Scores of newly built cars were destroyed or damaged, but thankfully no one was seriously hurt.
Of the 25 D-types planned for conversion, 9 were destroyed. Although new assembly lines were opened within days, just 16 XKSS cars were ultimately completed.
Jaguar Classic has completed the final nine XKSS cars, keeping every detail precisely as it was in 1956, from the wood of the steering wheel to the grain of the leather seats. In order to ensure absolute authenticity, the Classic team scanned four different original XKSS cars before starting out the new build process.
Much like Mcqueen's 'Green Rat', this example is finished in British Racing Green over black. It's first owner requested that it be roadworthy, and as such, on 3rd April 2019 it passed its IVA inspection and subsequently issued with a UK V5 document. As well as roadworthy, the first owner stipulated the car should 'age' and patinate with time and as such, is the sole example painted with Cellulose.
In May 2023, this example was sent to Jaguar specialists, Brazell Engineering for a checkover, service and tune to the tune of £7,300. After diagnosis, the rear suspension and ride height were adjusted, spark plugs replaced, and both fuel pumps rebuilt, with a tune to suit spirited road use and occasional track use.
Having covered just 400 miles from new, this XKSS Continuation presents on the button, ready to be used and enjoyed. This example is available to view at our showrooms outside London immediately.
This very example featured in the 2017 Channel 4 series 'Jaguar XKSS - A Supercar is Reborn', following the history, research and build of the Continuation series. A link to the playlist can be found here: https://www.channel4.com/programmes/jaguar-xkss-a-supercar-is-reborn/on-demand/64758-008