- Faithful homage to the iconic XKSS
- Period-correct features
- Superb build quality
- Built over 3 years by marque expert
- Stunning condition
The XKSS is one of the most iconic cars ever built, extremely rare, highly coveted by collectors and hugely valuable as a result, and of course a favourite of the King of Cool Steve McQueen. So it remarkable to think that it didn’t evolve from the drawing board in the conventional way, and may not have existed at all had it not been for a problem Jaguar encountered with a stock of unsold D-Types following the company’s withdrawal from racing after the 1956 season.
The inspired solution was simply to convert these race cars to road cars, and make them user-friendly by removing the distinctive tail fin and adding a full-width windscreen, passenger door, folding hood, luggage rack and bumpers and the result was one the finest cars ever built; a subtle combination of road car and race car, and versatile enough to be used as both. Ironically, in period, many of the original owners of an XKSS often stripped them back to race, while others were later converted back to D-Type specification.
It was ironic too that just sixteen cars had been converted to XKSS, when the infamous fire at Jaguar’s Brown’s Lane factory destroyed the remaining nine unsold D-Types and the ‘problem’ was solved. It was these nine chassis numbers that Jaguar recently revived for a limited edition of XKSS continuation cars. Such was the demand that all nine were sold out immediately, despite the reported price tag of £1.5m.
Other recreations have been built over the intervening years, most notably by companies like Lynx and Proteus, while others have been constructed by highly respected artisan builders and race shops.
This car was built for the current owner by the marque experts Tester Engineering over a three year period, starting in 2015. Jim Tester has been involved in the restoration and race preparation of competition Jaguars for four decades, and was largely credited with the re-discovery of the Ecurie Ecosse works D-Type XKD 604 in the mid1980s.
The car is therefore expertly constructed to a very high standard and employs as many period-correct features as possible, from 3.4 litre dry sump engine and triple 45 DCOE carburettors to its 16 inch Dunlop peg-drive alloy wheels and three eared spinners. The all-alloy riveted body is beautifully constructed and dimensionally correct, and the interior is very authentic.
Following the example of the early Lynx XKSSs, this car employs independent rear suspension rather than the period specification solid rear axle. Lynx always maintained that this was the technical direction in which Jaguar were going with the D-Type, until it was superceded by the E-Type, and there is little doubt that this makes for a more enjoyable driving experience and better handling.
Finished in what many consider the best colour combination of Gloss Black with Red Leather, this car remains in superb condition and is ‘as new’ having completed only shakedown miles since forming part of a small collection of Jaguars, on its completion in 2018.