Lot 304: Jaguar XKSS 3.8-Liter Replica
One of the rarest Jaguars of all, the XKSS was a spin-off from the D-Type racing program. To satisfy FIA regulations, the D-Type had been built in numbers greatly exceeding the demand for such a specialized piece of racing equipment, and conversion to road trim was viewed as the best way of clearing unsold stocks, hence the XKSS. Modifications to make the D-Type acceptable for road use included installing a seat and door on the passenger side, fitting a full-width windscreen and shielding the side-exit exhaust system. A mohair hood and detachable side screens provided weather protection and, as twin fuel tanks and the spare wheel occupied the trunk space, a luggage rack was provided on the tail. The 3.4-liter XK engine remained pretty much to racing specification, producing around 250bhp, which made for electrifying performance in a car weighing just 18cwt. Sadly, the loss of a number of bodyshells in the fire at Jaguar's Brown's Lane works in February 1957 severely curtailed the XKSS program, with the result that only 16 had been made when production ceased in November of that year.
Like many other legendary sports cars, the Jaguar XKSS inspired a number of imitations and that offered here is a hand-built re-creation by Temporo, a New Zealand-based company world renowned for creating the finest hand-built bodies for the most desirable motor cars. This car took a year to build and is virtually identical to an original 1957 XKSS. The hand-built aluminum body is installed on a 1966 Jaguar E-Type chassis. The latter has the 4.2-liter six-cylinder XK engine, which is fitted with triple Weber carburetors and coupled to a five-speed gearbox. All wiring and fuse relays are modern and very dependable, while the interior is upholstered with rich red leather seat inserts and a padded dash and center console. The floor and sides were left bare to reveal the beautiful aluminum craftsmanship.
The car is fast and has power to spare so, needless to say, the drive is breathtaking. As one would expect, the E-Type suspension is smooth and tight, enabling the XKSS to corner like a slot car. Indeed, its chassis, suspension and steering are suitable for all types of driving, whether it be SCCA racing, rallies or pleasurable touring. With an original XKSS valued in millions of dollars, this highly desirable car represents an affordable alternative at a fraction of the cost. Temporo is no longer building these replicas and this example - one of the last completed - was built in their original factory to strict guidelines. You will not find a finer example available, as many re-creations are fiberglass-bodied and cannot match this one's quality. Offered with California Certificate of Title and presented in effectively 'as new' condition, this fabulous XKSS re-creation has covered only 189 'shakedown' miles and would make a fabulous acquisition for any collector or enthusiast.
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Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
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