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Everything old is new again: Jaguar's XKSS returns from the dead

The nine cars built will be built to the 1957 specification.

Jaguar XKSS

When is an old car a new car? When Jaguar Classic pulls out piles of old documents and texts and builds nine copies of the Jaguar XKSS to its original 1957 specification.

The Jaguar XKSS is a road-legal version of the D-Type racecar. In 1957, a fire at the XKSS factory destroyed nine of the 25 cars that had been built or partially built. The other 16 were eventually sold off, but the nine that burned disappeared into the ether -- until 2016.

When Jaguar unveiled the one-off XKSS to the public, it was leaking a bit of oil. In that sense, it's built perfectly to 1957 spec.


Earlier this year, Jaguar Classic announced it would revive those nine cars. The company just finished building the first one, which it's considering a one-off, and that will be used as a blueprint to revive the original nine. All nine cars will receive the VINs of the destroyed models from 1957.

The cars will be built to the original specifications, in the same imperial units as the original models. The body is still magnesium alloy, the frames are bronze welded, the disc brakes are period specification -- everything is being done as close to the original method as humanly possible. Even the wood of the steering wheel is the same.

The only changes compared to the 1957 models are made for safety reasons. Jaguar cites the fuel tank, which uses modern materials that are better suited to handle 21st-century fuel. Each car is expected to take 10,000 man hours to build.

Of course, none of this handiwork will come cheap. Each XKSS is expected to fetch around $1.5 million. That doesn't include any replacement parts the owner may want to purchase, as well, because let's be honest -- it's an old British car. I wouldn't exactly put faith in it running correctly for 300,000 miles.