The world’s first supercar, the Jaguar XKSS, was based on the British carmaker’s D-Type – which won Le Mans three years in a row in the 1950s. Twenty-five XKSSs were set to be built, but a fire ravaged the factory and only 16 were ever completed, and it remains one of the most collectible vintage cars in the world.
Six decades on, Jaguar is finishing off the final nine cars, which can hit 100kph in five seconds. Following the success of Jaguar’s Lightweight E-Types – all six of which sold two years ago for around US$1.6–2.5 million – the special operations division is flexing its hand-built skills on the XKSS, faithfully reproducing every fine detail from the riveted side panels (there are some 2,000 rivets used for each car), leather hood straps, Smiths dashboard gauges, brass details and wooden steering wheel, to the hand-rolled steel and aluminium panels. Only minor changes have been made for 21st-century safety requirements. Under the hood, the XKSS has a 3.4l straight-six engine producing 262bhp. Each car is expected to take around 10,000 man hours to build.
While the price tag of around US$1.5 million may seem steep, US actor Steve McQueen’s 1957 XKSS is currently valued at US$30 million.