By Stewart Smith on 2016-03-23 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
Jaguar XKSS rises
JAGUAR is to build nine stunning new XKSS sports cars as an ultra-exclusive collectors' model with a price tag of more than Â£1,000,000.
The XKSS - often referred to by experts as the world's first supercar - will be hand built by Jaguar Classic to the exact specification as they appeared in 1957, replacing the cars lost in the infamous Browns Lane factory fire which destroyed the works that year.
The original cars were earmarked for export to the USA, however, just 16 were completed before disaster struck.
Now 59 years later, Jaguar is going to build the nine "lost" XKSS sports cars for a select group of collectors and customers.
The story of the XKSS began following Jaguar's three successive Le Mans victories in 1955, 1956 and 1957 with the all-conquering D-Type.
After the hat-trick of wins, Sir Williams Lyons took the decision on January 14, 1957, to convert the remaining 25 D-Types into road-going versions with several external modifications - creating the world's first supercar.
These modifications included the addition of a new higher windscreen, an extra door on the passenger side, taking away the divider between driver and passenger and the removal of the famous fin behind the driver's seat.
Every car will be constructed to the same specifications as those first 16 made in 1957 - every aspect fully certified by Jaguar.
American film star Steve McQueen owned a Jaguar XKSS for personal use, paintedin British racing green. He referred to the car as the "Green Rat".
Tim Hannig, director of Jaguar Land Rover Classic, a new division of the company which has been set up to keep the heritage of the two British brands alive, said: "The XKSS occupies a unique place in Jaguar's history and is a car coveted by collectors the world over for its exclusivity and unmistakable design.
"Jaguar Classic's highly skilled team of engineers and technicians will draw on decades of knowledge to ensure each of the nine cars is completely authentic and crafted to the highest quality.
Each one will be hand-built at Jaguar's new "Experimental Shop" in Warwick and first deliveries of the new Jaguar XKSS will start in early 2017.
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