Science does not believe in rebirth, nor does technology. But when something like the Jaguar XKSS, the world’s first supercar, comes back in the reckoning, we would want to believe. Jaguar has unveiled the first of the nine Jaguar XKSS to be built to 1957 specs, the nine that were destroyed in a factory fire back in 1957.
As a part of their classic car program, the Jaguar Classic division has gone through painstaking details into maintaining the charm of the original 1950s design to the extent of recreating the 531-tube chassis that is bronze welded together. The measurements are in imperial units rather than metric to maintain authenticity. It gets the period Dunlop disc brakes with Plessey pump and Dunlop tyres with riveted two-piece magnesium alloys. The magnesium alloy body has been built with styling bucks recreated from their original designs. It gets the new 1957 original Smiths’ clocks, wooden steering, leather grains and even the brass knobs.
The engine has also been recreated exactly as it was in the D-type racers. It gets new cast-iron blocks and cast cylinder head. The 3.4-litre straight six pumps out 262bhp of power thanks to the Weber DC03 carburettors. Even the chassis numbers punched on the new XKSSs are from the old chassis log and belong to the chassis that were destroyed in the fateful fire.
American government which allows revival of classics and it has helped Jaguar with its dreams and because these cars have to adhere to some modern rules, some changes have been made to the original design. The nine cars will take about 10,000 man hours each to build and will be delivered to the chosen few in 2017, 60 years after the first XKSS rolled out. The price tag of over 1 million British pounds (Rs 8.5 crore approx.) is then just a number. And they have all been sold already.