Often referred to as the world’s first supercar, the XKSS was the road-going version of the Le Mans dominating D-Type, which was victorious in 1955, 1956 and 1957. Jaguar withdrew from the competition at the end of the 1956 season (private teams raced in 1957) and were left with several completed and partly completed builds. In an attempt to recoup the some of the investment, and to tap into the increasingly lucrative American market for European sports cars, these were converted into a road-going specification.
Only minor changes were made to the basic D-type structure, keeping the original 3.4 litre engine which provided 262 horsepower. A passenger side door was added, the large fin behind the driver and the divider between passenger and driver seats both removed. Further changes were made specifically for the American market: a full-width, chrome-surrounded windscreen was added; sidescreens were added to both driver and passenger doors; a folding, fabric roof was added for weather protection; chromed bumpers were added front and rear (a styling cue later used on the E-type); XK140 rear light clusters were mounted higher on the wings; and thin chrome strips were added to the edges of the front light fairings. Steve McQueen and James Hull both owned XKSSs, with the former referring to his car as the “Green Rat”.
Twenty-five cars had been at least semi-built before a fire in the Browns Lane plant in 1957 destroyed nine of the cars, leaving only sixteen XKSSs to be sold. In 2017, Jaguar delivered the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars to a select group of collectors and customers which, though completely new, used period chassis numbers. All of the cars sold at a price in excess of £1million each.
This 1:18 scale Amalgam model of the Jaguar XKSS has been handcrafted and finished in Amalgam’s workshops with the co-operation and assistance of Jaguar regarding original finishes, materials, archive imagery and drawings. The use of supremely accurate digital scanning of the original car has allowed for excellent recreation of every detail at scale. Furthermore, it has undergone detailed scrutiny by both engineering and design teams to ensure complete accuracy of representation.