RM Sotheby’s, a prominent auction house renowned for its automotive events, achieved a significant transaction during the 2023 Monterey Car Week. The auction featured a meticulously maintained 1957 Jaguar XKSS, which commanded considerable attention and culminated in a remarkable sale.
Following a rigorous bout of competitive bidding, the final gavel struck at an impressive $13,205,000 for the prized 1957 Jaguar XKSS. This substantial figure aligned perfectly with the pre-sale estimation, which had positioned the vehicle within the range of $12 million to $14 million.
Distinguished by its chassis number 707, this particular Jaguar XKSS stands as a paragon of preservation among the esteemed lineage of Jaguar race cars that found their place on the open road. Adorned with most of its original bodywork, the vehicle also proudly boasts an authentic engine block and head, as well as the remarkable inclusion of two out of three carburetors—a testament to its authenticity. The recorded mileage displayed on the odometer rests at 25,535 miles, offering a glimpse into the vehicle’s enduring journey.
This incarnation of the XKSS originates from a lineage of D-Type race cars that were thoughtfully adapted for road use. Jaguar, having clinched victories at Le Mans in consecutive years with the D-Type, opted to withdraw from racing at the culmination of the 1956 season. Left with spare D-Type chassis, the innovative minds at Jaguar embarked on the XKSS project, reimagining the vehicle’s bodywork and augmenting it with essential comforts such as a passenger door, windshield, side curtains, and a retractable top. Retaining the formidable 262-horsepower 3.4-liter inline-6 engine and other mechanical intricacies, the outcome was a harmonious fusion of a race car’s prowess and a road-legal vehicle’s practicality. The D-Type lineage triumphantly secured another Le Mans victory in 1957, this time under the banner of the privateer Ecurie Ecosse team.
Initially slated for a production run of 25 units, only 16 of the XKSS were realized in 1957 due to an unfortunate factory fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane facility. Tragically, the fire consumed unfinished cars and led to the subsequent dismantling of some for salvageable parts. A notable revival took place in 2016, as Jaguar undertook the endeavor to manufacture the final nine examples as continuation cars, which were ultimately acquired at a price of $1.5 million each.
Among the select few original XKSS vehicles from the initial production, chassis number 707 holds a unique legacy. The vehicle’s voyage took it across the Atlantic, destined for racing driver Lou Brero Sr. However, Brero’s untimely demise led to a shift in ownership, and the vehicle found itself under the care of dealer Sammy Weiss, whose Sacramento dealership facilitated its purchase by Sidney Colberg, a resident of San Francisco and an avid racer. Over the course of 15 years, Colberg fostered a deep connection with the XKSS before its transfer to British enthusiast Anthony Bamford. The vehicle then transitioned through several hands within the United Kingdom, witnessing modifications such as a replacement of the original hood due to racing incidents and a reimagined rear bulkhead that compensated for past alterations related to roll bars. Additionally, a refined metallic blue exterior hue was chosen, serving as a tribute to the storied Ecurie Ecosse race cars.
Notably, RM Sotheby’s also orchestrated the successful sales of other distinguished vehicles during the Monterey event, including a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4, which commanded $5.4 million, a 2003 Ferrari Enzo fetching just over $4 million, and a 1990 Ferrari F40 achieving $3.3 million. It’s worth mentioning that Bonhams, a notable competitor in the auction domain, claimed the record for the highest price achieved for a Ferrari in Monterey—a staggering $30 million for the sale of a 1967 412P race car.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Jaguar XKSS auction
What was the final selling price of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS at the auction?
The 1957 Jaguar XKSS fetched a final selling price of $13,205,000 at the RM Sotheby’s auction during the 2023 Monterey Car Week.
How does the selling price compare to the pre-sale estimate?
The selling price of $13,205,000 was right in the center of the pre-sale estimate range, which was between $12 million and $14 million.
What are some notable features of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS?
The 1957 Jaguar XKSS, bearing chassis no. 707, is celebrated for its well-preserved original bodywork, authentic engine block and head, and the inclusion of two out of three original carburetors.
How did the XKSS originate from the D-Type race cars?
The XKSS was derived from D-Type race cars that were repurposed for road use. Jaguar modified the bodywork, added essential amenities, and retained the powerful 262-hp 3.4-liter inline-6 engine.
How many original XKSS cars were built, and what happened to the production?
Jaguar initially planned to build 25 XKSS examples, but only 16 were completed in 1957 due to a factory fire. The remaining nine were later produced in 2016 as continuation cars.
What is the history of chassis no. 707?
Chassis no. 707 was originally intended for racing driver Lou Brero Sr. in the U.S. After his unfortunate passing, the car changed hands and was owned by dealer Sammy Weiss, then racer Sidney Colberg. It eventually found its way to the UK.
Were there other notable sales at the auction?
Yes, RM Sotheby’s also achieved substantial sales with other vehicles, including a 1967 Ferrari 275 GTB/4 ($5.4 million), a 2003 Ferrari Enzo ($4 million), and a 1990 Ferrari F40 ($3.3 million).
What was the highest price achieved for a Ferrari at the Monterey auction?
The highest price for a Ferrari was attained by a 1967 412P race car, sold by Bonhams for just over $30 million, establishing a new benchmark at the event.
More about Jaguar XKSS auction
- RM Sotheby’s
- Monterey Car Week
- Jaguar XKSS
- D-Type Race Car
- Ecurie Ecosse
- Ferrari 275 GTB/4
- Ferrari Enzo
- Ferrari F40