The 1957 Jaguar XKSS, a race vehicle adapted for street use and produced in limited quantities, is destined for the auction house. RM Sotheby’s is set to sell one of the rare examples during their Monterey Car Week sale, penciled in for August 17-19.
The XKSS has its roots in the Jaguar D-Type, a winner at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Following back-to-back victories with the D-Type, Jaguar opted to pull out of racing after the 1956 season. This move left several unused D-Type chassis, prompting the company to repurpose them as road cars.
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Jaguar made alterations to the bodywork, doing away with the distinctive fin while incorporating basic features such as a passenger door, a windshield, side curtains, and a collapsible top. However, they retained the inline-6 engine and other mechanical components, resulting in a competitive race car adapted for road use. The D-Type continued to leave its mark, clinching another Le Mans victory in 1957 with the private team, Ecurie Ecosse.
1957 Jaguar XKSS (photo via RM Sotheby’s)
The original production plan aimed for a yield of 25 units, but a factory fire claimed nine chassis, lowering the final count to 16. To compensate for the lost units, Jaguar issued a batch of nine continuation cars in 2016.
Chassis number XKSS 707, the vehicle bound for auction, was initially brought into the U.S. Marketed in a cream hue over red leather, it was purchased by racer Lou Brero Sr., who tragically died in a crash before taking delivery. Dealer Sammy Weiss subsequently acquired the car, and his Sacramento dealership then sold it to racer Sidney Colberg in San Francisco in 1960.
Colberg held onto the XKSS for a decade and a half before it changed hands, ending up with British enthusiast Anthony Bamford, later known as Lord Bamford. XKSS 707 has resided in the U.K. since then, switching owners on several occasions. Over time, the original hood, damaged in racing accidents, was replaced, and the car received a metallic blue repaint – a homage to the Ecurie Ecosse race cars.
1957 Jaguar XKSS (photo via RM Sotheby’s)
A large portion of the car remains in its original state, including the majority of the bodywork, the engine block and head, and even two of the three carburetors, as per the auction listing. The odometer reads 25,535 miles, which is believed to represent the vehicle’s actual lifetime mileage.
An original XKSS rarely makes an appearance at auction, which justifies the estimated selling price of $12 million to $14 million for this specimen. Remember that even the continuation models released by Jaguar had a ticket price of $1.5 million apiece when they were new.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about 1957 Jaguar XKSS Auction
What is the history of the 1957 Jaguar XKSS?
The 1957 Jaguar XKSS is a limited-production car that was converted from a race car to a road vehicle. It is based on the Jaguar D-Type, which won the 24 Hours of Le Mans race two years in a row. After withdrawing from racing at the end of the 1956 season, Jaguar had leftover D-Type chassis which they decided to convert into road cars, leading to the creation of the XKSS.
What modifications were made to convert the Jaguar XKSS into a road car?
Jaguar modified the bodywork, removing the distinct fin and adding basic amenities, including a passenger door, a windshield, side curtains, and a folding top. They retained the inline-6 engine and other mechanical hardware from the original race car.
What is unique about the 1957 Jaguar XKSS that’s going to auction?
The car going to auction, known as chassis number XKSS 707, has a storied history. It was initially imported to the U.S. and bought by racer Lou Brero Sr., who died before taking delivery. The car was then sold to dealer Sammy Weiss, whose dealership later sold it to Sidney Colberg in 1960. Colberg kept the car for 15 years before selling it to British enthusiast Anthony Bamford. It’s since traded hands a few times and remains mostly original.
Why is the 1957 Jaguar XKSS considered rare?
The XKSS is considered rare because a fire at Jaguar’s factory destroyed nine of the 25 cars originally planned for production, reducing the final total to 16. Jaguar did a run of nine continuation cars in 2016 to complete the production run, but original XKSS models are still extremely rare.
What is the estimated auction price for the 1957 Jaguar XKSS?
The estimated auction price for the 1957 Jaguar XKSS is between $12 million and $14 million, reflecting its rarity and historical significance. For comparison, the continuation models released by Jaguar in 2016 sold for $1.5 million each when new.
More about 1957 Jaguar XKSS Auction
- History of Jaguar XKSS
- Details about the Monterey Car Week Sale by RM Sotheby’s
- More about Jaguar’s Race History
- Biography of Lou Brero Sr.
- About Anthony Bamford