One of the rarest Jaguars of all, the XK SS was a spin-off from the D-Type racing programme. To satisfy sports car regulations, the D-Type had been built in numbers greatly exceeding the demand for such a specialised piece of racing equipment, and conversion to road trim was viewed as the best way of clearing unsold stocks, hence the XK SS. Modifications to make the D-Type acceptable for road use included installing a seat and door on the passenger side, fitting a full-width windscreen, and heat-shielding the side-exit exhaust system. A mohair hood and detachable side screens provided weather protection, and, as twin fuel tanks and the spare wheel occupied the boot space, a luggage rack was provided on the tail. The 3.4-litre XK engine remained pretty much to racing specification, producing around 250bhp, which, in a car weighing just 18cwt, made for electrifying performance. Sadly, the loss of a number of bodyshells in the fire at Jaguar's Brown's Lane works in February 1957 severely curtailed the XK SS programme, with the result that only 16 had been made by the time production ceased in November of that year.
Like many other legendary sports cars, the Jaguar XK SS inspired a number of imitations. An acknowledged master in this highly specialised field is the Sussex-based firm of Lynx Engineering, which enjoys an international reputation for accuracy and quality second to none. The car we offer is one of an exclusive series of only nine such replicas made by Lynx, being commissioned by Jaguar connoisseur and collector Dick Skipworth in 1988 and built to a high specification. Its history is known from new. The following four owners in order, all in the USA, were Gary Bartlett, actor Nicholas Cage, Herb Wetson and Thomas Knudsen, who purchased the car in 2008. The immediately preceding (sixth) owner purchased the XK SS in 2011.
Of riveted aluminium sheet, the coachwork conforms to the original method of construction. Unlike the original, the Lynx XK SS is powered by a larger, up-rated, 3.8-litre, dry-sump XK six fitted with triple Weber 45DCOE carburettors. Other noteworthy features include 16" wheels, a nicely patinated leather interior, and a correct original D-Type tachometer.
'XNF 435' was subject to substantial service work carried out by CKL Developments on its return to the UK in 2011/2012, and in 2013 was treated to a bare metal repaint to show standard by Thornely Kelham. Presented in generally very good condition, with excellent bodywork and paint, the car is both fast and reliable as evidenced by a faultless drive from London to Zurich in 2013.
In September 2014 the XK SS was offered for sale at Bonhams' auction at the Goodwood Revival meeting (Lot 244) where it was purchased by Chris Evans. Upon purchase, Chris collected the car from the Goodwood Revival on the Sunday and drove it directly to Hyde Park in London where he was presenting the BBC's spectacular 'Proms in the Park' concert. The latter was headlined by the Electric Light Orchestra, and marked frontman Jeff Lynne's return to performing with ELO for the first time in nearly 30 years. Since then the XK SS has been maintained by Chris' in-house mechanic, receiving new suspension bushes and drive shaft universal joints. It was used recently at Chris' CarFest North charity event, held in aid of the BBC's 'Children in Need'.
Offering breathtaking performance with classic Jaguar style, this superb XK SS re-creation comes with current MoT and V5C registration document.