Jaguar XK SS
The first of nine Lynx XK SS re-creations
Jaguar XK SS 3.8-Litre Re-creation
Chassis no. 1E1944
Engine no. RA7732_8
"The factory fire in February 1957 extinguished the career of the XK SS, a road-going sports car based on the D-Type. As a result of the hiatus in production, and dislocations of plans for new product lines as important as the 3.4 saloon, the XK SS was abandoned. It was a cruel fate for a car that was a true thoroughbred, made in the image of the Le Mans winner, and one of the classic might-have-beens of motoring history." Eric Dymock, The Jaguar File.
One of the rarest Jaguars of all, the XK SS was a spin-off from the D-Type racing programme. To satisfy the FIA's 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. The idea of a road-equipped D-Type is credited to Jaguar works driver Duncan Hamilton, who fitted a windscreen and hood to his ex-factory 1954 Le Mans car ('OKV 1') in 1956.
Modifications to make the D-Type acceptable for road use included installing a seat and door on the passenger side; removing the division between driver and passenger; fitting a full-width wraparound 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 (914kg), made for electrifying performance. Production commenced during the winter of 1956, but the loss of a number of bodyshells in the fire at the Brown's Lane works in February 1957 severely curtailed the XK SS programme, with the result that only 16 had been made when production ceased in November of that year.
Testing an XK SS in 1957, the esteemed American motoring journal Road & Track recorded figures of 5.2 seconds and 13.6 seconds for the 0-60mph and 0-100mph times respectively, which are none too shabby even by today's standards. With an estimated top speed in excess of 150mph, the XK SS remained the fastest catalogued Jaguar sports car for many years.
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 the third chassis manufactured by Lynx and the first of the exclusive series of only nine such replicas built to Jaguar XK SS specification (see email correspondence on file from Lynx and the company's co-founder Chris Keith-Lucas). Its history is known from new; indeed, this XK SS served as Chris Keith-Lucas's wedding car!
Built in the late 1980s, this XK SS takes its identity from a 1967 Jaguar E-Type, chassis number '1E1944', which was registered in the UK as 'PEH 670F'. Of riveted aluminium sheet, the coachwork conforms to the original method of construction. Unlike the original, however, the Lynx XK SS is powered by a larger, 3.8-litre XK six fitted with triple-Weber induction and a stainless-steel sports exhaust system. (Its original engine was a 4.2-litre XK unit taken from a Series 1½ E-Type.) Finished in British Racing Green, the car also features competition wheels and a nicely patinated black leather interior.
Previously owned by Roland Urban, founder of the French Jaguar Drivers' Club, the XK SS was completely overhauled in the early/mid-2000s and was purchased by the current vendor in 2008. In 2009 the engine was overhauled by Paris-based Cecil Cars, while earlier this year the car received new tyres and the carburetion system was overhauled as part of a general check over (see invoice on file for 4,617 from Prestige Garage in Vence, South of France). Offering breathtaking performance with classic Jaguar style, this beautifully executed XK SS re-creation comes with valid French Carte Grise.