How Jaguar cloned a legendary supercar from 1957 | Popular Science

In 1957, automakers simply did not make the engineering of its race cars available to the average (even supremely wealthy) driver. Jaguar did.jagimages-1

In the 1950s, it let loose its classic XKSS, a model based on the D-Type that won LeMans three years running. It was the world’s first supercar.

After its consecutive LeMans victories, from 1954 to 1956, Jaguar retired from the racing circuits—leaving several racing chassis unused. The automaker’s co-founder Sir William Lyons decided to transform the leftovers into an elite road car, one with minimal styling changes and a few nods to driver comfort. The XKSS became a motoring legend, ultimately ensnaring famous gearheads like Steve McQueen and Jay Leno.


jagsteve-mcqueens-1957-jaguar-xk-ss jagrare_breed_05_largeThe company planned to produce 100, but on February 12, 1957, a fire ravaged Jaguar’s factory in Brown’s Lane, Tamworth, England, destroying nine of the 25 XKSS builds in progress—along with all off the equipment needed to construct them.

The metal used for the body (minus the bonnet and tailgate) of the original XKSS was a magnesium alloy no longer available.

Now, to commemorate the car’s 60th birthday, Jaguar Classic has rebuilt the lost nine cars from scratch.


“All parts were made from scratch to the archived designs—some in-house and some by contractors,” Riches says.

The rest of the story is fascinating from a technological, artistic, and historical perspective:

Source: How Jaguar cloned a legendary supercar from 1957 | Popular Science

(btw- I don’t own a car and haven’t had a license since 1973. But I do appreciate them when they’re art)

About Stan Flouride

THIS BLOG IS ALWAYS AD-FREE I make stuff and do things.
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