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.
The 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 rest of the story is fascinating from a technological, artistic, and historical perspective:
(btw- I don’t own a car and haven’t had a license since 1973. But I do appreciate them when they’re art)