The Jaguar XK SS is undeniably one of the most iconic vehicles ever made, an epitome of high performance and luxury. The limited production run that briefly spanned 1956-1957—resulting in a total of only 16 cars ever manufactured—has added to its allure and exclusivity. The tragic fire at Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant in February 1957, where the XK SS was being built, abruptly halted the production run—making the remaining vehicles even more coveted and sought after by collectors. Yet despite its historical significance, one would wonder, are there any contemporary versions or reinterpretations of the Jaguar XK SS available on the market?
The answer to this is a thrilling yes. Recently, Jaguar’s Classic division, known for its meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail, decided to reintroduce this eminence of automotive history to the market. Unveiled in 2016, Jaguar Classic announced the launch of ‘continuation’ XK SS models, thereby reviving the iconic car once more.
The ‘continuation’ cars are not mere replicas, but rather meticulously reconstructed versions of the original, capturing the essence and feel of the fabled auto. Each vehicle is handcrafted, using the same techniques and methods as the original ‘50s models. This commitment to authenticity gives these new iterations a unique, legitimate connection to their illustrious predecessors.
However, while these continuation cars are painstakingly faithful to the original in aspects like design and craftsmanship, there have been some concessions to modernity for practical purposes. Recreations utilize modern materials to ensure safety and longevity, and are delivered with a Jaguar Classic toolkit, a tailor-made car cover, and a Fender Stratocaster guitar custom finished to match the car.
Yet, one must remember that these ‘reborn’ Jaguars are not mass-produced vehicles available at every dealership. Much like the historical originals, Jaguar has kept the production run severely limited. The company decided to complete the original intended production run of 25 vehicles which was cut short by the fire in its factory back in 1957. This meant creating only 9 ‘new originals’ which were, unsurprisingly, quickly snapped up by eager collectors and enthusiasts.
Furthermore, the price tag that comes with this refined piece of car history is not for the faint-hearted; each unit was reportedly sold around a cool million pounds—reflecting the very exclusive nature of this venture.
Apart from Jaguar’s own revival, it’s difficult to find any other reinterpretations or recreations of the XK SS. This is primarily due to the car’s unique characteristics, historical significance, and its complex and intricate design that would require significant skills and effort to reproduce accurately.
But for those who are intrigued by the thrill of the Jaguar XK SS, the ‘continuation’ version by Jaguar Classic presents the unique opportunity to own a slice of this iconic, hard-to-find automotive history—a rare blend of the old and the new flagged under the same banner of high-performance vehicular luxury. While these new interpretations may not be identical to the mid-century originals, they nonetheless carry with them the spirit and essence of their legendary forebear.
In conclusion, even though the 1950s’ Jaguar XK SS remains a rare fixture in the auto landscape, there continues to exist a contemporary interpretation through the ‘continuation’ models. For the passionate enthusiast who values history, craftsmanship, exclusivity, and, obviously, the enchantment of driving a real-life legend, the reincarnated Jaguar XK SS might just be an automotive dream come true.