The XKSS was a happy accident of Jaguar’s decision to retire from racing after the 1956 season. As a result, Sir William Lyons decided to convert his remaining Type-D race cars into high-performance sports cars. Known as the XKSS, Jaguar built 16 of them including this one, the XKSS 707, which will be auctioned off by RM Sotheby’s during Monterey Car Week in August.
Originally painted cream over red leather, the XKSS 707 was purchased by Lou Brero Sr., who died in a racing accident before he could take delivery. The car was instead sold to Sammy Weiss, owner of Oxford Motors in Sacramento, California, who sold it to Sidney Colberg. The car remained in Colberg’s collection until he sold it to Lord Anthony Bamford in 1975.
Lord Bamford, who was chairman of JCB, the British heavy equipment manufacturer, owned it briefly before turning it over to Geoffrey Marsh, who had it rebuilt before being handed over to IG Campbell McLaren. It was McLaren who remade the XKSS 707 in metallic blue and registered it with the JAG 1 vanity plate it wears today. The car remained in the McLaren stable for many years, continuing to compete in historic events such as the LeMans Classic, and being featured in several British fan magazines.
In 1992, it was purchased by Allen Lloyd, who discovered that the car no longer had its original engine block. Lloyd enlisted the help of Chris Keith-Lucas, Jaguar competition authority, who tracked down the original engine block and put it back together with the car. The XKSS 707 remained in Lloyd’s care for 19 years, during which he drove it in the historic 2004 Mille Miglia and exhibited it at the Jaguar Heritage Museum on Browns Lane.
The XKSS 707 is probably the best documented series model with an odometer of 25,535 miles. It also retained its original serial number plates, chassis numbers, engine and gearbox. Next month, it will be shown at the RM Sotheby’s Monterey Auction, where it is expected to sell for over $12 million US dollars.
The Jaguar XKSS and the D-Type on which it was based were cutting-edge supercars for their time, such as the modern McLaren Solus GT or the Aston Martin Valkyrie. They rarely appear for sale, but in addition to the XKSS 707, RM Sotheby’s is also auctioning it Jaguar D-Type during Monterey Car Week, which you can currently view on the duPont Registry.