Want to catch a glimpse of Jaguar’s new continuation classics in the metal? Le Mans and LA will be the places to be in the coming days and months. Those are the locations, respectively, where the Lightweight E-Type will make its race debut next week, and the XKSS will have its live reveal.
Though the story traces back to the late 1950s, it really picked up in 2014 when the Jaguar Classic department within JLR’s Special Vehicle Operations division announced the continuation of the Lightweight E-Type. Out of the original 18 such special XKEs that were earmarked for production in 1963, you see, only 12 were actually built. So over half a century later, the company elected to finish building the remaining six “lost” examples, faithfully recreated using old methods and aluminum bodywork.
Jaguar followed up on the Lightweight E-Type with the XKSS. Envisioned as a road-going version of the Le Mans-winning D-Type, the XKSS was considered by some to be the world’s first supercar. 25 examples were being built when a fire broke out at the Browns Lane plant and destroyed nine of them. Now Jaguar Classic is rebuilding those nine lost examples, with all of them already spoken for by assuredly well-paying customers and deliveries set to commence early next year.
Before that happens, though, both vehicles are set to wow the crowds with their big debuts. The Lightweight E-Type is set to take part in the Le Mans Classic next week, with none other than Chris Harris behind the wheel. Come November, the continuation XKSS will debut in California during the opening of the Los Angeles Auto Show.
With both now well on their way, we can’t help but wonder what Jaguar Classic might do next. A few more examples of the XJR-15 to join the original 53? Maybe a handful more to round out the 271 examples made of the XJ220? More than the one XJ13 originally made? We’re looking forward to finding out in due course.