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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In October 1956, Jaguar announced its temporary retirement from motor racing. By that time, 42 production D-types had been delivered but demand had dried up, so 15 of the original batch total of 67 remained unsold. From today's perspective with the D-type so revered and highly desirable, this seems extraordinary.

Jaguars answer to this problem was to create a proper road-going version - the XKSS. The 'SS' is believed to have stood for 'Super Sports.'
A variety of erroneous claims have been made over the years as to who had the idea and the reasons for the XKSS's evolution. For example it was stated that the unsold D-types were lying around going rusty, even though aluminium does not rust! Loft England gives the definitive statement:" One of the important things in America, especially to Briggs Cunningham, was the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), which ran production sports car races. They should have accepted the D-type because it was used as a road car, but they didn't. So we decided to make the D-type acceptable to the SCCA, and had to build 50 examples of the revised car. That's the reason."
Furthermore 'Lofty' states that the motivation was not even to use up the remaining D-types: "It so happened we used them for that reason, but we were planning to make more cars because we didn't have 50 D-types lying around.
"Plans to convert to the XKSS were discussed by Sir William with Bill Heynes, and in turn with Phil Weaver, who got a D-type over to the competition shop. There, Bob Blake carried out the prototype work as instructed, but using some initiative. Sir Williams naturally went to the Comp shop to see and approve the prototype job."
To create the XKSS, the basic D-types were altered in several ways, although none was of major structural importance. The central division between the driver and passenger was cut out, the head fairing removed and a second door fitted for the riding companion. The door could be fitted with side screens and a folding hood was provided. A full-width, framed windscreen with wraparound styling and two wipers was fitted. A luggage rack was mounted on the tail, and the additional headlamp trims and delicate bumpers were a foretaste of the items to appear later on the E-type.
Bob Blake, who built the prototype XKSS, was a brilliant American panel beater who had joined Jaguar from Cunningham. "Malcolm Sayer just drew a flat-plane, single-radius glass for the windscreen, and I made all the frames and the bits and pieces, including all the little wooden tools to make everything from. I made the first set of bumpers by cutting down the big old wide bumper, using the top radius and the bottom radius, cutting the flute out and welding the two pieces together. The back bumper went into production as a plain aluminium casting, quite thick but hollow in the back with bosses so that it could be bolted on - all made from my original. When it was finished the original car went to New York for the motor show and we never saw it again - but by the end of the show the 25 cars were over-sold."
`Lofty' England's statement that the XKSS was created for SCCA racing seems to be supported by this passage in Road & Track magazine in April 1957: "The new car fully meets the rules and regulations of the Sports Car Club of America as to the definition of a "production-sports" model, and is in fact an excellent example of a genuine dual-purpose machine - in marked contrast to a trend (in some areas) towards effeminate, super-luxurious two-seaters." The respected US magazine continued: "Nevertheless, the interior comfort features of the SS are truly typical of the past and present XK Jaguars, and the top and side curtains are carefully executed to complement the 'daily-driving' side of its dual nature. As for the competition side of the picture, a power to weight ratio of under 9lb/hp (with driver) takes care of that and one can only hope that other manufacturers will now be encouraged if not forced into offering something competitive." Top speed was given as 146 mph, 0-60mph as 5.5sec and 0-100mph as 13.5sec.
Some 16 cars had been completed, or semi-completed, when the factory fire broke out during the evening of 12 February 1957 and destroyed the remaining nine. Of these 16, 12 went to the US, two to Canada, one to Hong Kong and one remained in Britain. As the fire destroyed jigs and tooling, XKSS production was concluded. Two D-types (XKD 533 and 540) would later be converted by the works to XKSS specification.











I really like this Red interior.


Eddy: "Souldn't this be secured on some how?"
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The XJ13 was a prototype racing car developed by Jaguar to challenge at Le Mans in the mid-1960s, after it became apparent that the E-type could not be developed to be beat state of the art machinery from other manufacturers such as Ferarri.

The XJ13 had mid-engine format with the 5.0 litre V12 engine mounted behind the driver, and a ZF Transaxle driving the rear wheels. The engine design was essentially two XK 6 cylinder engines on a common crankshaft with an aluminium cylinder block.

The aluminium body was designed by Malcolm Sayer, the aerodynamicist responsible for the Jaguar C-type, D-type, E-type and subsequent XJS.
The development of the XJ13, although treated seriously by the designers, was never a priority for company management, and due to lack of development resource, the design was considered obsolete by the time the prototype was complete.
The prototype was tested and then mothballed. No further examples were made.

Later, when the Series 3 E-type was about to be launched with Jaguars first production V12 engine, the XJ13 was taken out of storage to be filmed for the E-type publicity video. Unfortunately, a wheel or tyre disintegrated at speed, and the car rolled heavily and was nearly destroyed.
The driver Norman Dewis was fortunately unharmed. The wreck of the car was put back into storage.
Some years later, the car was rebuilt, to a specification similar to the original, using the body jigs made for its original construction.
The car is now displayed in the JDHT collection.

Several very good replicas have been built by different companies, but are all fitted with an engine derived from the production Jaguar V12.



















 

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Your "haul" made me sick :tease :tease

Explendid pics, specially with the XJ13 :nicejob
You remembers me that I dont have one... :giggle

:cheers
 

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Two more beauties! No XJ13 for me either, unfortunately! And yes, these, and all your pics so far have been excellent!
 

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<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post][/right]
:iagree
Except Jaguar would have been gone already if it wasn't for Ford.
lets hope that Jag and LR doesn't pull Ford down the drain with them because its not looking good for any of them.
My Ford stock is worthless right now :silly:
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
lovely looking Jags Kyle,
i have both luckily except my XKSS is BRG of course but i love it in blue.
great pics on the XJ13 :nicejob
 

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Great photos Mr McKane. I took a shot of my 1/18th XKSS in preparation to sell it in order to make room for other cars. After looking at the car's lines in the photo, I changed my mind and decided that it was a keeper. Looks like I need to find some additional display space.
 

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