Here at Driven we love pre-XKE Jaguars and this car is just downright awesome. Of all the cars Gooding has this year for their Amelia Island sale taking place on this Friday March, 10th, this just leaves all the rest in the dust. The XKSS featured the great 3.4 liter twin cam six cylinder, the same that was used in the XK120, C-Type, and the D-Type, and in our opinion the best engine Jaguar ever built by far. The XKSS is famed not only for its outrageous looks and style, but also for its story. At the end of the 1956 racing season and Jaguars withdrawal from competition, Jaguar had 25 D-type cars and chassis left in unfinished condition so Sir William Lyons decided to modify them and sell them as road cars by changing only a few details like adding a passenger door, ridding the car of its head faring, adding bumpers, a wrap around windshield, side windows and a convertible top of course.
Unfortunately on February 12th, 1957 the Brown Lane factory where the XKSS’s were being put together had a fire destroying 9 of the 25 cars leaving only 16 cars in total. Almost all 16 were sold to the United States and all 16 still exist today. Because they are basically a D-Type made for daily driving and a Jaguar of extremely low production, they are very sought after. Low production doesn’t always mean something is worth a lot of money, but in this case it does help the XKSS’s value. The most well known of the XKSS Jaguars is the Steve McQueen car, who knows what that car would bring in today’s market, but very rarely do any XKSS’s come up for sale so to see one in a public auction is a pretty big deal and with only 16 that exist and only one openly for sale, this car is going to be a fight to the finish type of sale. Restoration wise, this particular car, chassis #XKSS716 looks to be in wonderfully restored condition with very nice paint finish and very nice fit and upholstery.
In terms of provenance this car doesn’t have anything that is really outstanding, but it did compete in some period Canadian road races which is documented with some photographs which is nice. Overall it’s an obviously spectacular car. It can be found here on Gooding & Company’s website with a pre-auction estimate of $16,000,000-$18,000,000. Keep in mind that that estimate is awfully close to the $21,780,000 that the 1956 LeMans winning D-Type fetched at the 2016 RM Sotheby’s Monterey sale (http://www.rmsothebys.com/mo16/monterey/lots/1955-jaguar-d-type/1081292), and that’s an incredible race car with legendary history so Gooding’s estimate may be a bit ambitious especially for a car with no kind of super outstanding provenance. It’s a great car and we believe that it definitely will bring millions, but how many we really couldn’t say. Many people do actually believe pre-auction estimates so Gooding may actually grab someone in that range, but his guess is as good as mine at this point with no real public XKSS sales to compare. This one will be fun to watch. We are going to take a guess and say that this car will bring $12,000,000 – $14,000,000.