1966 Jaguar XKSS Recreation by Tempero
Amelia Island - A Gentleman's Collection: The Pride & Passion of Orin Smith
- An excellent factory-built XKSS recreation by Tempero of New Zealand
- Proper riveted aluminum bodywork
- Beautiful fit, finishes, and build quality throughout
- Only 16 originals of this “D-Type for the road” were completed and sold
- The most highly coveted of all Jaguar road cars
When Jaguar announced its temporary retirement from racing in October 1956, 25 of the original 67 D-Type sports racers remained unsold. Jaguar’s answer was to convert them to road cars, designated XKSS. The central division between the driver and passenger was cut out, the head fairing was removed, and a passenger door was fitted. Side screens and a folding top provided weather protection. A full-width, framed wraparound windscreen with two wipers and a luggage rack rounded out the conversion, along with bright headlamp trim and delicate bumpers that foreshadowed the later E-Type. Still feather light yet powerful, performance remained breathtaking.
The road-going version of the fabled D-Type, the Jaguar XKSS boasted a Le Mans-conquering pedigree, extreme rarity, and shapely bodywork, and it quickly became a favorite of both enthusiasts and the Hollywood elite; Steve McQueen was but one famous owner. Unfortunately, only 16 original examples of the XKSS were produced before a devastating factory fire destroyed all of the parts and tooling on 12 February 1957. Thus, the rare survivors are now considered the most scarce and valuable of all street-legal Jaguars.
A drivable, enjoyable, and utterly cost-effective alternative is the wonderful XKSS recreation offered here, a factory-built example produced by the Tempero Coach & Motor Company of New Zealand, a respected manufacturer of “like-new” classic Jaguars, using the time-honored coachbuilding techniques and old-world craftsmanship that Kiwis are known for. Faithfully duplicating the feline proportions of an original XKSS, this car is based upon a 1966 E-Type chassis, with a 4.2-liter XK twin-cam six with triple Weber carburetors and a five-speed gearbox, and an electrical system updated with modern fuse relays and wiring for enhanced reliability. The bodywork is high-quality, beautifully finished aluminum, with an interior trimmed in red leather with a padded dashboard and floor console; the floor and side panels themselves are left bare, revealing the beautifully crafted alloy underpinnings.
Completed in 2005, the car was sold to its first private owner, the late collector and enthusiast Chuck Swimmer, that same year. It passed in 2012 to Michael Granito of Tuxedo Park, New York, recording 1,200 miles at the time, and was acquired by Orin Smith several years later as a fitting, beautiful, and fun addition to his Jaguar collection. Documentation on file includes minor services and records of the sale to Mr. Smith, and the car, remaining in virtually pristine condition, now recorded 1,790 miles at the time of cataloguing.
Fabricated by hand, this faithful recreation from a pedigreed builder offers big performance and classic style, offering a taste of the exhilaration Steve McQueen sought and found.