1964 Jaguar XKSS Recreation by RAM
s/n 881603, engine no. 7P63259-8
British Racing Green with Green Leather
Stunning looks, capable performance, and today cemented into the automotive lexicon of excellence, the Jaguar XKSS has become one of the most desirable sports cars of the modern era. First constructed in 1957, the Jaguar factory converted twenty-five remaining racing D-Types (then under construction) into road-going configuration. This conversion was required in order to qualify for the SCCA series in the US. By adding a full-width glass windscreen, bumpers, passenger door, and a host of other detailed finishing elements, these twenty-five cars would serve as ambassadors to Jaguar’s largest export market – North America. Sadly, a devastating fire at the factory destroyed the XKSS production line, taking with it nine of these exceptional and unique factory cars. Only sixteen of the original models survived. Over the years, much lore has transpired regarding the lost nine cars, while the remaining sixteen have achieved record prices at world auctions. Most recently, Jaguar Cars has announced they will build the fabled nine XKSS cars as a “continuation” XKSS series, faithfully based on the original specs in tribute to those lost in the fire. Even though these cars are still under construction, all have been sold for well over a million pounds each.
This car is one of the most exceptional and desirable replicas ever produced. RAM Engineering (now Realm Engineering) developed this XKSS using a tubular steel backbone space frame chassis, designed by Adrian Reynard. This structure allowed for the composite body shell to work in harmony with the space frame, creating a robust package yielding excellent mechanical and structural integrity. This particular car was assembled by RAM in the early 1990’s and has since been refined and updated as a tribute to the British Racing Green XKSS owned by film star and automotive enthusiast Steve McQueen. When assembled at RAM, the 3.8L engine and drive train was sourced from a 1964 E-Type allowing for originality but also serving as the basis for title as a 1964 Jaguar. In addition to the E-Type engine, the disc brakes have been updated to mid 1990’s XJ Jaguar sedan type, allowing for far superior braking performance when compared to the original 1957 XKSS cars. Further mechanical details include triple Weber carburetors (per original XKSS models), 4-speed fully synchromesh gearbox, and XJ12 Powr-Lok limited slip differential.
The current owner is a well-known Jaguar collector who acquired this car at the 2004 RM Classic Car Auction in Monterey, California. Having just sold his original 1955 D-Type (XKD 528) at the same auction, he bought the RAM XKSS as a consolation gift to himself for having parted with his D-Type. Jaguar specialists thoroughly inspected the car from nose to tail, improving all areas needing attention, including fitting an extra set of original style Dunlop 16-inch peg-drive wheels retained from the current owners former D-Type (thus replacing lug-nut wheel hubs with new peg-drive hubs based on the original design). The charging system was converted from generator to alternator, cleverly housed inside an original Lucas generator case. The final touch was removing the tall top bows, which showed the top when stored behind the seats, thus creating a blended lowered rear section exactly as McQueen had done on his personal car. The total cost of these enhancements exceeded $16,000.00 (records on file with the car), but the results were evident in a highly reliable and beautifully constructed car. Over the past decade, the current owner has sparingly driven the car while caring for it with the same dedication he afforded his original D-Type for over twenty years.
This XKSS is beautifully finished with smooth and glossy paint beguiling the composite fiber body panels. Fit and finish of all surfaces and openings are very nicely done showing only minimal signs of use. Chrome trim and various plated or polished accessories are beautifully presented, accenting against the dark green paint. The stance is perfectly composed on the D-Type Dunlop wheels and properly specified tires. The interior is beautifully replicated with attention to details consistent with the original XKSS, but allowing for safety and some modern improvements. The Smith instruments are arrayed accurately with the keyed ignition directly to the left of the right-hand drive steering wheel. Matching green leather seats, carpeting, and door panels complete the interior, while handsome polished aluminum touches on the switchgear, hand brake and various trim delight the eye throughout the aviation-inspired cockpit.
Under the hood resides the 3.8L Jaguar E-Type engine, enhanced by a beautifully polished twin cam head and triple Weber carburetors. The engine compartment features a polished aluminum water tank, flexible stainless exhaust, handmade grille screen, and other delightful mechanical details, completing the look of this very capable car. The underside has been well maintained and shows no sign of damage, further supporting the proper care this car has seen over many years.
The car starts easily and settles into a smooth but throaty idle, hinting at the race-inspired origins of these iconic Jaguars. Driving position is well laid out, but will require some adjustment for drivers of large stature or broad configuration. Once underway, shifting is easy through the 4 speed synchromesh transmission. Cornering is wonderful while cruising at high speed or escaping the monotony of highways via leisurely mountain roads. Included with the sale are several documents for service and updates that have been performed on the car over the past 13 years. Additionally, the current owner offers with the car a large hand painted custom portrait of this iconic XKSS along with the top and sider curtains, and the unique vintage California license plate, as shown in the feature photos.
Wonderfully constructed by top fabricators and beautifully prepared to honor both the XKSS lineage and Steve McQueen’s original car, this RAM Engineering Jaguar XKSS is ready for further enthusiast ownership and driving joy – a fitting and handsome tribute to the original, delivering all the joy and delight of the original at a fraction of the cost.
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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