1957 Jaguar XKSS 728
It's been a special year for Jaguar, which introduced a new 2011 XJ sedan earlier this year to widespread acclaim. A highlight of its corporate summer must have been today's showing of a dozen XKSS sports cars at the 2010 Pebble Beach Concours.
The XKSS has a compelling history. Sixteen cars in all were built, but they began life as D-Type race cars in 1957. Jaguar found itself with excess stock of the D-Type, which it had patterned after a Le Mans-winning racer. With 87 cars still on hand, Jaguar converted the cars to the new model, the XKSS, which retained the race car's 3.4-liter, triple-carbureted, 262-horsepower engine and other mechanical hardware.
Jaguar says only 16 XKSS racers survive today, after a fire in 1957 claimed the remaining D-Types awaiting conversion. It's almost a wonder any remain--or that any of the 12 owners attending the Pebble reunion chose to put their cars on the raceway at Laguna Seca for Saturday's historics races.
This example was raced and put into storage for nearly 30 years, before it was revived and restored. It was sold in 2008 to T.G. Bramall, of Pool-in-Wharfedale, England.