Jaguar have a remarkable ability to produce fantastic looking cars, featuring evocative engines which have cemented their legacy in automotive history.
Their back catalogue of classics includes some of the world's best looking cars, which consist of the stunning Jaguar E-Type, gorgeous Jaguar XK120 and not forgetting the elegant Jaguar MKII. Then of course there is the striking Jaguar XKSS - which has a fascinating history to say the least.
The Jaguar XKSS was Jaguar's road-going version of the Jaguar D-Type racing car - which happened to win the prestigious Le Mans 24 Hours, not once but three times - in 1955, 1956 and 1957. The cars were almost identical, yet the XKSS had to have the necessary changes to make it road-legal - however, it was pretty much a road legal race car. Some even believe that the Jaguar XKSS was the world's first supercar.
Classic Jag's are still heavily in demand, so much so that in 2014 Jaguar decided to create the 'missing six' Lightweight Jaguar E-Type race cars, as only 12 out of a total 18 were completed. Stratstone were lucky enough to be able to purchase one of these special cars - all of which is documented on a dedicated part of the Stratstone website.
Fast forward to 2016 and Jaguar have done the same with the Jaguar XKSS. Originally, 25 examples were agreed to be built back in the '50s. However, back in 1957 when the Jaguar XKSS was released, a fire engulfed the Jaguar Coventry factory and completely destroyed nine of the twenty-five examples. Consequently, Jaguar decided it would be fitting to complete the 'missing' cars - and sell them for a cool £1million plus.
The thing is, with classic cars at the moment, prices are only going one way - up. Rare cars are fetching biblical sums of money and purists and collectors are always looking for original examples, or cars with a documented history or interesting past. The Jaguar XKSS certainly had its admirers back in its heyday, one of which was king of cool - Steve McQueen. McQueen was often photographed in his Jaguar XKSS - always looking achingly cool and effortless, perfectly complementing the striking presence of the Jaguar XKSS. McQueen loved his Jaguar XKSS so much, he bought the identical car back after selling it - only this time, for a lot more than he originally paid for it.
An unnamed gentleman has recently announced he will be auctioning one of the 'original' Jaguar XKSS models - the estimated price, an eye-watering £14million - which would see it become the most expensive British road car ever to be sold at auction. That's quite a mark-up considering a brand new, 'old' Jaguar XKSS will set you back only £1million. And yes, a Jaguar D-Type did sell for more than the estimated £14million of this Jaguar XKSS - but that was a full-on race car, and of course, not road legal.
This particular example was not actually owned by Steve McQueen - one can only imagine the huge sum of money needed for a McQueen owned car. However, being an original Jaguar XKSS, well, that's quite something, and putting a price on an original is never going to be cheap. And besides, can you really put a price on originality?