Jaguar’s D type racing sports car had become an icon in the world of Motorsports, it was a winner almost everywhere it went. So it was with some dismay that the works racing department received the news of changes to the sports car regulations to come into effect from 1958. A reduction in engine capacity to 3Ltr displacement was going to be a problem for the XK series engine. Jaguar works team withdrew at the end of the 1956 season, although they did build a 3Ltr version of the engine it didn’t come up to par with the competition.   

     This decision left several finished, and some partially built, D-type chassis sitting in the Browns Lane factory unsold. Wasted money never goes well with any company so Sir William Lyons started to look around for a way to recoup some of the investment already made. High-performance European sports cars had ready market in the USA and as the D type had been successfully raced there it stood to reason road-going specification of D type could exploit this lucrative market.    

  16 unfinished chassis were converted to road going specifications with the most obvious difference being the removal of the large fin and head rest from behind the driver's position.     

     Concessions to practicality included the addition of an extra seat and the removal of the divider between two seats, another door, a full-width windscreen, with chrome surround, was finished by side screens added to doors. Finally a rather basic folding top provided weather protection.   

     To meet the legal requirements chromed bumpers were added front and rear (a styling cue followed on when the E-type arrived), the rear light clusters from the XK140 were mounted high up on the wings and the front light fairings were accentuated by thin chrome strips.   

    The road-going D type Jaguar was born, and designated the XKSS, most were sold in the USA.   

    Then, on the evening of 12th February 1957, a fire at the Browns Lane plant destroyed nine of the twenty-five completed or semi-completed cars. The worst news was the loss of the jigs and tooling required for their fabrication, which effectively ended production of the XKSS version.

                                                                      1/24th scale kit.

                                                                          Built by Rod.

    Revell's kit of the XKSS is another of the release a few,wait and re-release a few more, generation. It is a nice kit but some examples can suffer from flash, warping and inconsistent fit of parts. Overall though the flaws are surmountable and a nice model can be made. Originally released around 2002 it is now rare and hard to get, which is a shame.
    Rod's model is built from the box save for two points. The build sequence has been re-arranged to help get rid of some unwanted join lines and a spare engine was cast so we could have a display version too.
    Painting is with Halfords car paints for the body colour and Humbrol enamels and acrylics for the detail painting. Washes of Citadel inks enhance the details of the engine and seats along with dry brushing to pick out the highlights.