The fire moved quickly, and with devastating results, leaving little more than ashes and molten metal where Jaguar’s Brown’s Lane factory once stood.
The disaster that struck on February 12, 1957 nearly destroyed the British maker and ruined its plans to build 25 XKSS roadsters, basically a road-going version of the D-Type race car that had dominated Le Mans for much of the mid-decade. Only 16 had been completed, the remaining nine still in various stages of production.
But nearly 60 years later, the remaining cars will finally be completed, thanks to the British marque’s Jaguar Classic division. It’s not the first time an automaker has tried to revive one of its historic models. There are a number of recreations and plenty of “restomods.” What Jaguar has come up with is an amazingly precise continuation, accurate down to the five different type of rivets used on the original 16 roadsters.