Reincarnation Magazine

Reincarnation Magazine
Continuation, Reproduction and Replica Automobiles
Rein Car Nation Cover Winter 2020
						Tempero Xkss 4
Ruby Red Roadster

Jaguar XKSS replica by Rod Tempero Motor Body Builder

By Dean Larson

Photos: Seller, BringaTrailer.com

We’ve all heard the story of the impossibly rare Jaguar XKSS roadster. From the sensational D-type racer, to the fire at Browns Lane and all the way to the king of cool himself — Steve McQueen. Yes, the XKSS is one of those rare instances in history where a bona-fide sports racing car makes it onto public roads masquerading as a street car. With that in mind, and the fact that only 16 XKSS roadster were sold after the plant fire, the XKSS is extremely sought after. When they do come up for a public sale, expect figures north of 10 million.

Current values and scarcity of the marque make a well-executed replica an enticing proposition, and those come in a few flavors. Lynx is one of the most commonly seen recreations, and these exacting aluminum-bodied cars can command several hundred thousand secondhand. Jaguar herself announced in 2016 that the original production run of 25 XKSS cars would be completed by offering nine brand new continuation cars, for a cool $1.24 million a piece. There are also several smaller outfits offering reborn XKSS roadsters, interestingly almost always in aluminum.

Another mainstay in the XKSS market comes from a small shop in New Zealand called Tempero Coach & Motor Company. Headed up by third-generation coachbuilder Rod Tempero, the company performs restorations and constructs a variety of classic aluminum reproductions. Tempero’s XKSS is second to none, exemplified by this lovely roadster currently for auction on BringaTrailer.com.

Ordered through Vintage Motors of Sarasota in 2003, the XKSS was completed the following year and has been through two owners. In that time, the car has logged just 800 miles, and received a respray from dark blue to red in 2007. Presented in nearly perfect condition, this car could bring all the money.

Like most other XKSS replicas, this car is based on more widely available ’60s Jaguar components, including a 4.2-liter inline-six with triple Weber 45 DCOE carburetors. The transmission is an upgraded five-speed unit, and independent rear suspension is fitted instead of the XKSS’s solid axle and four-speed.

The Jag is said to be in good mechanical order, as it should be with just 800 miles, but the car’s cosmetic state is staggering. Everything under the hood is just as clean as the day it was assembled, with overwhelming amounts of polish and chrome. Every surface is clean, every piece of plumbing routed perfectly and every nut, bolt and washer is new.

Tempero proudly touts that the riveted bodywork is assembled just as Jag had back in the 1960s, and everything looks perfect in the photos. You can see exposed welds from the underside, evidence of the expert metal forming that’s been done, and all the riveted inner structures exhibit mechanical excellence. A bit of sound deadener can be seen on the firewall, and the underside of the fenders are coated with a beadliner-like material to suppress noise and prevent damage from stones flying off the period-correct Dunlop tires. As specified by the original owner, the chassis also features dropped floors, as would be seen on a later E-Type.

The interior of the car is furnished very similar to known originals, with the exception of an elegant machine-turned dash. Cinnamon leather covers most surfaces with matching carpet installed.

This car is quite good through and through, and we’re be hard-pressed to find a single fault. It’s currently listed on BringaTrailer.com as a premium listing with eight days remaining in the auction. The current high bid is $110,000, but don’t expect that to take it home. On average, good condition Tempero XKSSs fetch between $230,000 and $280,000, and again, this one is quite good. We were able to find one sale from RM Sotheby’s in 2012 where someone bagged a Tempero XKSS for just $145,750 — what a buy!

Watch the Tempero XKSS here on BringaTrailer.com.

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Jaguar Rod Tempero XKSS