I doubt there has been a worst kept secret in the industry of late than the fact that Jaguar is to recreate the nine XKSS chassis lost in the Browns Lane fire in 1957.

Read more: New Jaguar XKSS revealed in LA 

Not that anyone at Jaguar blabbed about it, it’s just that after the successful sale of is new run of Lightweight E-Types, each coining Jaguar a seven-figure sum, the decision that the XKSS should be next must have been the easiest any senior executive would be likely to take in his or her career.

Interestingly, while these new XKSSs will represent a fine money-making opportunity for Jaguar, the originals only got built at all to help solve a very specific problem. By 1957 the Jaguar D-type was an old racing car, looking obsolescence in the face. Jaguar wasn’t even racing them or, indeed, anything else anymore.

And while the D-type would win a hat-trick at Le Mans between 1955-57, that is because the circuit played to its advantages, namely its reliability and aerodynamic efficiency. On slower circuits around the rest of the world, which placed more of a premium on handling and acceleration, it was far less successful. Indeed by 1957, Jaguar was sitting on a pile of 25 unsold D-type chassis wondering what to do with them. The XKSS was the answer.