HomeCar CultureJay Leno samples a sublime replica of the Steve McQueen XKSS

Jay Leno samples a sublime replica of the Steve McQueen XKSS

The 1950s sports car was created as a left-hand-drive version of the British icon


If you’re looking for a car that perfectly encapsulates the history Jaguar, it’s hard to look past the XKSS of the 1950s.

A road car built from unused chassis of the D-Type race car, the Jaguar XKSS is the perfect combination of sublime looks, racing pedigree and raw performance.

It should come as no surprise that film star and racing aficionado Steve McQueen was a huge fan. He ended up buying one in 1958 from television presenter Bill Leyden, after which he immediately got around to customizing it. McQueen would end up holding on to the car until his death in 1980.

McQueen’s Jaguar XKSS currently sits in the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. Jay Leno was fortunate enough to drive it back in 2014.

In the latest episode of “Jay Leno’s Garage,” the funny man revisits the Jaguar, though this time a replica built by Team CJ Works out of Austin. The company specializes in restoration of classic cars, and recently decided to build the XKSS replica as a one-off project. It’s not an exact replica. A clear giveaway is the steering wheel being on the opposite side to the McQueen car. There are other differences, too, as pointed out in the video by Team CJ Works Dan Mooney.

Mooney didn’t say whether he’s willing to build more replicas, though interestingly Jaguar itself got around to building additional examples of the XKSS back in 2016. These cars, nine all up, were continuation models, built using original VINs of planned XKSS cars that were destroyed by a fire at the Jaguar factory while they were still in production back in 1957.

This article was originally published by Motor Authority, an editorial partner of ClassicCars.com.


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