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Jay Leno Checks Out a Meticulously Recreated 350-HP Steve McQueen Jaguar XKSS

When it comes to classic cars, one of the rarest and beautiful of all has to be the Jaguar XKSS. Perhaps what has turned this classic car into a legend is more of its iconic history than its makeup. Jay Leno of Jay Leno’s Garage got another chance to drive this rarity, explaining what makes it the most sought-after Jaguar on the planet.
Jay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSS 10 photos
Jay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSSJay Leno Steve McQueen's Jaguar XKSS
The XKSS story began in 1950. After racing the D-type, some of the rules changed, and Jaguar decided to transform it into a road car. Inspired by a North American market appeal for a C production car, the remaining 25 D-Type racers were converted into the XKSS.

Unfortunately, there was a fire, and only nine remained, so the legend was born. One of those cars belonged to Steve McQueen, one of the most iconic XKSS owners. Leno was fortunate enough to drive Steve McQueen’s XKSS Jaguar eight years ago.

McQueen is huge when it comes to the XKSS’s history. His car was originally white with a red interior, but he changed it to green and nicknamed it “Green Rat.” He loved this car so much that he sold it, rebought it, and used it until his untimely death. It resides at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles and is one of the most expensive classic cars, going for about $30 million.

Leno’s friend Dan Moody built an XKSS Jaguar as a tribute to Steve McQueen’s car. While Leno rarely does resto-mods, this is a beautifully made, one-of-a-kind, and is as original as you can get built. It comes with an aluminum body with all original Jaguar parts.

Inspired by McQueen’s car, this XKSS took 2 years to build from start to finish. The original McQueen XKSS puts out 250 HP, Moody’s re-build makes 100 HP more. It also comes with a modern Cosworth-based 5-speed manual transmission.

According to Leno, the McQueen XKSS is the most modern vintage he has ever driven. It can still keep up with modern cars due to its design, and it's lightweight at 2,100 pounds (1,134 kg). The original can do the 0 to 60 mph (97 kph) in 5 seconds, and Moody’s can do it in less than 4 seconds. The Jaguar XKSS is a classic car legend with a script still written today.

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