Close this search box.

Leno drives Steve McQueen’s XKSS

18 August, 2017



The cover car of the current issue of NZ Classic Car is a Kiwi owned, one-of-nine reproduction of the timeless Jaguar XKSS. It’s a stunning car built with passion by Jaguar Land Rover Classics in the UK.

The original 16 XKSS’s are a rare breed, too. Valued at north of $15m, their provenance and performance make them one of the most lusted after classics on the planet.

But there is one car out of all of them that is more desired than any other; the XKSS that belonged to Steve McQueen (twice). That car now resides at the Peterson Museum in Los Angeles with a reputed value of upwards of $40m (this is called “the McQueen effect”).

For his YouTube show, Jay Leno’s Garage, Leno managed to get the keys to McQueen’s XKSS and take it out for a spin on the streets of L.A. I’ll let him explain the feeling (word is, his insurance premium for the drive in McQueen’s Jag was $80,000!).

Otherwise, check out the latest issue of NZ Classic Car for as close as we’ll ever get to the real thing. It’s quite something, we assure you.


Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.