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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.


Motorsport Flashback – Kiwi rallying in the 1970s

Rallying arrived in New Zealand in 1973 like a tsunami. It had been only a few years since the sport was introduced here and shortly afterwards Heatway came on board as the sponsor to take rallying to a new level. The 1973 Heatway would be the longest and biggest yet, running in both islands with 120 drivers over eight days and covering some 5400 kilometres. The winner was 31-year-old Hannu Mikkola — a genuine Flying Finn who had been rallying since 1963 before putting any thoughts of a career on hold until he completed an economics degree. The likeable Finn became an instant hero to many attracted to this new motor sport thing. I was one of them.

Think of it as a four-door Cooper

New Zealand Mini Owners Club coordinator Josh Kelly of Dunedin loves his Minis. It’s a family affair. Julie and Mike, Josh’s mum and dad, are just as keen, and they can usually all be found taking part in the club’s annual ‘Goodbye, Pork Pie’ charity run from the North of the country to the South.
But lately Josh’s young head has been turned by some other revolutionary BMC cars. He has picked up a couple of Austin and Morris 1100 and 1300s, which he started to restore — that was until an opportunity arose to buy a rare example stored in a shed.