Steve McQueen might be the coolest American male of the 20th century. With movies like Bullitt and Le Mans, McQueen established himself as the king of cool of his era, and on the list of actors you would pick for a fantasy racing team – he or Paul Newman are the natural first choices. The latest Jay Leno's Garage video highlights one of McQueen's most special cars – a 1956 Jaguar XKSS.

Just 16 XKSS models were made because a fire at the Jaguar factory halted production. It was meant to be a street version of the company's very successful D-Type racer, with a modified version of its 3.4-liter straight-six-engine and a four-speed manual gearbox. McQueen clearly had an eye for great vehicles. He drove his Jag around Los Angeles years after it was a cutting-edge piece of technology. Since then, it became part of the Petersen Automotive Museum in LA. Autoblog's The List even took a ride in it when the show visited the museum.

The XKSS is one of the pinnacles of automotive design of the '50s, and its association with McQueen makes this example even more extraordinary. Leno is in love with the car from the moment he sees it, and it's hard to argue with him. Between its emphasized curves and raspy exhaust, this is one sexy Jag. Scroll down to get an eyeful and earful from one of McQueen's favorite cars.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 13 Comments
      Phil B
      • 7 Months Ago
      Between this and the P1 I'd say Jay has found a new automotive heaven. Seriously, he's so damn happy in these two latest videos.
      Trent
      • 7 Months Ago
      My favorite episode, and I enjoyed listening to it without Jay talking for those rare moments. I too was born in the wrong era.
      Scooter
      • 7 Months Ago
      Always loved this car. True work of art.
      Charlie
      • 7 Months Ago
      Sweet.
      Teleny411
      • 7 Months Ago
      My God-such a beauty! It sounds terrific. Looks even better. You can see the clear family linage between the D-Type @ the E-Type. Notice once again-all of the Chrysler shills don't come into these type of threads, I guess they don't get paid for endorsing a classic.
      Jaybird248
      • 7 Months Ago
      Just stunning...one of the most beautiful automotive shapes ever. Why can't today's cars look as good.
        TsarBomba
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Jaybird248
        I think you know the answer. Safety equipment and standards have really limited the geometry.
          disngaj
          • 7 Months Ago
          @TsarBomba
          Yep, safety standards, and that manufacturers are being pushed to attain every single fraction of a mile-per-gallon they can. Wind tunnels get the final say in the matter, so most cars end up looking very much the same as the rest.
      anny_car
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great news! I like very much rare cars to drive, unfortunately I haven't such opportunity. I am happy for Jay. Anny repokar
      anny_car
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great news! I like very much rare cars to drive, unfortunately I haven't such opportunity. I am happy for Jay. Hope in our auto auction will appear such cars for sale:)) and we could have access to them Anny repokar
      ignac007
      • 7 Months Ago
      I wonder if Leno noticed that guy is dressed exactly like him.
        JayP
        • 7 Months Ago
        @ignac007
        Matt doesn't wear denim as well as Leno.
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