As a car kid growing up in the 50s I thought the greatest car in the World was the Jaguar Type D race car and its street going version the 1956 Jaguar XKSS. This example was found at the Petersen Museum in Southern California. It is arguably one of the most famous. It was capable of 149 mph with 250 hp. The original selling price was $6,900 which compares to approximately $58,000 today. I will take one at that price today if anyone has one they would like to part with!
It is known as the “Gentleman’s Jaguar” first being owned my James Edward Peterson who designed the Riverside Raceway. The car was then sold to TV personality Bill Leyden and then to actor Steve McQueen.
The XKSS Jaguar is not only fast and beautiful it is also extremely rare. Jaguar was able to build on 16 XKSS versions before a fire at the assembly plant destroyed 300 cars including 9 XKSS cars.
McQueen in addition to be a hero on the big screen was also an accomplished armature racer. Not happy with the XKSS as he acquired it he repainted the car in its current British racing green, polished the wheels and redid the interior in black.