Steve McQueen tooling around Los Angeles in his 1957 Jaguar XK-SS, May 1963. Photo by John Dominis for Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images.
In 1984, McQueeen’s XK-SS was sold at auction to one-time neighbor, Richard Freshman, who knew Steve from his early Hollywood Hills days– reported for $148,000.
Freshman then commissioned Lynx in England to carry out a respectful restoration of the car– insisting that all of McQueen’s own modifications (the Tony Nancy leather job and Von Dutch’s locking glovebox) remain fully intact, and that the Jaguar be road-safe and ready for action.
Jaguar XK SS, 1957. Jaguar is to build a series of nine brand new XK SS models to exact same specification as those made in 1957, replacing cars lost due to the Browns Lane factory fire. The original cars were earmarked for export to the USA, however, just 16 were completed before disaster struck. Now 59 years later, Jaguar is going to build the nine ‘lost’ XKSS sports cars for a select group of established collectors and customers.
The Jaguar XKSS was a road-going version of the Jaguar D-Type racing car.
After Jaguar withdrew from racing the company offered the remaining, unfinished chassis as the road-going Jaguar XKSS, by making changes to the racers: adding an extra seat, another door, a full-width windscreen and folding top, as concessions to practicality. However, on the evening of 12 February 1957, a fire broke out at the Browns Lane plant destroying nine of the twenty-five cars that had already been completed or were semi-completed. Production is thought to have included 53 customer D-types, 18 factory team cars, and 16 XKSS versions.