Steve McQueen’s love of fast cars and motorcycles is legendary, one of his favourite cars was the Jaguar XKSS of which he loved so much that after selling it in 1969 he re-bought it in 1977 and kept it until his untimely death a few years later.
One of the most popular tales of McQueen’s high-jinks in the car was a story from 1962, Steve was driving his wife Neile in the car who was 6 months pregnant with their first child. The highway patrol pulled them over for speeding but, as McQueen was already on the verge of losing his license, he thought quickly and told the officer that Neile was in labor. The policeman jumped back into his cruiser and provided McQueen with a high speed escort to the hospital. After the officer left they told the nurse it was a false alarm and set off on their way. McQueen would later say about the incident;
Neile was pissed. She didn’t speak to me for the rest of the day. But, by God, it worked. I didn’t get the ticket!
The Jaguar XKSS was essentially a modified, Le Mans winning Jaguar D-Type racing car, the XKSS had modifications made to it to ensure that it was road legal in the USA. Only 16 of the cars were ever made due to a fire at the Jaguar factory, leaving them today amongst the most collectible vintage British cars in the world.
With a 6-cylinder 3.4 litre engine producing 262 hp and 260 ft-lbs of torque the 2,015lb XKSS was a very quick car, it could sprint from 0-60mph in just 5.2 seconds on to a top speed of 150mph (although it has been said the car could break 160 without too much difficulty).
Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting.