McQueen’s Famous 1956 Jaguar Coming to Pinehurst Concours

Apr. 16, 2014

McQueen’s Famous 1956 Jaguar Coming to Pinehurst Concours  

A 1956 Jaguar XKSS owned by movie legend Steve McQueen, now housed at the world famous Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, will make the cross country trip from California to North Carolina and be displayed at the 2014 Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance.

McQueen, called “The King of Cool,” became the highest paid movie star in the world in 1974 and starred in such movies at “Bullitt,” “The Great Escape” and “Papillon.” McQueen, who was also an avid race car driver, passed away in 1980 at the age of 50, leaving an indelible imprint as one of Hollywood’s sexiest leading men.

A Jaguar D-type racer with the modifications necessary to make the car street legal, only 16 XKSS models were produced, with McQueen owning one he affectionately called the “Green Rat.”   

"The 1956 Jaguar XKSS is one of the crown jewels of the Petersen's collection," said Terry Karges, Executive Director of the Petersen Automotive Museum. "Not only is it a stunningly beautiful car, but when you add in the 'King of Cool' and his ownership of the vehicle, it becomes one of the most valuable and interesting pieces at the museum. We welcome as many opportunities as we can to share the XKSS with the public and are thrilled to be showing it at the Pinehurst Concours."

“Having an up-close opportunity to see such a rare and striking car owned by a movie icon which seldom makes it to the East Coast will truly be exciting for patrons attending the event,” added Pinehurst Concours President Jay Howard. “The Green Rat is a stunning piece of American automobile history that is a must see.”  

McQueen acquired the Jaguar in 1958, and quickly developed a reputation for amassing speeding tickets behind the wheel of the Green Rat. The XKSS was reportedly responsible for McQueen’s license being suspended two times.

The actor sold the Jaguar in 1969, but soon regretted his decision. In 1977, he repurchased the car and retained ownership until his death of mesothelioma in 1980. It sported several custom touches not found on other XKSS models, including a leather interior and a glove box door, used to store McQueen’s sunglasses. Delivered from the factory in white with a red interior, the color was changed to British racing green with a black interior under McQueen’s ownership.

Tickets to the 2014 Pinehurst Concours can be purchased at, by calling 910–973-6594 or at the Pinehurst Resort Main Pro Shop, Carolina Hotel or Village of Pinehurst Putter Boy Shop. 

The 2014 Pinehurst Concours will kick off a celebrated six-week period at one of the world’s top golf resorts, which hosts the 2014 U.S. Open and U.S. Women’s Open Championships in consecutive weeks in mid June.

Here is a sneak peek of five rare cars that will be competing as part of the Pinehurst Concours “30 cars in 30 days” media preview.

  • 1959 Cadillac Series 62: A car that exemplifies American the craftsmanship and luxury of the 1950’s. Originally built in March 1959, this fresh restoration was validated through GM Media Archives and makes its Concours debut at Pinehurst.
  • 1960 Plymouth Fury, Golden Commando 395: The last year for big fins on the Fury. This example was purchased by the current owners 22 years ago and has won numerous Mopar and Concours Awards.
  • 1957 Chevrolet BelAir: The iconic ’57 Chevy is beloved by collectors around the world. This example is powered by the legendary Chevrolet 283 c.i. V8 sporting 2 four barrel carburetors.
  • 1939 Mercedes-Benz 540k Spezial Roadster: 1 of 25 Spezial Roadsters built, this is the only car with teardrop fenders and no running boards. A recent Best Of Show winner at several notable Concours.
  • 1930 Packard 734F: This car was specially bodied by Packard in New York. Participated in the Great American Race in 1983. Between 1998 and 2006 it was shown at various Concours events in Europe. It returned to the United States in 2007 and restored in 2012. 

Tags: Steve McQueen, Petersen Automotive Museum, Terry Karges, Concours, Jaguar

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