1957 Team CJ Jaguar XKSS (RG)
Restoration log by Dan Mooney

Inspired by the famous Steve McQueen XKSS (pictured) that is now on permanent display at the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles, our Team CJ XKSS will feature an ultra lightweight aluminum body and a 4.7L Stage Two E Type engine producing around 390 HP and 445 ft/lbs of torque. The drive train, including independent front and rear suspension and upgraded steering and brakes, is also derived from a Jaguar E Type.

The car will be finished in British Racing Green with black hides..

Dan Mooney driving the McQueen XKSS in December 2019

Update report - June 19, 2020

Over the last several weeks we have been working hard preparing the bodyshell. All of the filler and block work has been completed and the areas to be painted have been sealed in epoxy primer. We will now dry fit some of the major drive train components, as well as all the chrome and glass, before moving on to final paint.

One freshly minted XKSS body

Cabin will be trimmed in black hide

I am looking forward to trying this seat out again
next spring!

Update report - June 19, 2020

IRS, brakes and differential in kit form

We really want the steering wheel in our Team CJ XKSS to be as close a facsimile of an original D Type wheel as possible. I have bought and used several replica D Type wheels in the past, but they were not close enough to the original D Type wheel for this particular project. That being the case, I contacted Mike Lempert, who makes and restores steering wheels and is a true master of his craft. Mike made a stunning steering wheel for one of my Lamborghini restoration projects, so I knew he was the right person to involve in my XKSS project.

I learned from Mike that D Type wheels were made in period by a company called Coventry Timber Bending (I love that name). Apparently the wheels were very much hand made and therefore each wheel differed slightly from the next. The way the wheels were secured to the hub varied, too. Some were blind riveted, some used a combination of blind rivets and button head screws. Mike shared a couple of photos of an original D Type wheel he had once owned (see 3rd and 4th images below). CTB always used Beech for the D Type steering wheels, which is a very light colored wood that matures and ages into a beautiful coffee color. Mike describes the new Beech as more of a manila folder hue, but we have decided to replicate the aged look for our XKSS project.

The wheel in the McQueen car has obviously been restored and varnished at some point, probably when the car was recommissioned at Lynx in England in the mid 1980's. Accordingly, I believe it is a little more 'yellow' than it would have been when McQueen was driving the car. In the first two photos you can see the McQueen steering wheel, including a close up of the rivets and screws holding the wheel to the hub. Interesting to note that the screw at 12 o'clock has obviously been replaced, and is also the only one of the three that has a large washer behind it. Perhaps this was a repair done by the King of Cool himself, although this is one aspect of the wheel that we will not be replicating.

Huge thanks again to the great staff at the Petersen Museum, and especially my friend Bruce Baciu in the Petersen workshop, for taking the time to assist me in getting this very special steering wheel just right!

My favorite steering wheel in the world!
Note screw at 12 o'clock has been changed and a
washer added

Note the beautiful coffee hue of an aged, unrestored
D Type wheel
Look carefully and you can see evidence of 3 lock
washers at 12, 4 and 8 o'clock

Bruce Baciu (ace mechanic in the Petersen workshop)
measuring the radius at the end of the spokes
Rim thickness varies significantly around the wheel,
which is typical of handmade CTB wheels

Update report - May 5, 2020

Your engine is now fully assembled!

Corey torquing the cylinder head

Some very healthy gains on the flow bench for our 4.7L XKSS engine.

Team CJ 4.7L Stage Two engine rebuild in progress.

At the heart of the Team CJ 4.7L Stage Two engine
is a billet steel crankshaft
Precision align honing is a vital part of one of
our Stage Two builds

A view down the main cap housings after align
honing has been completed
Torque plate cylinder hone in progress

Forged steel connecting rods shave 600g from
the rotating assembly
Team CJ forged stroker pistons

Hanging rods on pistons
Installing rods and pistons

Forged pistons now installed in block
View along intake runner to valve seat

Head now fully machined and

Preparing to trial fit the rebuilt front and rear suspension in the CJ Workshop.

Storage for McQueen's Marlboros and Persol shades

To be continued!
Genuine XKSS speedo is a fantastic accessory
for this car

We are excited to have sourced a genuine, original, unrestored D Type/XKSS speedometer for our XKSS project.

It is now time to start building the drive train for this exciting project.

This particular Team CJ XKSS will be LHD

Construction closely follows the original, with most
panels riveted or TIG welded

IRS rebuild already underway

Actual spinner from the legendary McQueen XKSS

Iconic badging
The famous Steve McQueen XKSS

Go to main CJ workshop