After 2,700 hours, Jaguar Classic has completed a bespoke XK 120 sports car restoration that was commissioned by renowned British model and life-long Jaguar enthusiast, David Gandy. Following a brief to make the XK race-ready for classic motorsport events such as the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the car’s specification is inspired by the original XK 120 Lightweight.
Gandy’s Jaguar XK 120
style=”light” size=”5″]Said Gandy, “Having driven a Jaguar XK 120 at the Mille Miglia in 2013 and 2014, I knew I wanted to own one of these incredibly special cars. The team at Jaguar Classic has done such a remarkable job engineering this car and executing everything that I asked for. It was amazing to have such an in-depth involvement in its creation.”
Jaguar Classic’s experts carried out the 11-month project at its Warwickshire Classic Works facility in close collaboration with Gandy, after its sourcing team tracked down a suitable 1954 base car in California, USA. As much of the original car as possible has been retained.
The in-line six-cylinder unit was meticulously rebuilt over five-and-a-half months, with a performance upgrade from the original 180bhp output to 225bhp. Items to enhance durability for higher speeds include core plugs that feature steel bracing so that they do not dislodge, while an all-new, upgraded exhaust system features dual pipes instead of the usual single pipe.
Further improvements include a faster-shifting racing-style gearbox, which is more durable under high stresses, and uprated brakes – the front set-up now features disc brakes with four-pot calipers while the rear retains the original refurbished drum brakes. The suspension features fully adjustable dampers, allowing the Classic team to fine-tune the handling for specific events.
The solid black exterior is made up of 13 litres and four coats of paint. Additional exterior features include a racing-inspired flip-top fuel cap, while twin aero screens – another feature synonymous with the XK 120 Lightweight – have replaced the original split-screen.
Inside, the car is similarly unique. Finished in Aged Saddle tan leather, the seats are of a bespoke lattice design and the seatbacks are finished in aluminium rather than the usual fabric material.
While two batteries usually sit behind the driver’s seat, for this car the Classic team has put a single battery behind the passenger seat to free up space behind the driver to enhance comfort – David is 6ft 2in. This was also a consideration for the choice of steering wheel, which is smaller than normal, to provide more legroom.