A ONE-OFF 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE, with a body styled by legendary coachbuilder Pininfarina, is to be displayed at the London Classic Car Show after an extensive restoration.
Specialist firm Classic Motor Cars (CMC) spent 6,725 hours – or 280 days – restoring the unique Jaguar, which will be the main attraction on CMC’s stand at this weekend’s London Classic Car Show at the ExCeL.
Nigel Woodward, managing director at Classic Motor Cars, said: ‘We are excited to be bringing this rare Jaguar to the capital. The car is no stranger to being the centre of attention. It turned heads when it was unveiled at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show, at its second unveiling at Pebble Beach and we are confident it will do the same six decades later at the London Classic Car Show.’
The car was originally delivered to legendary New York-based European car importer Max Hoffman, who then exhibited it at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show.
Its life from then until now is largely unknown, as Woodward explained: ‘The car’s life is a bit of a mystery as there is not much information about its whereabouts after it was last seen in 1955. CMC purchased it in 2015 from a German gentleman who had bought it in the USA in 1978 with the intention of restoring it, but never got round to it. We took on the challenge of restoring it and an epic 6,725-hour journey then began.’
The restoration was a challenge, as many original parts were impossible to track down. CMC had to remake these parts, including the bumpers and chrome work, from scratch using photographs for reference.
The car had been re-painted at some point in its life, and at first, it looked ad though no signs of its original paint colour could be traced. However, when the front screen was removed, a small section of original paint was discovered and used as a colour match by CMC’s paint specialist.
The car and the efforts CMC has gone to are already being recognised around the world, including Pebble Beach, where it won an award at the Concours d’Elegance in August, and the Octane Awards, where it won the prestigious Restoration of The Year award.
The London Classic Car Show runs from February 15 to February 18.
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