Jaguar has completed a bespoke XK120 resto for British model David Gandy.

The 11-month project, which was a close collaboration between Gandy and Jaguar Classic’s experts at its facility in Warwickshire, took 2700 hours to complete.

The brief was to make the car race-ready for classic motorsport events, with the specification inspired by the original XK120 Lightweight.

Jaguar Classic tracked-down a 1954 car in California as the basis for the project.

As much of the original car was retained as possible.

The 3.4-litre in-line six-cylinder unit was meticulously rebuilt over five and a half months, and is paired with a four-speed manual.

The result is a lift in performance from the original 134 to 168kW, with enhanced durability for higher speeds, and items like the core plugs featuring steel bracing so they don’t dislodge during high-performance driving.

An all-new, upgraded exhaust system features dual pipes instead of the usual single pipe.

Further improvements include the use of a faster-shifting racing-style gearbox which is more durable under high stresses and uprated brakes, with the front set-up now featuring 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 design and finishing touches were created in collaboration with Gandy, who chose the colour and materials at every step of the project.

The exterior is finished in solid black, made up of 13 litres and four coats of paint, while additional exterior features include a racing-inspired flip-top fuel cap.

The original split-screen windscreen has been replaced by twin aero screens, another feature synonymous with the XK120 Lightweight.

Inside, the car isfinished in an Aged Saddle tan leather, the seats feature a bespoke lattice design with the seatbacks finished in aluminium rather than the usual fabric material.

While two batteries would usually sit behind the driver’s seat, for this car the Classic team put a single battery behind the passenger seat to free up space behind the driver, to enhance comfort for 188cm model.

This was also a consideration for the choice of steering wheel, which is smaller than normal to provide more legroom.

The finished car was handed-over to its delighted owner, who intends to use it on road and in competition.

 

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.