An eleven-month project, which was a close collaboration between Mr Gandy and Jaguar Classic’s expert team, at its Classic Works facility in Warwickshire, took 2,700 hours to complete. Following a brief to make it race-ready for classic motorsport events, such as the Jaguar Classic Challenge, the car’s specification is inspired by the original XK120 Lightweight model.
David Gandy, stated: “Having driven a Jaguar XK120 at the Mille Miglia in 2013 and 2014, I knew that I wanted to own one of these incredibly special cars. The team at Jaguar Classic has performed such a remarkable job engineering this car and executing everything that I asked for and it was amazing to have such an in-depth involvement in its creation.”
Jaguar Classic’s dedicated sourcing team tracked-down a suitable 1954 base car in California, USA, and has retained as much of the original car as was feasible. Its in-line six-cylinder power unit was rebuilt meticulously over five and a half months, with the final objective being to use the car for racing. The result is a performance upgrade from the original 180bhp output to 225bhp and enhanced durability for higher speeds, with items like the core plugs featuring steel bracing, so they do not dislodge during high-performance driving. An all-new, upgraded exhaust system features dual pipes instead of the usual single.
Further improvements include the use of a fast-shifting race-style gearbox, which is more durable than the original Moss ’box, and uprated brakes, with the fronts featuring discs with four-pot calipers, with the original drums on the rear. The suspension features fully adjustable dampers that can be fine-tuned for specific events.
Calum McKechnie, Head of Jaguar Classic, said: “This unique XK120 showcases our expertise, skill and craftmanship. Not only were we able to bring this sports car back to life mechanically, but the attention to detail and the bespoke design of the interior sets David’s car apart.”
The design and finishing touches were intrinsic to the renovation. The exterior is finished in solid black (13 litres and four coats), while additional exterior features include a race-inspired flip-top fuel cap. The original split-screen windscreen has been replaced by twin aero-screens.
Inside, the car is finished in an aged saddle tan leather, the seats featuring a bespoke lattice design with the seatbacks finished in aluminium rather than fabric. Extra space has been freed-up behind the driver’s seat, to accommodate 6ft 2inch tall David. This was also a consideration for the choice of steering wheel, which is smaller than normal to provide extra knee-room. The finished car was handed-over to its delighted owner, who intends to use it on road and in competition in coming months.