A 1954 Jaguar XK120 has been restored and upgraded by Jaguar Classic for Jaguar fan David Gandy, taking 2,700 hours over 11 months.
If you’re going to get a classic Jaguar restored to perfection, you could do a lot worse than go to Jaguar Classic, Jaguar’s own in-house restoration gurus. And if you’re David Gandy, you probably couldn’t go anywhere else.
That’s because David Gandy, perhaps the first proper ‘male’ supermodel – and hailing from Billericay – has been closely associated with Jaguar for some time, driving an XK120 with Yasmin le Bon in the 2013 Mille Miglia and subsequently the star of a Jaguar promo push.
Having clearly developed a fondness for the XK120 in the Mille Miglia, Gandy has now had Jaguar source and restore a 1954 XK120 to perfection, including some upgrades to make it a bit more usable and modern day able.
The staring point was a donor car from California (dry, therefore rust-free) with the object of retaining of much of the original as possible.
But over 2,700 hours and 11 months, Jaguar spent half that time stripping and rebuilding the XK120’s in-line six, upping it to 225bhp, adding steel bracing to the core plugs (so they don’t pop out and empty the oil when pushing on), and upgrading the exhaust to a twin pipe job.
There’s also a faster-shifting racing gearbox, uprated brakes with discs at the front (but the original refurbished drums at the back) and adjustable dampers.
Cosmetically, Gandy’s XK120 gets a four-coat black paint job, twin aero screens, flip-top fuel cap and an interior finished in tan aged saddle leather, as well as a smaller steering wheel and a seat that can pushed back further to where the batteries would normally be because Gandy is a proper-size chap.
It looks terrific.