The 21st century stepped in

With 3D scanning to replicate the missing rear window

It’s not easy finding the correct parts for a car which qualifies for OAP status – but if it’s a one-off design hand-beaten into shape by a cigarette-smoking artisan long departed then you have even more of a job on your hands. That’s what faced Classic Motor Cars of Bridgenorth when a unique Jaguar arrived in its workshops requiring a complete bumper-to-stylish-bumper restoration.

First revealed at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show, this XK120 was reinterpreted by Pininfarina as a sleek coupé which in styling terms leap-frogged the Coventry car by a country mile. Commissioned by Max Hoffman, enthusiastic importer of European luxury cars to the USA, the car crossed the Atlantic after its debut where it had a brief life as an eye-catching road car. Bought by a German collector, it sat untouched for years until CMC’s Peter Neumark purchased it. Although based on a complete 120 SE underneath, nothing visible was standard; the firm’s technicians had to form bumpers and chromework by eye and hand from photos, while to replicate the semi-cowled lights the team scanned the nose and made mock-ups for 3D printing. Missing interior trim was recreated following Pininfarina practice of the time, while a tiny scrap of leather hinted at the correct ochre shade of seating. Similarly, a speck of paint under the screen surround was colour-matched for the exterior.

One-off glass is a particular challenge; luckily the 21st century stepped in with 3D scanning used to replicate the missing rear window.

Finally, after two solid years of work, the only Jaguar to wear Pininfarina clothes has reappeared. That oval grille clearly says Jaguar, but the rest could only emanate from Italy.