Jaguar XK120 penned by Pininfarina set to sell for up to £900k

If rarity appeals, this unique Pininfarina-styled Jaguar XK120, at auction in March, should have you purring. Simon de Burton checks out a beautiful meeting of Coventry engineering and Turin style

Jaguar XK120

A thorough restoration by Shropshire’s CMC has rolled back the years for this one-off coupé

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This car first made headlines in the automotive press back in 2017 following the completion of a remarkable ground-up rebuild by CMC, the Shropshire-based Jaguar specialist and top-level restorer that is currently putting the finishing touches to the one-off Aston Martin Bulldog.

Indeed, much of CMC’s stellar reputation has been earned as a result of the firm’s lion-hearted attitude to taking on unique cars that many other restorers might shy away from due to the enormous amount of work that such projects invariably involve.

And this 1954 XK120 SE due to cross the block at Bonhams was certainly no exception. Originally commissioned by Max Hoffman, the celebrated New York-based European car importer, it was one of only a few Jaguars ever to have benefited from the Pininfarina pen.

Jaguar XK120 engine

3.4-litre straight six gives 180bhp

As much of a crowd puller then as it is now, it was exhibited on the Jaguar stand at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show before heading to America where it remained for the next 23 years until being brought back across the Atlantic under the new ownership of a German enthusiast.

He kept it under lock and key until 2015 when it was acquired by CMC chairman Peter Neumark, who set his team the mammoth task of restoring it to the exact same condition and specification in which it had been seen in Geneva 60 years earlier.

By then, however, the original sage green paintwork had been comprehensively overpainted in burgundy; the ochre trim had been ripped out and replaced with tan-coloured leather and there were numerous bits missing – including key parts such as the rear screen and one-off bumpers.

Jaguar XK120 rear view

Bumpers and chromework had to be re-made from photographs.

After stripping the car down to the very last bolt, CMC’s specialists used laser scanning and 3D printing techniques to recreate any components that could not be sourced due to being unique to the car. They were then able to match the correct paint colour after discovering a surviving sliver of green beneath the windscreen seal and found enough of the exact same leather to perfectly replicate the original interior.

After 6725 hours of meticulous work, the car emerged in the same perfect condition in which it remains today. Easy, really…

Jaguar XK120 SE Pininfarina

On sale with Bonhams, Amelia Island, Florida, March 3
Estimate £675,000-£900,000