The car features completely unique bodywork by famed Italian coachbuilder and design house Pininfarina. As the only XK120 by Pininfarina ever produced, it is one of the rarest Jaguars in existence. The specialists at CMC spent 6,725hs restoring every nut and bolt of this unique car, and received the Restoration of the Year award for their immense restoration job at the Octane Awards 2017.
Manufactured in 1954, the chassis was completed on the 5th April and despatched on the 25th May to the order of Max Hoffman.
Hoffman was a famous Austrian-born, New York-based importer of luxury European automobiles during the 1950s. He was a petrol-head and inspired the production and refinement of several vehicles from the main manufacturers, including the Mercedes-Benz 300SL ‘GullWing’ and the BMW 507, which earned him entry into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2003.
He was the supplying dealer of the original XK120 and first owner of the car, so it is believed that he inspired Pininfarina to reinterpret its shapes.
The vehicle was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1955 and The Autocar Show later in April that year. Australian magazine "Modern Motor" reported that it was due to be exhibited at the Turin Motor Show in 1956 but never arrived due to the owner wanting to take delivery of it.
The car underwent a major restoration. It was fully stripped down, with detailed notes taken on each item removed for storage and refurbishment, then taken back to bare metal to restore the iconic bodylines that it originally had.
During the inspection it was found that Pininfarina had used the original XK body as a basis. A previous owner of the vehicle had attempted to restore it before CMC purchased it in 2015, painting the exterior in Burgundy, covering the seats with tan leather and changing various other aspects.
The team of specialists at CMC faced a number of challenges during the restoration, but managed to restore every aspect of the vehicle, from the body and structure through to mechanical items such as engine, transmission, suspension and braking systems.
Some of the original parts were impossible to find so CMC had to remake parts such as bumpers and chrome work by hand from photographs. The technicians also had to scan the front and rear end of the car and make mock ups of the lights, which were then scanned and 3D printed. Smaller missing items were also 3D printed in-house.
The rear window was also missing so 3D scanning technology was used to scan the window aperture and make a new rear screen from the scan data.
There were no signs of the original paint colour and it all came down to the last nut and bolt. When the front screen was removed, a small section of original paint was discovered and used as a colour match.
The interior trim door cards were missing, along with the carpets and the original colour of the trim... it needed a complete retrim. Luckily, a small sample of original leather was discovered when stripping the car down. This was colour matched and the original type and colour leather was used to recreate original Ochre tan leather. Finally, the shape and pattern of the door cards were created by looking at similar Pininfarina designed cars from the period.
Mechanically, it runs on an XK 120 3.4 SE (C-Type Head) straight-6 engine, with Double SU H6 carburettor and 180 bhp (134 kW; 182 PS) @ 5300 rpm.
This one of a kind model is certainly one of the rarest Jaguars in existence.
1954 Jaguar XK120 SE by Pininfarina: “This is the smoothest XK engine I have ever experienced, if not the most powerful.”