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One-off Pininfarina bodied Jaguar en route to London

15 February 2018

A one-off Pininfarina bodied 1954 Jaguar XK120 SE that took 6,725 hours to restore is coming to London this weekend for its first UK public outing.

The rare Jaguar will take centre stage at Classic Motor Cars stand at the London Classic Car Show this weekend. The award winning car was first unveiled at the prestigious Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in California, USA, in August 2017.

“We are excited to be bringing this rare Jaguar to the capital,” said Nigel Woodward, the managing director of CMC. “ The car is no stranger to being the centre of attention. It turned heads when it was unveiled at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show, at its second unveiling at Pebble Beach and we are confident it will do the same six decades later at the London Classic Car Show.”

Unlike any other XK120, Chassis S675360 features unique bodywork by famed Italian design house Pininfarina. It was first delivered to Automotive Hall of Fame inductee Max Hoffman, an Austrian-born, New York-based importer of luxury European automobiles into the United States, who inspired the production and refinement of several vehicles. It is believed that Hoffman inspired Pininfarina to reinterpret the shapes of the XK and then unveiled it at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show.

“The car’s life is a bit of a mystery as there is not much information about its whereabouts after it was last seen in 1955,” continued Woodward. “CMC purchased it in 2015 from a German gentleman who had bought it in the USA in 1978 with the intention of restoring it, but never got round to it. We took on the challenge of restoring it and an epic 6,725-hour journey then began.”

He added: “This was one of the most challenging restorations ever undertaken by CMC. We managed to restore every aspect of it, from the unique body and structure through to paint, trim and mechanical elements, whilst saving as much of the original car as possible.”

During the pre-restoration forensic inspection it was found that Pininfarina had used the original XK body as the basis, also that a previous owner had painted the exterior in Burgundy, covered the seats with tan leather and changed various other aspects.

As with all restorations of this type there were many hurdles to overcome. Some of the original parts were impossible to find such as bumpers and chrome work, so CMC had to remake them by hand from photographs. The technicians also had to scan the front and rear end of the car in order to make mock ups of the lights, which were then scanned and reproduced. Smaller missing items were also produced in-house.

The rear window was missing and 3D scanning technology was used to scan the window aperture and make a new rear screen from the scan data.

Additionally, there were no signs of the original paint colour, but when the front screen was removed, a small section of original paint was discovered and used as a colour match by CMC’s paint specialist.

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