Jaguar Restores XK120 With Moto-Lita Steering Wheel, More Powerful Engine

Jaguar Restores XK120 With Moto-Lita Steering Wheel, More Powerful Engine
Ah, the XK120! Before the E-Type entered the scene in 1961 with bite-the-back-of-your-hand beautiful proportions, the XK120 was the Jaguar to have if you were into British sports cars. Manufactured from 1948 to 1954 in a little over 12,000 examples of the breed, the XK120 was the second Jaguar sports car since the SS 100.

Jaguar Restores XK120 With Moto-Lita Steering Wheel, More Powerful Engine

That’s right! SS comes from Swallow Sidecar, and the people in charge of the company decided to change the name to Jaguar following the rise of you-know-who and his cronies at a time when Germany was up to no good. Turning our attention back to the XK120, this is the car that served as the test bed for the XK inline-six engine.

The XK was replaced by the AJ6 in the 1990s after a 43-year production run. This is utmost impressive given that Jaguar used the engine in road cars and racing cars, with displacements ranging from 2.4 to 4.2 liters. When The Motor tested XK120 chassis number 660001 in November 1949, the British magazine managed 124.6 mph (200 km/h) on full song and 60 miles per hour in 10 seconds.

There’s no denying the XK120 is a collectible, but what you’re looking at isn’t your regular XK120. This car has been restored by Jaguar Classic for British model David Gandy over the course of 2,700 hours. The rebuild includes custom upgrades and XK120 Lightweight modifications, a 15-inch steering wheel, and 45 more horsepower from the 3.4-liter engine.

Also promising enhanced durability, the XK is connected to a four-speed manual transmission. The solid black color of the exterior? That took 13 liters and four coats of paint, thank you! The twin aero screens replace the split-screen windshield of the original, giving the car a more race-oriented character.

The black exterior complements Aged Saddle tan leather and bespoke lattice along with aluminum for the seatbacks. Because David is 6-ft 2-in tall, the Jaguar Classic division was much obliged to replace the steering wheel with one that measures a single inch less compared to the original. Zoom in, and you’ll further notice Moto-Lita lettering on the right-hand side.

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