Mammoth 6,725-hour Pininfarina XK120 Restoration Project

This achingly beautiful machine is a one-off Pininfarina bodied 1964 Jaguar XK120 SE (video at end of article) and it has just been given a mammoth 6,725 man-hour restoration by specialists Classic Motor Cars (CMC). Their incredible skill and hard work was quite rightly recognised with the Restoration of the Year award at the Octane Awards, presented on Thursday 16th November in London, the second time they've won such an accoldae.     

This XK120 features unique bodywork by famed Italian design house Pininfarina. It was first delivered to Automotive Hall of Fame inductee Max Hoffman in 1954, 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.

CMC purchased Chassis No. S675360 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. An epic 6,725-hour journey began.

Upon the initial inspection, it was discovered that Pininfarina had used the original XK body as a platform for the design. A previous owner had also distastefully painted over the car in Burgundy and covered the seats in tanned leather, as well as various other modifications.

During the restoration itself, many of the original parts were of course impossible to find due to its truly bespoke nature. As a result, some of the pieces that required replacement, such as the bumpers and chrome work, had to be skillfully handmade by CMC from scratch using old photographs as a reference.  

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, the CMC technicians were able to scan the front and rear end of the car in order to make mock ups of the lights, which were then themselves scanned and reproduced. Smaller missing items were also produced in-house.

The rear window was missing completely and the same 3D process was used to create the replacement.

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.

The interior trim door cards were missing, along with the carpets and the original trim colour. A small sample of original leather was discovered when stripping the car down, which was colour matched and the original leather type and colour was used to recreate the original Ochre tan. The shape and pattern of the door cards were recreated by looking at similar Pininfarina designed cars from the period.

The results speak for themselves, it is one extremely beautiful car and certainly worthy of the attention.

See the car in action below and tell us what you think in the comments.

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