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Jag brought back from the dead

Riley Riley

In the UK the Classic Motor Cars (CMC) company has taken out an award for the second time for its epic restoration of a 1954 Jag.

The Octane awards now in their seventh year are considered the most prestigious in the industry, recognising the elite in the international historic motoring world.

They include a judging panel of industry experts and personalities such as five-time Le Mans Winner Derek Bell, collector and Pink Floyd Drummer Nick Mason, collector and TV Host Jay Leno, and the editors of Octane, Evo, Auto Express and Automobile, amongst others.

Based in Bridgnorth, CMC spent a formidable 6725 hours restoring the one-off Pininfarina-bodied 1954 Jaguar XK120.

The car 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 who had bought it in the USA in 1978 with the intention of restoring it but never got round to it.

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

CMC specialists faced many challenges in restoring the car, given that some of the original parts were impossible to find such as bumpers and chrome work – it was forced to remake them by hand from photographs.

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.

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 finished car is nothing short of spectacular.


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