A two-year-long top secret project for a one-off Pininfarina XK120: The rarest Jaguar ever

The joyous team, supported by the rest of the 60 strong workforce at the CMC, posed with the rarest Jaguar 'under wraps'

By: | Published: August 15, 2017 11:17 AM

A total of 13 staff members of the Classic Motor Cars (CMC) have been working on a top secret project to resurrect a one-off Pininfarina bodied XK120 SE, which will be revealed at the Pebble Beach Concours on 20th August. The joyous team, supported by the rest of the 60 strong workforce at the CMC, posed with the rarest Jaguar 'under wraps'. Going back to the beginning of this special car - it was first unveiled at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show and a Max Hoffman was the first to receive its delivery. Hoffman was an Austrian-born, New York-based importer of luxury European automobiles into the United States during the 1950s. He was a real petrol-head and inspired the production and refinement of several vehicles from the main manufacturers, which earned him entry into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2003. Since it is the only XK120 styled by Pininfarina, this makes the car one of the rarest Jaguars in existence today.

“We always said that we would unveil the car for the first time at Pebble Beach and that is exactly what we are going to do,” said Peter Neumark, Chairman of the Employee Ownership Trust that runs CMC, who found the car in the first place.

“I will have the privilege of taking the cover off the car at the world famous Concours d’Elegance in California and I think that car collectors and aficionados from around the world are going to be astounded by what they see.”

According to David Barzilay, Chairman of CMC’s operating board, Hoffman was perhaps why Pinifarina decided to restyle such a rare XK. "We just don’t know, but he was the supplying dealer and the first owner of the car. There is little trace of the car’s history, but we are certain that there was only one XK120 by Pininfarina produced, which makes this one of the rarest Jaguars in existence,” he explained.

CMC got hold of the car when they bought it from an unnamed German collector, who bought it in the USA in 1978 with the intention of restoring it. Unfortunately, his restoration plans could not pan out and eventually decided to sell the car. Now CMC is ready with their restoration of the rare Pinifarina XK.

This XK120 has undergone an intensive restoration process. It was fully stripped down to the bare metal in order to refurbish the iconic body lines, that were given to it by the Italian coachbuilder Pinifarina. During the inspection, it was found that the coachbuilder had used the original XK body.

CMC restored every aspect of the vehicle, from the body and structure to mechanical components such as engine, transmission, suspension and braking systems. A complete re-trim was also carried out in the original colour of Ochre tan leather. This one of a kind model is certainly one of the rarest Jaguars in existence.

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