Big cats only: David Gandy’s tailor-made Jaguar

10 Jul 2019 | Updated on: 27 Sep 2022 |By Luxury London

The British model and life-long Jaguar enthusiast commissioned a bespoke XK120 sports car restoration

Jaguar Classic experts have restored a 1954 XK120 to customer and life-long Jaguar enthusiast David Gandy’s bespoke specification. In an 11-month rebuild, which took 2,700 hours, the team followed a brief to make it race-ready for classic motorsport events such as the Jaguar Classic Challenge. The Warwickshire-based Classic Works team sourced a suitable 1954 base car in California, US, and retained as much of the original motor as possible, with a specification inspired by the original XK120 Lightweight.

The result is a performance upgrade from the original 180bhp output to 225bhp and enhanced durability for higher speeds, with items such as the core plugs featuring steel bracing so they don’t dislodge during high-performance driving. An all-new, upgraded exhaust system features dual pipes instead of the usual single pipe. Further improvements include a faster-shifting racing-style gearbox and a front-row set-up that now features disc brakes with four-pot calipers, while the rear retains the original drum brakes.

The aesthetic was created in collaboration with Gandy, who chose a solid black exterior, twin aero screens and an Aged Saddle tan leather interior. While the two batteries are traditionally located behind the driver’s seat, the team instead put a single battery behind the passenger seat to ehance comfort for the 6ft 2in driver. “Having driven a Jaguar XK120 at the Mille Miglia in 2013 and 2014, I knew that I wanted to own one of these special cars,” said Gandy, who intends to use it on road and in competition.