Could the XK120 SE be the rarest Jaguar ever produced?

After two long years, a one-off Pininfarina-designed XK120 SE restored by 13 Classic Motor Cars (CMC) staff in a top secret project is set to be unveiled at Pebble Beach, California.

First introduced in 1948, production of the XKs went on till 1954 in coupe, drophead coupe and roadster form but as the only XK120 SE to be produced by Pininfarina, this is one of the rarest Jaguars in existence; one that was discovered by CMC. CMC purchased the car from a German gentleman and have spent thousands of hours carrying out a full nut and bolt restoration.

The “120” of the XK’s name was in reference to the 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed the aluminium-bodied Jaguar was capable of, making it the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch. SE on the other hand, stood for Special Equipment which offered increased power, stiffer suspension and a dual exhaust system. The earlier XK’s came with a 3.4-litre straight-six engine good for 160 hp with later models producing 220 hp with double Weber carburetors.

First delivered to Mr. Max Hoffman, a New York-based importer of luxury European automobiles into the United States during the 1950’s, it was later unveiled at the 1955 Geneva Motor Show. A purebred petrolhead, he later inspired the production and refinement of several vehicles from their original manufacturers, earning him a spot in the Automotive Hall of Fame in 2003.

“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, Chairman of CMC’s operating board”, David Barzilay.

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