As a lifelong Jaguar enthusiast and frustrated car designer, Ive always wanted to build my own car from scratch. I thought this special would be the best way to combine my passions into a semi-modern sports car with Jaguar components and Jaguar-inspired styling.
The factory built a few light-weight LT-1 alloy racing bodies for the XK-120 chassis which I figured would be a good basis for my car. I started with the basic LT-1 shape and added my own details, such as the side exhaust, head fairing and extra front air opening for a more aggressive look.
The chassis is loosely based on a C-Type Jaguar, but is stiffer and incorporates modern independent suspension. The front uses XJ up-rights and lower A-Arms with an E-Type steering rack. The rear features a Halibrand-style quick-change differential with E-Type axles and up-rights. All four corners are suspended by custom alloy adjustable Koni racing shocks and coil springs. The remaining suspension components were custom-fabricated by XKs Unlimited.
The interior captures the look of a factory race car with a D-Type inspired dash shape. The instruments are by Smiths and styled to look like D-Type gauges.
The heart of any performance sports car is the engine, so I started with a 3.8 liter E-Type and made the usual performance modifications, including Carrillo rods, JE forged pistons, a big-valve head, and custom camshafts from XKs Unlimited. Induction is by classic Weber 45 DCOE carburetors; a restored Vertex racing magneto provides the spark.
The headers and side exhaust were custom fabricated by XKs Unlimited. They sound aggressive and look great. After the car has been run a while, the exhaust leaves a nice dark pattern down the side of the car that looks like a WW II fighter plane!
The wheels are alloy Dunlop-inspired reproductions in the style of original D-Type wheels. Wilwood four-piston alloy calipers and vented rotors provide excellent stopping power. The master cylinder and pedal assembly are a racing system from Tilton engineering.
One of my goals was to build an XK-120 that actually fit me! Being 6 2, a standard XK is a tight fit, but this car actually has too much leg room! I must move the seat up to reach the pedals. What a great feeling to be comfortable in a classic-looking Jaguar!
The car gets tremendous looks and comments wherever I go. It has such a racy look to it, sounds great, and is very fast. With about 320 BHP pushing around 2,000 pounds, it is quick and handles great. -- Jason LenFor a gallery of additional photos, click here.