Jay Leno Relives his childhood in a Jaguar XK120
The Jaguar XK120 is an iconic classic, but Jay Leno has a special childhood connection to this car
The Jaguar XK120 was a landmark car for the British brand with the sports model becoming one of the fastest and most desirable in the world. This now 70 year-old model acquired a global fanbase, including that of famed car-nut Jay Leno who bought one himself in 1982. In the latest episode from his garage, his white 1954 XK120 gets to stretch its legs.
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Leno has a vast garage that is more akin to a well curated museum than somewhere to simply store a beloved classic. Amongst the rows of pre-war machinery and poster-cars from the 1980s is a sports car that's also Leno's second oldest car in terms of ownership.
‘This is my first car when I got some money and wanted to have some fun. This is my first real sports car' reminisces Leno. But his personal connection to the XK120 actually goes back to when he was 9 years-old and spotted a blue example in a driveway.
‘There was an older guy polishing the car, and I saw it sitting in the driveway, and I was just transfixed. I just looked at it for 10 or 15 minutes, just staring at this car. I’d never seen anything like it.’
After being allowed to sit in the Jag, Jay’s appreciation for the British sports car was cemented. Amazingly, decades later Leno actually became reacquainted with the owner and sat in the XK120 from his childhood memory once again.
Leno’s own car is a shining example of the breed that has not only been restored, but tinkered with a little. Gone is the stock 3.4-litre engine and in its place sits a larger 3.8-litre unit also from a Jaguar. A five-speed gearbox also makes this XK120 a little more usable day-to-day, but everything else has been recommissioned to standard specification. It even retains its original toolkit and manual.
Taking his pride and joy for a spin, Jay remarks: ‘It’s still one of the best sounding engines ever’ while roaring through the streets of California, USA.
Classic Cars for Sale
1954 Jaguar XK120SE Drophead Coupe with Matching Numbers This 1954 Jaguar XK120SE DHC is an excellent original matching numbers example for straightforward restoration. Black with red interior and accompanied by a Jaguar Heritage Certificate. An extremely rare and desirable Special Equipment Model that's highly collectible. This XK120SE hasn't been touched in decades and is an absolute time c
Spectacular, body off frame restored condition Rare and desirable XK120SE with “Special Equipment” performance package One of 2,484 built Displaying only 40,049 miles Previous long term ownership (over 50 years) Matching numbers SE specification engine Gorgeous factory correct color combination The last North American spec. XK120SE Fixed Head Coupe finished in Suede Green
This lovely left Hand Drive XK120 Roadster, in Cream with body coloured wire wheels, shod with Blockley radial tyres and excellent Burgundy interior trim has the great benefit of being a WinSpeed maintained car for the past five years. It is accompanied by good recent maintenance documentation largely undertaken for the owner by ourselves. Other added-value features include: 5-Speed Gearbox,
1950 Jaguar XK120 OTS Roadster. The car is finished in an exquisite shade of Bright Red over Black leather interior. The car comes with a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate that confirms that the body, 3.4L I6 and 4-Speed Manual transmission remain all original to the car and all numbers match both the trim tag and the certificate. The car does include several options including wind wings, fender-m