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
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,
: a 1952 Jaguar XK120 FHC This car is a Concours quality show winner. Every facet of this car has been restored in a fully documented multi-year restoration. You have to do nothing to this car. Just take it away for show or go. The car currently has 5 speed manual gear box, the original Moss box comes with the car. Yours for only $180,000.00 U.S. ($227,000.00 CDN.). All offers are gratef
Launched in Roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show as a testbed and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine, the eruption was such that Jaguar founder and design head, William Lyons, put the XK120 into production. The 120 in its name referred to its 120mph top speed which made the XK120 the world`s fastest standard production car at the time of its launch. Success in motor racing secured the ca