XK 120 restoration recommendations

Hi all, I am new here. Just picked up a 1950 XK120 (non alloy) that is in need of a complete restoration. I am looking for referrals to someone able to restore this car. I live in Colorado. I am looking to drive it, not looking for a show queen type restoration. Ideas for anyone that does quality work in Colorado or frankly anywhere :). Thanks all in advance!!!

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Hi Matt:

You might email Walt at Vintage Jag Works, he’s in Blackfoot, Idaho closer to your end of the country. I know he does mechanical work as I am a satisfied customer of a Moss box rebuild he and the guys did for me last year, not sure about bodywork and such, but he has been around Jags for years and if he can’t do it he may know of a shop that can.


Welcome Matt.
We would love to hear more about your car, chassis number, and see some pictures.

I recommend Jim Kakuska at JK Restorations in Oswego Illinois, perhaps a bit far for you but worth the extra trouble as he is one of the top XK restorers in the country. 630-554-2120

wow, it is amazing that these cars keep showing up…about 4 in USA just in the last few months…I had fine work done by Jason Len and crew at XKs Unlimited, San Luis Obispo…they have a very complete shop, with all the machines for work, engines to upholstery. Also check with Mark Jones at Brit Sport Seattle…I have visited the shop and seen fine work in progress. Check in here often…we’d love to know more about the car…And…use the archive search for many topics…, use top right magnify., a few topic words, …and refine to the XK category… Of course ask questions of any kind here. Nick

Jaguar Denver, in Englewood: Ted Hummel, who was tutored on Jags, by my dad. Great guy!

Tell’im I sentcha!

Another is Ted Ax, at Ax and Allies, in Nth Denver.

I respectfully do NOT recommend the former XK’s Unlimited (now doing business as XK’s Motorsports). But maybe things are different with the change in ownership? PM me for my experience.

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Moss just bought the parts business, I believe Jason still runs the restoration shop at XK’s Motorsports.

Matt, I sent you a PM that agrees with Christopher’s advice.

I don’t know what is in the PMs about XKs…but the work on my car was done about 2005, over 5 months, they were in touch about all work and findings, asking for approval to proceed as needed. I got the car back in October…a short test drive, a tweak or two…then drove the XK120 up the Big Sur coast, thru Santa Cruz, across the Golden Gate, and on t o Sonoma. Since 2005 the car has run without ANY difficulties, I have not touched the carbs in 15 years. Cost was high but I approved in advance each step. A major engine rebuild was not done…it was a do what is needed only to an XK in decent condition to begin with. Brakes, suspension, shocks, waterpump, radiator, fuel tank and lines, carb rebuild, just minor tune, new plug wires, etc. Pleased then…pleased now. Nick

Here’s a couple pics - Couldn’t figure out how to edit original post…



Just a side remark: it seems you have an original Derrington woodrim steering wheel. As far as I can see it’s the 8 bolt center hub, whereas the later identical Moto-Lita manufactured Derrington version has a 9 bolt hub. There were two Derrington agents in the US: Vilem B. Haan in Los Angeles (CA) and Wilco of Rochester (NY).
It is possible to use the original Jaguar horn push to make it all complete again.

Bob K.

What a fantastic car !! Congratulations.

It’s very heartening to see another one will be saved and given a second life.

Take a hundred high-def pictures of the car to show the restoration shop. It will help them advise you and work up a project plan and estimate. Then, go visit the top candidates you select in person.

Those are the ones to find!! Congratulations. Aesthetically, if the paint can be rubbed out and the interior saved (for at least a little while longer) with applications of neatsfoot oil or the like, then I’d leave it at that. In a lineup of postcard-perfect '120s, yours would be the one that people would gravitate to and lingering around.

When shopping for restorers, consider also seeking out advice from those who will be actually working on it along with a subtle question or two – away from the boss – about how they feel about working there and how they’re treated. I wouldn’t want someone working on my car who’s unhappy with their job.

On a side note, it looks like someone cut away the rear wing insets that were made to receive spats, followed by a piece of D-shaped trim for when fitting wires. No matter, that was done also to my other car and looks better (to me) as it matches the front wheel cutouts.

Really nice looking car, but then, I also have a survivor in BRG so I have a bias in their favor.

nice ! noticing also…louvered hood (bonnet), and single exhaust pipe ending on the right…Do find all the numbers…data plate, compare that to engine number on flat above oil filter, body number on tag when bonnet is up, at top most firewall edge, chassis number–very faint on left side frame rail top near brake master cylinder…front exhasut down pipe…note all those, send for Heritage Certificate which will confirm…along with orig color and trim color…take many pics of everything as it is…Nick

Take many photos as is of all sorts of details. One photo can make all the difference when trying to figure out what went where and how.
Any work you can do yourself you are that much ahead.
I try to do almost everything myself and prefer to restore old parts if I can rather than buy new.
You can pay for expert work but you can’t pay someone to care as much about your car as you do.


…“I try to do almost everything myself and prefer to restore old parts if I can rather than buy new.
You can pay for expert work but you can’t pay someone to care as much about your car as you do.”…

That’s exactly how it is :+1::+1:

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This team did my E-Type we won JCNA NA 2019 Champion. https://sportandspecialty.business.site