XK120 on S10 chassis

I know that this is sacrilege but I am planning to drop my XK120 body on an S10 chassis while gradually working on the original engine and chassis. This is to be able to drive and enjoy the beauty without waiting years until the original car is complete. Any thoughts or tips? I have had it 33 years and my wife has said she will never get to ride in it.

I don’t see how it saves any time, and it certainly will not save you any money. It will take you longer to adapt it to the truck chassis than it would take to restore the Jaguar chassis. The chassis and engine are the easy part. The body is hard. You will have to fabricate or modify everything to adapt the S10 And I would argue that if your wife actually did ride in a S10 truck chassis with a XK120 body, she still will not have come anywhere close to have ridden in a XK120.

Thanks and I appreciate the difference. From what I read, reworking the jag engine can be very costly and requires special skills. The S10 was very inexpensive and all parts are cheap and readily available. I plan to modify the S10 chassis to accept the jag body. The goal would be to remate all matching numbers to the jag.

I would certainly welcome any suggestions of reasonably priced shops to do the engine work.

A Jag engine is ultimately nuts and bolts. Like anything else, there are pitfalls to avoid, but if you can rebuild a small block Chevy, you know 90% of what you need to know. All the nuance is in the cylinder head. From the deck down, it’s a straight six. Do you have a complete Jaguar engine?

Yes. The engine is complete and was free. I have no idea how good the heads are. I have seen prices from$10K to over $30K for engine work.

Learn to do most of it yourself. They’re not that complicated. This forum is a wealth of helpful knowledge.
I did mine 25 years ago but my only outside cost was for rebores at $120 and I spent maybe $800 on parts.

Unless the S-10 chassis happens to coincide with the XK120 body in almost every way, I don’t see how you can do this with less effort than it would take to restore/repair the original chassis and engine. I owned a GMC Typhoon for 20 years so I know the S10/S15 chassis.

There’s a 8 inch (minimum) difference in wheelbase, S10 being longer. The S10 has a 6 inch wider track. Who knows what the width of the S10 chassis rails are. Do you already have a S-10 chassis lying around and have mocked up the XK120 body with it? Will you be able to squeeze in a V6 engine in without mods like special headers, etc.? (heaven forbid a 4-cylinder S10.) Possibly the torsion bar front suspension might help on the S-10.

I would say if you just to drive something that looks like an XK120, look for a replica. A good driving one would cost a fraction of the price of a drivable XK120 in good condition, I would think. An XK120 body on a S10 chassis certainly will not drive any better or more authentically than a decent replica, and the body is too valuable to risk IMHO if it’s in good shape and original.


Once you do this you will never get around to undoing all the work it took to fit the body to the truck chassis. It will be more work than simply restoring the chassis and restoring the engine.

I had my block bored and the valve job done including decking at a local shop for $1,600.00. By the time I’m done buying new parts I’ll have spent under $5,000.

If setting up the cams/tappets is daunting, and it is, send it out. This is best done off the engine anyway.

While you’re waiting for the engine work to come back you can restore the original chassis. It’s just a chassis, and if you find most of the rubber is serviceable, it’s a clean and paint job. This will be A LOT less work than altering the truck chassis to fit under the body, and the body to fit on the truck chassis.

Or, sell it and buy a running driver.

I’m also in NC, near Asheville airport.

There is nothing better than the sound of old Jaguar engine.
Once you get it right you will never have to redo it.
Really solid trouble free engines.

Gordon White XK 120 DHC

If you replace every internal component with an aftermarket top shelf replacement, and had a name engine builder it put all together, you could probably get to $30k. If you have any mecanical skills of significance, you won’t spend anything close to $10k. This is no disparagement of those who do this professionally. They earn what they charge for, which is 90% knowledge, but if you can get your hands dirty and follow instructions, you can do it.

Maybe I should not have waited 33 years. Was always working on raising family and keeping kids cars running. Getting more confidence to - Just do it.

Anyone know where I can find a fiber glass body for my S10 donor chassis and engine?

Main home and garage are in eastern NC but we own a small place in Hendersonville. There is a strong classic car community over there.

If you’re looking for a XK120 style fiberglass body, you might want to ask in the “replicas” subforum. Many types have been made. One of the best is the “Aristocat” replica, which is wider than the actual XK120. I don’t know if they sell bodies separately. IMHO it would be easier to lengthen a fiberglass body than to shorten a steel chassis.

For a custom body (not XK) that fits a S10 chassis, the Rodster is probably the most well known. I heard about these 20 years ago, and they’re still in business so they’ve been around a while. It would probably be the easiest and most straightforward way of putting a S10 chassis into action (short of getting a pickup body installed of course.)



1 Like

I’m in Mills River, past president of the British Car Club of Western NC centered around H’vl, 130 household members. Covid has stopped most of our activities, but we are planning a few drives soon.


The dashboard shot is the TD I owned for about 5 years.