Thornley Kelham, the classic car restorer best known for his snorkeling Lancia Aurelia B20GT Outlaw rework, has now turned his attention to Jaguar Exports of the 1950s.
The new project, called the XK European, is a high-performance reinterpretation of the British sports coupe, with a new suspension package and an inline-six producing up to 335 hp. .
The European export will be produced in limited numbers, with prices starting from £550,000 – excluding export sponsor vehicles. Each took around 5,000 hours to complete, with a new all-aluminum body designed by Paul Howse, who has worked on previous projects including McLaren P1 super speed car.
Each car has been restored to lounge specs, and has a sportier look than the original model, with a trimmed roofline. The XK’s curves have been exaggerated and the wheel arches have been bulged to accommodate wider wire-strapped wheels and tires. The car has also been given a new look, with most of the chrome trim removed and the teardrop-shaped rear end shrunk compared to before.
Of course, as with most Restomods, buyers should have a wealth of personalization options available to them, which should extend to the redesigned cabin. The overall layout is similar, but the car’s wooden dashboard trim has been replaced with aluminum in the same color as the bodywork, and the XK Europe’s lower roofline has forced a lower, sportier seating position. . The seats themselves are more supportive, and the door panels have been revised to improve ergonomics.
Modern technology is also neatly integrated with power windows, air conditioning, electric power steering and Bluetooth connectivity, and a variety of infotainment options.
Underneath the long bonnet is Jaguar’s 3.8-liter inline-six engine, fitted with new cams and direct injection to produce 296 hp or 335 hp, depending on subject to specifications. The engine is cooled by a new aluminum radiator and oil cooler, and drives the rear wheels through a reworked 5-speed manual transmission and limited-slip differential.
To cope with the higher performance, XK Europe fitted a redesigned suspension that removed the car’s original leaf spring setup. Around there are double wishbones with Eibach springs and Bilstein dampers at each corner, and a redesigned rear axle.
Thornley Kelham did not detail how many European Exporters will be built, but the number is ‘strictly limited’ to the £550,000 motorcycle.
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