Removing paint from the iconic Jaguar XK120 Pininfarina

1954 Jaguar XK120 Pininfarina

jaguar xk120 pininfarina

The beautiful Jaguar XK120 was released in 1948, 8 years after the ellusive SS100 sportscar ceased production.  The original XK120s were built with ash wooden frames and aluminium panels.  They are ultra rare, but, some examples can still be found today.  The ‘120’ in the XK’s name refers to the top speed of the car, this was the fastest production car of its time.  A shortage of aluminium in the early 1950’s saw Jaguar redesign the XK120 using steel throughout.

The story goes that Max Hoffman – a famous importer based in New York – planted the seed of a truly one-off Jaguar XK120. In 1954, a one-off creation from world-renouned Italian coachbuilder, Pininfarina, was complete.  This is one of the rarest Jaguars still in existance.

The car then disappeared from the limelight for over fifty years.  In 2015, Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth purchased the car following a failed restoration attempt by a different owner.  The car had been painted burgundy, which the CMC team were keen to remove and return the original paint colour.  A job easier said than done, as it seemed none of the original paintwork had survived.  The smallest section was found hidden away when the windscreen was removed.  CMC used this to create the perfect replica paint colour.

Soda Blasting an XK120

The Pininfarina XK120 was the last complete car that we soda blasted at our Bilston premises.  Already a lifetime ago, back in 2016.  Classic Motor Cars Ltd had specific requirements for the job.  The aluminium panels would need to be soda blasted, however a certain section of the rear wing needed to remain untouched.


Covering over/masking taping up certain areas of vehicles is a simple way to prevent our paint stripping processes having an affect on particular sections of a car.  This particular example was masking taped and covered with a plastic sheet to ensure the area was left undisturbed.

The rest of the exterior of the classic car was then soda blasted.  The paint removal process cleaned the reminants of the red paint, as well as years of dirt and rust.  We paid particular attention to the panel work, that could not be put under the slightest risk of heat distortion or warping.  The car was with us for around four days whilst work was completed.  Both Dave and James worked tirelessly to blast clean the XK120 to the usual high standard set by the Soda Blasting Team.

Rebuilding an icon

Following the paint stripping work completed at Soda Blasting Ltd, the XK120 Pininfarina returned to Classic Motor Cars in Bridgnorth, West Midlands.  There, thousands of hours of work were put into restoring the car.  The team utilised restoration methods including 3D scanning and printing replacement lights, remaking of the crome items, and a complete nut and bolt rebuild.

Following over 6000 hours of labour to bring the car back to life.  The one of a kind XK120 Pininfarina was unveiled at Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance in 2017.