LaSource is proud to represent Thornley Kelham, one of the most well-respected restorers of rare and spectacular vehicles in the industry, having won most of the major international concours d’elegance events on at least one occasion, despite only being founded in 2008.
XK European GT
Redesigned by renowned ex-McLaren designer Paul Howse, Thornley Kelham’s aim is to combine the glamour and beauty of 1950s Hollywood with the muscularity, performance, and comfort expected in a true GT today. The XK European GT, designed by Thornley Kelham, delivers breathtaking looks from any angle; clearly paying homage to the ground-breaking XK120 with echoes of period Bugatti.
An all-aluminum body clothes an uprated chassis, a ‘fast road’ all-alloy Jaguar straight six delivering searing acceleration, waves of torque, and an engine note one will never tire of. Every aspect of this beautiful machine has been revisited; combining concours-level craftsmanship with 21st-century technology including drive-by-wire throttle, programmable ECU, totally redesigned suspension front and rear, uprated disc brakes all around, and an interior designed to encourage long-distance drives in comfort. Comfort is provided by an interior with recognizable echoes of the original XK120, but more sophisticated modern GT than traditional members club. Gone are slabs of walnut or steering wheels aimed at the driver’s heart, as Paul Howse’s redesign provides supportive seats and an H-point that means drivers sit IN the car rather than on it. Optional heated seats, electric windows, and central locking bring this XK into the 21st century.
To use Paul’s words: “The overall impression is of a tauter, more purposeful XK that respectfully pays tribute to the great Jaguars of the past”.
THE DESIGNER’S THOUGHTS…
Paul Howse, ex-McLaren Senior Designer speaks:
The idea of improving or modifying any iconic design is one that must be approached with great care. One has to be very respectful for what was originally designed in a very different time using very different tools. My vision was to meld the latest state of the art Automotive Design techniques with time-honoured craftsmanship – to create ‘purposeful beauty’. With that in mind, when I set out to design the XK European, I knew it had to be instantly recognisable as a Jaguar; as if it had come out of the factory in the late fifties as a ‘skunkworks’ project. Almost as if Jaguar had done to the XK120 what they did with the Lightweight E-Types… More muscular. More assertive.
The first major task was to lower the roofline so that the proportions become more elegant and purposeful, and also link to the Aurelia Outlaw treatment. The next was to add some form/curvature to the bodyside as the standard car is actually quite flat. All the body sections now have an acceleration to them which adds sculpture and muscle but also lightness. The arches are wider both at the front and more significantly at the rear with wider alloy wire wheels filling them out nicely, giving that ‘road racer ‘stance. We also removed the rather chunky brightwork of the original XKs and instead introduced a subtle crease down the bonnet which follows the split
THIS motor car
The Jaguar XK European is based on near-derelict 1950s XK chassis, and no more than 25 coupés will be built. Chassis Number One has already been commissioned and is now in progress in the Thornley Kelham workshops.
To find out more, see here: Jaguar XK European or contact us at sales@LaSource.co.uk