HomeCar CultureMy Classic CarMy Classic Car: John’s Dad’s 1954 Jaguar XK120

My Classic Car: John’s Dad’s 1954 Jaguar XK120


Dad and the Jag and car-show awards | Verhoek family archives
Dad and the Jag and car-show awards | Verhoek family archives

In 1959, my Father came to America from Europe in at the age of 23 with his Mother and Father and nine brothers and sisters. After acclimating to California for a few years, he purchased a 1954 Jaguar XK120 from the original owner in the San Francisco Bay area.

Within a couple of years he met my Mother and they drove to Reno in the Jag with some friends following and got married. A year later, in 1963, I was born.

Mom, Dad and the Jag in Reno
Mom, Dad and the Jag in Reno

In 1965, with two kids it was time to park the Jag and let it sit while my Father drove more practical cars while the family was growing up.

I remember being a little kid and sitting in the Jag all covered in dust in the garage and pretending I was driving.

Long story short: 26 years later and three storage areas (which is a whole other story), we started the full-frame off restoration in 1992. Fast forward 13 years later and the car is complete.

My Father rebuilt the whole frame and running gear. I did the trim, glass, electrical and reassemble. The only thing we farmed out was the paint, top and seat upholstery.

Since 2015 we have put about 150 miles on the car and taken it to many local shows, with the car receiving several awards. It is very nice to have to have shared the whole restoration process with my Father, along with going to shows and sharing this car’s 50-year-old story of ownership history.

Before restoration began
Before restoration began

My father is 82 years old now and still loves to drive the car occasionally around my neighborhood where the car is currently stored in my garage.

— John Verhoek, Brentwood CA


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  1. Thank you. Many great memories working on this car with my Father. So blessed we also get to enjoy it now that it is done.

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