HomeNews and EventsNew Jaguar XK "European" by Thornley Kelham Revealed

New Jaguar XK “European” by Thornley Kelham Revealed

An XK upgraded to a resto-mod


A derelict Jaguar XK can now be revived and reborn as the Jaguar XK European. The concours restoration outfit, Thornley Kelham, takes a down on its luck Jaguar XK and turns it into a resto-mod after 5,000 hours of labor, with the metalwork and paint taking 800 hours. The all-alloy lightweight body was designed by McLaren P1 designer, Paul Howse.

Howse’s design honors the XK’s original lines and profile, but the roofline is lowered in the European, so the proportions become more elegant and purposeful. The front and rear wheel arches are widened to allow the installation of wider alloy wheels to give it a “road racer” stance.

“The Jaguar XK European is, to our eyes, the most beautiful car yet in the restomod sector,” said Simon Thornley, co-founder of Thornley Kelham.

Amenities have been upgraded in the build. Air conditioning, electric windows, a stereo with Bluetooth, and power steering are all added. While a roll cage is installed to provides greater safety.

Under the bonnet, the Jaguar XK 3.8-liter straight-6 engine, that produced a factory-rated 160-220 horsepower when new, is reengineered to “European” specifications. The all-alloy engine features direct injection, a bespoke camshaft, and rebored cylinders for the 300 horsepower or 340 horsepower, depending on specifications. A re-designed 5-speed manual transmission is paired with the upgraded engine.

A reconfigured suspension has double wishbones at the front, coilovers, tuned Bilstein shock absorbers and Eibach springs. The rear axle was redesigned with a limited slip differential. Stopping is enhanced by the installation of 4-piston vented disc brakes up front and out back.

The limited Jaguar XK European starts at $653,000 (£550,000) plus the donor car.

David P. Castro
David P. Castro
The Santa Rosa, California native is an experienced automotive and motorsports writer with a passion for American muscle cars. He is a credentialed automotive, NASCAR, and IndyCar reporter that graduated from the University of Nevada. A devoted F1 and NASCAR fan, he currently resides in Phoenix, Arizona with his wife, son, Siberian Husky, Mini Cooper, and 1977 Chevrolet C10.


  1. ….guess I won’t be seeing one of these cruising Sunset Blvd. or Rodeo Drive any time soon? Not that we don’t have an over abundance of gazillionaires that could afford one. Its more like who would take a chance on getting into a fender bender with such an incredible piece of automobile art given the over abundance of drivers that shouldn’t have been given a license to drive and be on the road as a driver to begin with!

  2. I’m just not liking the windshield (windscreen) treatment, nor the rear window. But I love the widened rear haunches.

  3. Homie loves this. Beautiful.
    But a Morgan AeroGT or GTR is no doubt faster, quicker, and less expensive. And to these aged eyes, boy, that’s what winning looks like. Points if you get the reference.


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