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1951 XK120 ‘LT’ Recreation Ex-Le Mans Classic
1951 XK120 ‘LT’ Recreation Ex-Le Mans Classic

1951 XK120 ‘LT’ Recreation Ex-Le Mans Classic

  • Twice a competitor in the Le Mans Classic and participant in the Bassano Rally
  • Subject of a fresh £35,000 engine rebuild with marque specialists with Zero miles since completion
  • Superb ’tool room copy’ of one of the Works Jaguar XK120 ‘LT’ Lightweight race cars
  • A trio of original XK120 ‘LTs’ were built for the 1951 Le Mans – as back-up for the C-Type
  • Developed for racing by marque experts Tester Engineering in 2015
  • Hired by Jaguar Cars UK for their celebrity drivers in the 5-round Jaguar Heritage Challenge
  • Returned to Tester in 2020 for rebuild to FIA/HTP standard
  • Beautifully detailed throughout and in exceptional condition
  • Competitive race car which is also user-friendly for the road
  • FIA/HTP papers valid until 2031

This rare recreation of one of the all-alloy-bodied XK120 Lightweights has now competed twice in the Le Mans Classic, in the Anniversary Event last year and prior to this in the 2022 Le Mans Classic, having first completed La leggenda di Bassano Rally in Italy. Following a post-race visit to the workshop, it has been subject to a £35,000 race engine rebuild with marque specialists Classic Performance Engineering and is now ready for next season as an eligible entry for a wide variety of historic events.

The backstory to the original XK120 LTs, and of how – over little more than 6 months – three Jaguar C-Types were conceived, built and driven to victory in the 1951 Le Mans, is the stuff of legend. What is less well known is that, as daring as this undertaking was, there was a Plan B. As an insurance policy against the C-Types not being ready on time, three alternative cars were also built; the XK 120 LTs.

These were all XK120 Alloy-bodied race cars, and although this might have seemed familiar territory for Jaguar, having built 210 Alloy-bodied versions with the launch of the XK series in 1949, the LT – or Lightweight – was a very different animal. The lightweight alloy body was virtually one-piece and not mounted on an Ash frame. The overall shape was subtly different, more purposeful and aggressive with cut-in bonnet; cut-down doors; over outer sills and a one-piece rear end, and Brooklands’ style aero screens.

But as the C-Types were ready for Le Mans and went on to enjoy their historic win, the LT became ‘the Le Mans Winner that never was’, and these very special XKs did little more than languish at Browns Lane before disappearing into relative obscurity on the West Coast of America.

Fast forward to 2015, and LT ‘4’ emerges from the workshops of Jim Tester, the result of a client brief to build a ’tool room copy’ of one of the three cars that would be period-correct and capable of securing FIA papers to race in historic events. Almost the moment the XK was finished Jaguar Cars UK invited the car to run in the Jaguar Heritage Challenge Series, and offered to hire it to then give to their celebrity drivers for each of the 5 round-championship.

After the 2015 Challenge Series ended, the car was stored until 2020. At this point the owner returned it to Tester Engineering to rebuild the XK to an FIA-spec for FIA/HTP, making it eligible for a series of ‘Blue Riband’ classic events.


  • Build completed 2015
  • Standard 4-speed gearbox.
  • Uprated aluminium radiator & oil cooler with exterior electric cooling fan.
  • A period steering box and a reconditioned ENV differential are fitted.
  • Drum brakes all around. Suspension rebuilt to FIA specification
  • New compliant exhaust system.
  • The new alloy fuel tank foam-filled and connected to a polished Aston-style filler cap.
  • New, traditional pattern, leather bucket seats along with an ‘Appendix K’ compliant roll-hoop and bracing.
  • Internal and external ignition cut-offs and a plumbed fire extinguisher
  • UK registered as a 1951 XK120 Roadster with current V5 documentation.

The result is both a competitive race car which is already a veteran of two Le Mans Classics, and is eligible for historic events, like the Bassano rally in which it has already participated, and it is also a user-friendly road car, as well as a very rare recreation of one of Jaguar’s rarest competition cars.


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