Walt Hansgen’s 1950 Jaguar XK 120 Is Still Singing
We’ve seen a lot of eye-catching cars here at JaguarForums, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find one that pops like Rusty Hansgen’s 1950 Jaguar XK 120.
Of course, most XK 120’s are beautiful, and everyone of them is historic, as they were widely believed to be the highest-performing production car around back in the early ’50s. They’re also frequently credited with blazing the racing and performance trail in America.
But Rusty’s XK is historic for other reasons as well. See, this was Rusty’s dad’s car, and Rusty’s dad was none other than racing champ Walt Hansgen. In the midst of a storied career, Walt crashed while practicing for the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans. He died five days later.
That was when Rusty, who was about 19 at the time, inherited the car. And then for 30 years he kept it on jack stands, getting over the trauma of losing his dad, and waiting for the time to be right to restore the car back to its original glory.
“That time came about 10 years ago. I completely rebuilt every mechanical component on the car, redid the interior, had the chrome replated, etc.” said Rusty, as told to the Wall Street Journal for a recent profile piece.
Now, all these years later, the car is singing again, just as she did in Rusty’s youth. Though he didn’t plan on the car being used as a show car, he does take it around the local scene. And he’ll inevitably get asked about his father, who would likely be very proud of Rusty’s upkeep on the old Jag.
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Via [Wall Street Journal]