The 1951 Jaguar XK120 featured in this episode of Jay Leno's Garage might look vaguely like a classic Jag roadster at first, but underneath this cat is something completely different. It was built by Leno's buddy Jason Len of XK's Unlimited when he grew tired of keeping these convertibles stock, and this aluminum-bodied beast was the result.

Practically the only major Jaguar part left is the engine. It's a tuned 3.8-liter inline six from an E-Type with Weber carbs that makes an estimated 300 horsepower out of some gorgeous side-exit exhausts. The mill is backed up to a BorgWarner five-speed manual. However, the big surprise is the chassis. In place of Jag's original solution, Len has a custom tubular space frame that he claims sheds some 1,000 pounds over the stock example. There are still some classic Jaguar touches left, though, such as the fin over the driver's head that is reminiscent of the D-Type, and both the wheels and gauges are replicas based on that classic racer.

Of course the best part is watching Jay drive this Jag hot rod. This big cat really knows how to purr.

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