CLARK GABLE’S original 1952 Jaguar XK120 discovered in storage…

Rick White-Fireball Blogger

This 1952 Jaguar XK120 below is an open two-seater that was purchased new by Hollywood Film Icon Clark Gable and modified early in its life by Barris Kustoms.

Finished in Barris Gold over red leather, Chassis 672623 features shaved trim, wheel spats, and a Carson hardtop. The car was discovered in storage in 2010 by a Chicago-based collector, who subsequently commissioned a restoration by Jim Kakuska of JK Restorations.

Power is from the original 3.4-liter DOHC inline-six, which is paired with a four-speed manual gearbox.

When I was about seven years old in 1960, my father was discussing at the dinner table how he was designing an addition on a home for a movie star by the name of Clark Gable.

One Saturday morning, during construction, my father asked me to join him on a job walk. I sat in the car while my Dad visited with his client at a partially framed addition to an existing ranch style home in the San Fernando Valley.

Over by the garage, sat this exotic top down convertible, a Jaguar XK120. Even at that young age I was intrigued by the lines and the uniqueness of the design.

When my Dad returned to the car (his white ’59 Chevrolet Biscayne) I asked about the car and he commented that it belonged to the “movie star.” Given that my Dad had previously sold his 2-seater white Austin Healey for a 1953 powder blue Chevrolet 2-door sedan (more of a family car), I was surprised by his answer and cool attitude. That distant memory now is almost “Gone with the Wind.”

Rick White (aka Ricardo Blanco) has lived in Ventura for the last 30 years. As the current President to the Santa Barbara Woodie Club, he grew up in the car culture of Southern California learning to drive, earlier than legal, in the Ranch’s ‘55 Ford Pickup Truck.

Rick cruised Van Nuys Blvd in the late 60’s in his ‘64 GTO, graduating to his ‘62 Jaguar XKE in the 70’s, and later crossing over to Corvettes in the 2000’s.

He began raising his family with Eliane, Kyle and Karina when this 1950 Ford Woodie “Ruby” came into their lives and has been their main cruise for the past 30 years. Ruby has just past the 500,000 miles mark and her Hot Rod flathead still runs like a scalded dog!

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