Thornley Kelham: The Future of the Past

Thornley Kelham: a fascinating synergy of sportscar tradition and modernism

It is a true joy to behold: as your gaze sweeps over the elegant shapes and along the sleek design lines, the aura of beauty that surrounds this sportscar envelops you. But the Jaguar XK140 is not intended to be a museum piece or a classic that is only brought out of the garage on sunny afternoons in June. As far as Thornley Kelham is concerned, the car – and other models from the golden 1950s – belongs on the road. That’s why the company unites style and functionality with its modifications – the driving characteristics now fully meet today’s requirements of a modern vehicle – making everyday driving in a sportscar a luxurious experience.

The key word here is 'restomod': it means restoring a classic car but using state-of-the-art modifications, instead of original ones, to achieve current standards in technology and design. Thornley Kelham impressively demonstrates this with the legendary Jaguar XK140, among others, which has been revamped into the Jaguar XK European. It is at the same time the prelude to the 'European' series in which other exciting, glamorous and cool models will follow. The cars pay homage to the European design style of the 1950s up to the 1970s, which created a furore all around the globe and influenced all other carmakers. The originals are further developed with great respect, care and finesse, whilst still maintaining their original character. To do this, Thornley Kelham hires top-class designers and engineers, who create high-quality, performance-oriented and modern sportscars that sparkle at all the competitions and on every tour just as much as they do when out on the road. The XK European has been given the entire range of perfected bodywork, combining state-of-the-art technology with time-honoured craftsmanship. Its drive system and suspension make it a superb car to drive, and the engine and transmission really give it their all, so that the peak performance is 340 HP. In addition to the external appearance and technical features, the interior furnishing has been meticulously brought up to a world-class level. The company O'Rourke Coachtrimmers, regarded as one of the best of its kind, is the partner for this. The result of the Thornley Kelham concept is simply a phenomenon – the icons of automobile history are metamorphosed into a new quality, offering a new dimension of driving pleasure. Enthusiasts have been waiting for this artistry.

Thornley Kelham
Established in 2008, Thornley Kelham is a specialist in the restoration, maintenance, rally preparation and support of vintage cars and leading brand classics. All work is carried out in its state-of-the-art workshop, from vehicle body construction to paint shop, combining experience with imagination and precision. Thanks to their worldwide, award-winning reputation they are a welcome guest at renowned competitions and rally events. The 'European' department restores and modifies historic automobiles.

Thornley Kelham Ltd. | South Cerney, Cirencester, United Kingdom |

O'Rourke Coachtrimmers Ltd.
In its partnership with Thornley Kelham, O'Rourke Coachtrimmers carry out the most exclusive interior furnishing using the finest leather. Focussed on challenging, unusual and unique interiors, they are the masters of perfect execution and are committed to the accurate restoration or recreation of historic interior designs. They refer to the extensive research and highly specialised work this requires as 'carchaeology' – the basis of their success in renowned competitions.

O'Rourke Coachtrimmers Ltd. | Rudgwick, Horsham, West Sussex, United Kingdom |

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