Bill Wallace & Chuck Puth are Taking Their Rare XK120 Jag to The Quail, a Motorsports Gathering

  • story by David M. Brown
  • photos by M. Jordan Lindsey
  • posted on 08/2023
  • posted in: Feature Articles

Car restorer Bill Wallace and his business partner and friend, Chuck Puth, are attending this year’s The Quail, A Motorsports Gathering. They’re making it an automotive threesome, as they escort their 1952 Jaguar XK120, following a three-year nut-and-bolts restoration of the one-off racer.

“The concours restoration was long and tedious, but the result is spectacular,” says Puth, a retired New Jersey homebuilder and car lover who splits his time between California and the Valley of the Sun in Arizona. “Both Bill and I, and our family and friends and co-workers, are feeling overwhelming joy and excitement as we look forward to sharing this very special car at The Quail.”

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the premiere automotive event will be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Friday, August 18, at the famed Quail Lodge & Golf Club, in conjunction with the 26th Annual Bonhams Motorcar Auction. At The Quail, awards are given in class and special categories.


Wallace owns Impact Collision shop in Fountain Hills, 10 miles east of Scottsdale. Puth and his wife Debbie live in Montecito, California, where their children are in the music industry: Charlie, Stephen and Mikaela. In 2020, the men met while restoring Puth’s aging 1967 Lincoln Continental; they’ve also collaborated on a magnificent two-tone 1963 Austin Healey.

The left-hand-drive Jaguar XK120 roadster is one of six that appeared in the promotional “Race of Champions” held at Silverstone as part of the International Daily Express Trophy Meeting on May 10, 1952 in England, a celebrity event designed to promote the car in the United States market.

There were six new left-hand-drive Jaguar XK120s, and the drivers drew ballots for their grid positions. The cars were piloted by six stand-out world-class drivers, including the great Stirling Moss in car #5, who won the contest. The other competitors were Paul Pietsch from Switzerland; Johnny Claes from Belgium; Prince Bira from Siam; ‘Toulo’ de Graffenried from Switzerland, and Tony Gaze, the Australian flying ace who piloted Wallace’s and Puth’s #4 car to third place.


Documented by a certificate of authenticity from Jaguar, the XK 120 was the only one in bronze in the race and is probably the last of the sextet existing. Destined for shipment to United States, the left-hand-drive XK120s were built in March and April of 1952 with VINs 672012; 672063; 672070, Wallace’s and Puth’s steel-bodied car, manufactured on April 23, 1952; 672080; 672094; and 672104.

At the request of Sir William Lyons, founder and CEO of the company, Jaguar designed the XK120 in 1948 to accommodate the new XK twin-cam engines that would win five times at Le Mans in the 1950s. The model debuted at the London Motor Show in October 1948. Capable of 120 mph, hence the name XK120, it was the world’s fastest production car at the time.

After the race, three of the cars were exported to dealers Charles H. ‘Chuck’ Hornburg Jr. in Los Angeles and three to Max Hoffman, who had a Park Avenue Jag dealership in New York. Meant for private sales, not racing, the six Jags were not disclosed to buyers as those that had participated in the 1952 Race of Champions.


Hoffman sold #672070 to a retired New Jersey man who drove it daily. An astute Oklahoma collector bought the XK120 from him; he started to disassemble it for restoration and stored the car in his barn, in pieces. He knew the car for the rare vehicle it was because he had searched down the VIN in sources such as Jag Data. The Jaguar Heritage Certificate states: “This car was one of six used for the ‘Race of Campions’ in the Silverstone circuit in England on 10 May 1952.” He was not able to find the other five cars during the exhaustive 12-year search, Puth says.

Puth and Wallace purchased the vehicle in 2021 and had it shipped to Impact Collision Shop –– in boxes and ready for restoration.

“We have done everything by the book, to the letter,” Wallace explains. “Everything is original or original refurbished and era correct,” he adds. The engine and tranny have been redone to original specs by California-based specialists, and the new interior in original Biscuit and Tan was also completed in California by Car Classic Interiors, which specializes in upholstery for concours-grade British and European cars. The convertible top, or “hood” in England, is the original color, Fawn. Two Impact Collision classic vehicle restoration technicians, Aaron Guthrie and Flo Augustin, led the restoration.


Through extensive research, Wallace’s daughter and front office manager, Shanti, located several original parts and racing documentation history, including the May 10, 1952, Silverstone Booklet provided to all race attendees. Also found in the UK was an original wood and brass hand tire pump, which is attached to the right side of the trunk or “boot” of XK120s.

“Our common joy is to bring cars like this back to life,” Puth says. “There are no words for how hard and smart Bill has worked on this OTS 1952 Jaguar. This masterpiece is 100% factory, and everything is in the right place. There’s heritage here. There’s pedigree. We’re ready for the exacting eyes of The Quail.”

For more information, call or email Bill Wallace at Impact Collision Shop, 480.809.6745 and