Lot 241: Jaguar XK120 Coupé
Conceived and constructed in but a few months, the XK120 debuted at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show where the stunning-looking roadster caused a sensation, the resulting demand for what was then the world's fastest production car taking Jaguar by surprise. It was immediately obvious that the slow-to-produce alloy bodywork would have to go, and the car was swiftly re-engineered in steel. The work of Jaguar boss William Lyons himself and one of the most beautiful shapes ever to grace an automobile, the body was conceived as a coachbuilt aluminium structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year! The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, a 3.4-litre 'six' embodying the best of modern design, boasting twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminium-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. The XK120 set new standards of comfort, road holding and performance for British sports cars and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price. Coupé and drophead coupé versions followed, and for customers who found the standard car too slow, there was the Special Equipment (SE) package which boosted power to 180bhp. With either engine and regardless of the type of bodywork, the XK120 was a genuine 120mph car capable of sustained high-speed cruising. Originally manufactured in left-hand drive configuration and delivered new to France, this XK120 fixed-head coupé was purchased by the current vendors as part of an exchange deal for an alloy-bodied XK120. The previous owner has restored the car at enormous expense (circa ¬130,000) finishing the project in 2008. Totally and thoroughly restored both cosmetically and mechanically, the car ran beautifully when viewed by Bonhams, the only issue noted being that the driver's door shut was not perfect due to the new (or perhaps oversize) rubbers, an easily rectified shortcoming. Only 2,500 kilometres have been covered since restoration and the body, paintwork, interior, bonnet and boot area remain in immaculate condition. Offered with French Carte Grise.
Exceptional Motor Cars and Motorcycles|
Bonhams, La Halle Freyssinet, Paris
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