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Lot 236: 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Spirit of Motoring, Coys (29 September 2005)

It was at the 1948 London Motor Show that Jaguar virtually threw the sports car world into turmoil with its stunning XK120. Here was a car with incredible style and looks, a powerful six cylinder engine installed in an outstanding chassis and a remarkably low price - a quarter that of a V12 Ferrari with similar performance. The combination was unbeatable and without doubt the Jaguar XK120 was an absolute milestone for both Jaguar and the motor industry as a whole. At the heart of the William Lyons styled roadster was that all-new 3,442cc, twin overhead camshaft XK engine producing 160bhp via twin SU carburettors - sufficient for 126mph and 0-60mph in 10.0 seconds. To further push the performance point home, in October 1948, with an aeroscreen and aluminium undershield the only modifications, an XK120 recorded 132.6mph for the flying mile in Jabekke, Belgium, making it indisputably the fastest off-the-shelf production car in the world. The XK120 was also endowed with fine roadholding, its steel body - the originally planned limited production run used alloy bodies - clothing a shortened MkV chassis employing independent torsion bar/wishbone front suspension and a semi-elliptic leaf-sprung rear axle while brakes were all round drums. The XK120 became a massive success both on the road and the track where it scored numerous victories, the many drivers including Stirling Moss, Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead, Leslie Johnson and Ian Appleyard; indeed, in XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and 1953 while its engine was to power three more Le Sarthe winners and a whole host of Jaguars right up to the present day. This genuine UK supplied right hand drive car is described as being in very good condition by its current owner, who purchased the car in France where it had been residing for some time. During this time it had received much restoration work between 1992 and 1994 for which invoices and bills are supplied. Purchased in 1999, it was then returned to this country where it continued to receive much love and attention but little use. In generally good working order, the car comes complete with V5, many invoices and receipts, and is MoT'd until July 2006.

Lot Details
Auction Spirit of Motoring
Coys, Westminster, London SW1
TypeCar
Lot Number236
Estimate£24000-£27000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1951
Condition rating
Registration numberGSL 662
Mileage-
Chassis number660457
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors