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Lot 307: Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

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. Its stunning appearance notwithstanding, the XK120 was conventional enough beneath the skin, being built on a separate chassis featuring independent front suspension by means of wishbones and torsion bars, a live rear axle and drum brakes all round. The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine. Conceived in wartime and intended for Jaguar's post-war range-topping saloon, the 3.4-liter six embodied the best of modern design, boasting twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminum-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. When installed in the lightweight XK120, the result was a car with a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio and blistering performance. The XK120 set new standards of comfort, roadholding and performance for British sportscars 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 package that boosted power from 160 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. The most popular of the three XK120 variants (only 1,769 Drophead Coupés were built compared with 7,631 Roadsters and 2,678 Fixed Head Coupés) this left-hand drive Roadster represents Jaguar's classic XK sports car in its early, purest form. Finished in red with black leather interior, carpets and soft-top, '675735' was the recipient of a thorough restoration in 2001 in Texas. Having only driven 1000 miles since its restoration, the car presents itself wonderfully cosmetically and is reported to be in excellent mechanical condition. A numbers matching car complete with its Jaguar Heritage Certificate, it is a lovely example of one of Jaguar's best designs. Offered with a Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeCar
Lot Number307
Estimate$85000-$100000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1954
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number675735
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2