Lot 232: Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupé
The Earls Court Motor Show, London, October 1948, saw the introduction of the aluminium bodied XK120 Open Two Seater (OTS) as a replacement to the SS100 that ceased production in 1940. In this post war austerity period, this dramatic, sporting and luxurious Jaguar was a sensation and it immediately found success. Incredibly, the classic shape came about quite unintentionally. William Heynes, Jaguar's Chief Engineer, oversaw the development of the XK six-cylinder engine that was developed with the intention of it powering a new high performance saloon. The XK120 body was put together to clothe the test bed for the new engine and so it progressed from there. The first cars were built using the traditional pre war method of aluminium coachwork over an ash frame; it was not until April 1950 that a steel bodied (but surprisingly lighter) XK120 was produced. Once the new OTS had become established, the fixed head coupé (FHC) and drop head coupé (DHC) models were put into production. March 1951 saw the first DHC; these coupés were fitted with a double lined hood, quarter lights and, unlike the roadster, with wind up windows. The DHC feels very snug and comfortable once the hood is up which makes it ideal for relaxed high speed touring in even the most severe weather conditions. Air vents in the front wings were introduced in 1951 to ventilate the footwells as additional comfort for the driver and passenger. Production of the XK120 only came to an end in 1954 with the introduction of the XK140. On offer today is an XK120 DHC first registered on the 9th February 1954. This Jaguar has been upgraded for modern day road use and long distance touring. She is fitted with the later and more powerful 3.8 litre XK engine that is coupled to a standard four speed (plus reverse) Moss gear box. A stainless steel competition exhaust provides the music. Stopping power is supplied by disc brakes all round while stronger XK150 springs have been fitted to the rear. A Kenlow fan ensures efficient cooling and non standard seat belts are fitted for the safety of the occupants. Road contact is via the chrome wire wheels which are shod with Pirelli Cinturato tyres. Having recently come out of long term ownership, the current owner decided to enhance this already fine motor car. Renowned specialists, Jaguar and Aston Martin Specialists Limited, were commissioned to carry out the works required. Mechanically the whole car was checked; the brakes were overhauled and bearings re-greased. All the oils were replaced and minor faults rectified. The coachwork was stripped to bare metal with the body being found to be in excellent order. The rear wings however, were found to need extensive works and were consequently replaced. Prior to painting, emphasis was placed on ensuring that the panel gaps were excellent; only when this was achieved to a high standard was the coachwork then refinished in Jaguar opalescent silver blue. To complement the exterior finish, the chrome work was refreshed with most items being re-plated. Inside, a high quality re-trim in Jaguar dark blue, with the seats in dark blue leather, was carried out. The wood veneers and finish were found to be in excellent order with no work required and although the hood and tonneau cover were found to be in very good order, there were some marks on the hood lining and this was therefore replaced. All the hood rubbers were replaced to ensure a water and draught proof seal whilst in the up position. The windscreen was found to be scratched and therefore replaced along with new windscreen rubbers. This Jaguar XK 120 DHC now sits upon a new set of stainless steel based chrome wire wheels with excellent Pirelli Cinturato tyres fitted. Previous works also carried out include: a re-cored radiator, wax oil and new rubber cased six volt batteries. A spare set of keys accompany the motor car. Having undergone an extensive overhaul and service, this XK120 DHC looks stunning in her new livery and trim, but it's not looks alone that matter; this Jaguar XK will give a lucky new owner confidence in her ability along with a strong sense of pride in ownership. This is an opportunity to own a magnificent motor car; and due to having a long MoT certificate and road fund licence, enjoyment may be experienced immediately.
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Historics at Brooklands, Brooklands
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