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Lot 156: Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend, Coys (14 July 2012)

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 XK120 was an absolute milestone for both Jaguar and the motor industry as a whole. XK120 orders flooded in, ironic as it was designed as an interim model to publicise the XK engine for the new Mk VII saloon - Jaguar had only planned to produce around 200!

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 0-100kph in 10 seconds. 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 lan Appleyard; indeed, in XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and '53, while its engine was to power three more Sarthe winners and a whole host of successful Jaguar models for the next fifty years.

Chassis 661083 is a matching numbers XK120, which we are informed has covered only 75,000 miles from new. The car was sold originally to the Chairman of St. Hellier Garage, Rolls Royce and Jaguar dealers for the Channel Islands, and it is believed it remained in his possession until 1977 when it had completed just 42,000 miles. It is believed that this was the sixth from last XK120 built.

With the previous owner for 15 years, the car has been subject to an older restoration to bodywork, mechanicals, and trim, and has been described by a Jaguar expert as an extremely well preserved vehicle with known history, well documented and original low mileage, which has been fastidiously maintained in virtually pristine condition over many years irrespective of cost

Work by Jaguar specialists includes an engine rebuild at 68,955 miles, carried out by Jaguar specialists Bristol Classic and Sportscars Ltd, which included the fitting of a C-Type head, supplied in unleaded form by VSE. The original head is available if required. The rebuilt engine breathes through a custom stainless steel exhaust system.

Work to the brakes and suspension has included replacement shock absorbers, hub bearings, steering and suspension bushes, brake cylinders, and the fitting of new tyres. To keep the car cool the radiator has been repaired, the water pump replaced and a Kenlowe fan fitted.

Supplied with a UK V5, Heritage Certificate, current and older MoTs, and substantial history file supporting maintenance and repair, this is a wonderful car which is a delight to drive, and in our opinion one of the best XK120s we have seen.

Lot Details
Auction Fine Motor cars incl. The Jaguar Legend
Coys, Blenheim Palace,Woodstock, Oxfordshire, OX20 1PX
TypeCar
Lot Number156
Estimate£50000-£60000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)£49000
Year1953
Condition rating0
Registration numberXFF 951
Mileage-
Chassis number661083
Engine number
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2