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Lot 408: Jaguar XK120 Fixed-Head Coupe

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

* 3,442cc straight six * 4-speed gearbox * The purest iteration of the XK120 * Two year ground-up restoration * JDHT Certificate confirms original engine * Original Los Angeles supplied car At the 1948 Motor Show Jaguar astonished the public by announcing a new two-seater roadster, the 'XK120'. The XK120 heralded the arrival of Jaguar's famous 3.4-liter twin-overhead-camshaft XK engine, intended for the Mark VII saloon, then two years away. Its chassis was essentially a shortened version of the simultaneously announced Mark V saloon, with torsion bar independent suspension. The XK120's comfort and roadholding set new standards for British sports cars and, uniquely of the XK series, its name reflected the top speed. In May 1949, on the Jabbeke to Aeltre autoroute in Belgium, an example with its top and side screens in place recorded a speed of 126mph, and 132mph with the top and windscreen detached and an under-tray fitted. The car's instant success caught Jaguar by surprise. It was immediately obvious that the ash-framed alloy coachwork would have to go and the XK120 was re-engineered in steel after 240 cars had been completed. In 1951 the open two-seater model was joined by a fixed-head coupé version, and a drophead coupé followed in 1953. The XK120 was superseded by the XK140 in 1954 - it was to prove the most popular of the series. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate that accompanies the car confirms this XK120 was completed on April 21, 1952 and was dispatched to Charles Hornburg, the Los Angeles distributor, on June 7 that same year. The original color scheme was Birch Grey with red upholstery and it was equipped with the 3.4-liter version of Jaguar's legendary XK motor  the numbers match with the engine currently fitted to the car. The vendor reports that this very nice example had previously been dry stored for around 20 years before being sold to the previous long-term owner in 1989. More recently the car has been subject to a two-year, bare metal restoration by Jaguar specialists, with the engine and gearbox rebuilt, the wiring loom replaced, the instruments either refurbished or replaced and the upholstery re-trimmed with new leather seats, headliner, carpets, door panels and steering wheel fitted. The interior presents in beautiful condition, with lovely timberwork to the dash. The car sits on painted wire wheels with matching Dunlop RS tires.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeCar
Lot Number408
Estimate$140000-$160000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1952
Condition rating1
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number679632
Engine numberW4759-8
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors2