1954 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
s/n 676138, Engine no. F3735-8
Red with Tan Interior
Told by the post-war government to “export or die” the British motor industry responded valiantly, none more so than Jaguar Cars, soon to become the UK’s biggest US-dollar earner thanks in no small measure to the success of its sensational XK120 sports car. Delays in the gestation of its MkV11 saloon led to Jaguar exploring an alternative method of bringing the new XK 3.4 litre six-cylinder engine to public attention. The result was the fabulous XK120. Launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, the stunning-looking roadster caused a sensation. Conceived as a low-volume model, the XK120 proved considerably more popular than expected, with the result that the expensive-to-produce, ahs-framed alloy coachwork was replaced by steel after 240 cars had been completed, though the bonnet, doors, and boot lid remain aluminum.
The car’s heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine. Conceived in wartime, the 3.4 litre “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 “120” referred to the car’s top speed, any doubts about the claims veracity being swiftly banished when a standard XK120 achieve a top speed of 126.4 mph with hood and side screens erected and 132.6 mph minus its weather protection and equipped with an under tray. The XK120 set new standard of comfort, road holding and performance for British sports car and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price.
Although it had not been designed with racing in mind, the XK120’s competition potential was immediately obvious, not least to the factory, which entered a three-car team in the Daily Express one-hour race for standard production cars a Silverstone in August 1949. The XK’s with Leslie Johnson and Peter Walker duly rewarded Jaguar’s faith in its new sports car by finishing first and second respectively, thus setting the scene for an illustrious competition career that would culminate in the development of the legendary C-Type.
This particular example is a three-time California Mille veteran with great patina. It is best described as a super solid, straight car, displaying a pleasant cosmetic patina. Mechanically, the car is outstanding. Included with the sale are original manuals and many service invoices, many extra parts, period photos of the car, a detailed maintenance log from 2003 onward showing $11,253 spent on regular. Pro-active service work insuring the car is ready for its next long distance rally event!
Fantasy Junction +1 510 653 7555 Emeryville, California 94608 USA
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