1950 JAGUAR XK 120 ROADSTER
Chassis No. 670656
Engine No. W1588-6
Birch gray and black with biscuit and red duotone
Engine: six-cylinder in line, 3,422cc, 160bhp at 5,250rpm; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent with double wishbones and longitudinal torsion bars, rear, live rear axle, semi-elliptic leaf springs; Brakes: four wheel drum. Left hand drive.
The fine reputation of the XK 120 far exceeds the small numbers in which it was built. Its original conception was little more than a test bed for the new twin cam engine devised by Bill Heynes whilst on Coventry fire-watching duties on the roof of the SS Jaguar car plant in the later stages of the War. However, its appearance at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show was met with hundreds of people clamoring to own one of the most seductive and rapid cars of the era. Instead of the few hand-built cars intended, Jaguar had to tool up for serious production.
Competition successes and the 126.45mph (133.5mph without windscreen) achieved by "Soapy" Sutton on the Belgian Autoroute all served to increase the demand for the car which did not become available until the 1950s. Even then the world export demand was so great that the first home market sales, in any quantity, did not materialize until 1951.
This XK 120 is the 656th left hand drive built, and it has the 588th XK engine that Jaguar manufactured. A complete restoration, which took three years to complete, was done with painstaking attention to detail to insure its authenticity. This car has all the correct early XK 120 features including cowl vents, chrome side lamp housings, combination fuel and oil level gauge, studless cam covers, tall carburettors, five blade aluminum boat propeller fan with the correct waterpump. Also, chrome plated seat frames, bonnet and boot lid support rods, Dunlop 16x5" wheels with accessory trim rings, side exhaust and short style hood were restored to its original condition. The current owner who just completed the restoration is a certified Airframe and Powerplant mechanic who has over 25 years of vintage Jaguar and aircraft restoration experience.
The engine has been completely overhauled using new pistons, rings, bearings and timing chains. The original head was found to be in excellent condition requiring only valve work. The exhaust manifolds have been replaced and a new exhaust system with the correct side exiting tailpipe has been manufactured to original specifications. In addition, the gearbox, differential, the front suspension, rear lever shocks, and brake system were also rebuilt. A complete interior, hood and side screens remanufacturing was completed by Bassett, world renound XK trim specialist.
The current owner first found the car in June 1975 in an auto dismantlers yard in Berkeley, California. Upon realization of the cars originality and completeness, he attempted to purchase it before the Jaguar was broken up into parts. The yard owner refused to sell the car whole because he believed the car was worth more as parts, thus the current owner purchased the starter motor and the bonnet badge. A short while later he returned to the yard and learned the car was sold and in storage near Vacaville, California. In 1991, the vender finally purchased the XK 120, and a week later realized it was the exact same car he had found in 1975. Since he purchased the automobile he has completed all the restoration work and has an archive report from Jaguar Cars verifying its complete authenticity. This early XK will make a wonderful addition to any collection.