The Jaguar XK120 was first introduced to the public at the 1948 London Motor Show, not as a production vehicle but as prototype display used to showcase Jaguar’s new XK engine. The vehicle caused such a sensation that Jaguar Founder/Chairman Sir William Lyons decided to put it into production straight away. It was Jaguars first foray into sports cars since the SS100 ceased production in 1940 and it would pave the way for Jaguars success in racing and sports cars to this very day.
The first 242 production examples were finished with aluminum coachwork over a wood frame just like the prototype display vehicle, but to adhere to a faster production schedule and meet demand, they started building them with steel bodies. Power came by way of a dual overhead cam, all aluminum, 3.4L straight-six engine that produced 160bhp, quite an achievement for the time. The XK120 name was derived from the cars top speed making it the fastest production car in the world at the time.
This example, Chassis No. 670672 is only the 672nd XK120 built and as it is a very early steel-bodied example that retains all of the desirable features not found on later built cars. These early features include tall-pot carburetors, stud-less cam covers, angled exhaust, no side vents, exposed marker lights on the fenders, a shorter dash-mounted mirror, and rear spats. It was restored to extremely high standards by a JCNA Judge and was finished in late-2015. It is offered in its stunning and original color combination of Suede Green over Suede Green with a French Gray top and is a matching numbers example, as confirmed by the JDHT Certificate. Upon completion of the restoration, it was shown at multiple JCNA Concours events where it was judged in the highest level (The Champion Division) and was awarded multiple 99+ point scores. It is indeed an exceptional early XK120 and comes complete with jack, spare, air pump, full tool roll, all-weather gear, and side curtains.
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Body And Paint
This car was restored to a very high standard and remains in truly exceptional condition. It is worth mentioning that there are a few minor imperfections in the body and paint. There are a few areas where there are minor sanding marks noticeable if caught at the right angle. The body gaps aren’t entirely even throughout but were more than likely done to replicate the way the car would have been delivered when new.
Glass And Trim
The glass and trim all present very nicely with no imperfections to note. The chrome and bright work is exceptional and done to a very high standard that still presents incredibly well. The glass is free of any chips or imperfections, and there is no de-lamination present anywhere.
The car is fitted with the correct steel painted wheels with chrome accented hubcaps. They remain in very nice restored condition with no notable imperfections and are shod with new period-correct Dunlop Road Speed RS5 bias-ply tires.
There is a small stress crack near the front grill on the right side about 2” long, as well as a few pin sized dimples, most likely from dirt/oil being present on the body when painted. Most notably, though the doors on both sides of the car as well as the fuel door must have been done separately from the body as they are just a shade off from the rest of the vehicle. These areas are of minor deviation and are only noticeable in the right light.
Given the overall quality/rarity as an early example, these are issues that are indeed worth addressing and could be easily corrected.
Seats And Surfaces
The seats appear to be brand new, and the entire interior has been exceptionally well cared for since the restoration was completed. It is very apparent that the leather and materials used were of very high quality and are the right materials for the period with the correct leather as well as the Wilton Wool carpets in place.
Functionality And Accessories
Everything functions as it should and is in correct working order. All the lights function properly, the oil button light works, as do the windshield wipers, the horn, and even the license plate light.
The interior is near perfect. The only thing worth mentioning is the center Jaguar crest on the steering wheel is a little hazy but it is a rare NOS piece.
ENGINE BAY AND TRUNK
The engine bay is highly detailed and presents incredibly well. All of the right finishes have been used, and painted surfaces are correct and in the accurate color. The correct hoses and clamps are in place, and everything is finished per JCNA standards. Even the correct braided wiring was used and routed as the factory did.
The trunk is fitted with all the correct restored components, which were completed to a high standard that matches the rest of the car. It presents very well, clean and tidy throughout. It houses the correct jack, spare, foot air pump, tonneau, and side curtains, as well as a correct tool roll.
No notable flaws are present.
The engine starts easily after a few pumps of the accelerator pedal and runs well. It is worth noting it gets a little hot when left sitting and idling but when in use it cools back down to operating temperature.
The transmission shifts smoothly with no noise or grinding of any kind. The clutch pedal feels firm, very typical for an early 50’s Jaguar.
Brakes And Suspension
The brakes function as they should. When turning at speed, the suspension performs as it should with no noticeable issues.
Keeping in mind the technology of the 1950s, these are truly wonderful cars to drive, with an exceptionally visceral and mechanical feel to them. This XK120 was produced a full three years before the release of the first Corvette and without question drives and handles much better. The power and acceleration for the time period are impressive and the exhaust note is fantastic as you move through the gears. They can easily handle spirited driving through twisted roads but care must be taken as there are certain limits to the technology of the era! The Jaguar XK120 provides an outstanding driving experience and a fantastic look into the history of the mark that any true enthusiast should experience at some point in there motoring career.
- Body Types Roadster
- Exterior Colour Suede Green
- Interior Colour Suede Green
- Drive LHD