The Jaguar XK120 caused an absolute sensation when it was launched at the 1948 Motor Show. In the post-war era of rationing, general austerity and hardship it came as a stunning vision of what the future might hold. It was, without doubt, the most beautiful car in the world, and the fastest un-supercharged production sports model ever made up to that time. Its claimed top speed of 120mph was so astonishing that to prove it Jaguar took one over to Belgium and clocked 132mph!
The response from the public at the Motor Show launch on 20th October 1948 caught Jaguar by surprise, and as orders poured in it was immediately obvious that the level of home and export demand could only be satisfied by moving from a lightweight alloy-bodied ash frame construction to tooling up for volume production in steel. This took time to achieve and the first 57 right hand drive cars, and 183 left-hand drive cars, were hand-produced in lightweight aluminium alloy. Throughout the 6-year production run, Jaguar manufactured a mere 609 Right hand drive roadsters for the home market and we are proud to be offering one of them here today.
The particular car shown today was exported to USA then reimported for an extensive restoration in the 1980’s. The engine was rebuilt using new high compression pistons and bearings throughout including new valves, new timing chains and sprockets. In addition to this, the gearbox, clutch and braking system were rebuilt. Mechanical work is extensive and involved rebuilt shock absorbers, a new radiator and rebuilt gauges to name a few. In addition to the interior being replaced, the body was replaced with an aluminium one to give this car a new lease of life. This example has been cherished and deserves a thorough inspection to see this first hand. This appreciating classic is ready to enjoy by its new custodian immediately.