It was at the 1948 London Motor Show that Jaguar threw the sports car world into turmoil with its stunning XK120. Here was a car with incredible style and looks, a powerful six cylinder engine installed in an outstanding chassis, and a remarkably low price, a quarter that of a V12 Ferrari, but with similar performance.
At the heart of the William Lyons styled roadster was that all-new 3,442cc twin overhead camshaft XK engine, producing 160bhp via twin SU carburettors, sufficient for 126mph and 0-60mph in 10 seconds. The XK120 became a massive success, both on the road and the track, where it scored numerous victories.
The many drivers included Stirling Moss, Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead, Leslie Johnson and Ian Appleyard. In XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and 1953, while its engine was to power three more Le Sarthe winners and a whole host of successful Jaguar models for the next fifty years.
First registered in January of 1951, chassis 259 was bought by the current owner from Coys’ Kensington Showrooms in 1989, and has remained in his custodianship ever since. Our vendor, a serious collector of important race and road cars from the 1930s to the current day, has stored the Jaguar very carefully and driven it lightly in his ownership.
The condition of the car is quite remarkable; the body panels are straight with very good gaps, the doors fit well, and the fabulous original interior displays a wonderful patina. The engine and chassis numbers have been checked and match, and the Jaguar has been granted a recent MoT certificate.
All in all a fantastically well-preserved example of one of the most significant sports cars of the post-war era, and we genuinely feel an unrepeatable opportunity.