It was at the 1948 London Motor Show that Jaguar virtually 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 with similar performance. The combination was unbeatable and without doubt the Jaguar XK120 was an absolute milestone for both Jaguar and the motor industry as a whole.
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 10.0 seconds. To further push the performance point home, in October 1948, with an aeroscreen and aluminium undershield the only modifications, an XK120 recorded 132.6mph for the flying mile in Jabekke, Belgium, making it indisputably the fastest off-the-shelf production car in the orld.
The XK120 was also endowed with fine road holding, its steel body – the originally planned limited production run used alloy bodies – clothing a shortened Mk. V chassis employing independent torsion bar/wishbone front suspension and a semi-elliptic leaf-sprung rear axle, while brakes were all round drums. The XK120 became a massive success both on the road and the track where it scored numerous victories. Many drivers raced the XK120 including Stirling Moss, Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead, Leslie Johnson and Ian Appleyard; indeed, in XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and 1953 and its engine was to power three more Sarthe winners and a whole host of future Jaguars.
Produced in 1953 this particular XK120 was sold by PJ Evans Jaguar, Birmingham to a Mr Chalon of Bromsgrove. Finished in its original Pastel Green with suede green interior the car carries the original buff log book from 1962. In 1968 the car was taken off the road to begin repairs and sat unused in the back of an MOT centre until 2000. Between 2000 and 2006 the XK underwent an extensive restoration that is comprehensively recorded with receipts and photographs that can be found in the history file. The car has just had a full service and thorough inspection, including an MOT test (from which it is, of course, exempt). The interior and hood were restored by marque specialists CMC and still looks as it did when it left the workshop.
As one of few remaining original UK delivered XK120 drop head coupes, this charming example is presented in one of the most desirable colour combinations and very sensibly reserved. This truly is an opportunity not to be missed by any Jaguar enthusiast or discerning collector.