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 MkV 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.
Having once been part of the Jim Ray collection, this XK 120 was comprehensively restored and is described to be in excellent condition throughout. There is a history file with the car which includes details of the Concours reports. This is certainly a very fine example of this ever collectible Jaguar and worth the most detailed inspection.