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, 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 lan Appleyard. In XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and ‘53, while its engine was to power three more Le Sarthe winners and a whole host of successful Jaguar models for the next fifty years.
This wonderful XK120 SE OTS still retains not only its original inline-six 3.4 litre engine but also its 4-speed manual gearbox. As a Special Equipment example, the car received several trim and performance upgrades over the standard XK120, which included increased power output, higher lift camshafts, stiffer suspension and a dual exhaust system.
Sold with an original owner’s manual and period tri-bar headlights which are joined by Special Equipment fog lamps, the engine is said to start quickly and run well. This example was reportedly used to attend the 2007 and 2008 British Invasion events in Vermont, which involved round trips of nearly 600 miles each time. Recently fitted with new brake lines, brake pads, cylinders and brand new canopy.