At the heart of the William Lyons-styled XK120 roadster was Jaguar’s all-new 3,442cc, twin overhead camshaft, straight six engine producing 160bhp via twin SU carburettors – sufficient for 120mph and 0-60mph in 12 seconds. Fine road holding was ensured by the independent torsion bar/wishbone front suspension and semi-elliptic leaf-sprung rear axle, together with all-round drum brakes. Succeeding the XK120 was the XK140 launched at the 1954 London Show. Visually similar but with a reshaped radiator grille with fewer, larger slats and 2+2 seating, thanks to engine and bulkhead being three inches further forward, a change which also realised almost 50/50 weight distribution, it remained mechanically the same but with suspension improved from lessons learnt on the race track. And now with 190bhp on tap, top speed rose to 110mph – or 129mph with optional overdrive and 210bhp special equipment engine – while the 0-60mph sprint dropped to 11 seconds.
The final rendition of the XK appeared in May 1957. Easily identifiable by its higher scuttle and door line, and much wider grille, the XK150 retained the mechanical layout of its predecessor; in 210bhp XK150 S form, however, it marked a Jaguar first in having all-round disc brakes, an asset with 0-60mph acceleration of 8.5 seconds and a 125mph maximum. For 1960, the penultimate year of production, the 3,781cc engine was fitted.
This charming example was manufactured on the 23rd May in the last year of production and is resplendent on chrome wire wheels and is finished in Carmen red with a black interior piped in red with wooden steering wheel. Having undergone a restoration it is described as being in wonderful condition. The 3.8 litre engine is the original unit and has been completely revised. Supplied with a Jaguar Heritage Certificate this iconic British sports car is as exciting to drive today as it was in the 1950s, and still turns heads.