1953 Jaguar XK120M Fixed-Head Coupe
Chassis no. S680511
Engine no. W69548S
Body no. J2517
A milestone moment in Jaguar history was the introduction of the XK120 sports roadster at the London Motor Show at Earls Court in September 1948.
The XK120 was a sensation. Low and lithe, with a curvaceous envelope body, it had a newly-designed dual overhead cam six of 3,442cc. The model took its name from a May 1949 speed run by a production roadster on Belgiums Jabbeke Highway, where it was clocked at over 120mph. The first XK120s arrived in the United States in August 1949, West Coast deliveries beginning the following month. Priced at $3,945, it cost more than a Buick Roadmaster and almost twice the sticker on an MG TC, but there was nothing else like it on the market. Of the 12,000 XK120s built over the models lifetime, over 80 percent were left-hand drive, most destined for North America. The handsome fixed-head coupe was added to the line in 1951, and a convertible with roll-up side windows in 1953.
Acquired by the current owner as an arrested restoration project in 2001, this XK120M Fixed-Head Coupe was completed over the ensuing four years. It has a complete new fuel system: tank, lines, pump and sending unit. The braking system has new tubing and the cylinders have all been sleeved in stainless steel. The electrical system has been rebuilt with a new wiring harness, battery cables, batteries, battery boxes and Bakelite battery covers, and the starter and generator have been rebuilt. The radiator has been re-cored, and the hoses are new.
The original engine was lost during the course of the aborted restoration, and efforts to recover it were unsuccessful. An appropriate substitute was found, originally from a Jaguar Mark II, period correct and recently rebuilt, but it does not match the provenance of the car. A complete stainless steel exhaust system has been fitted, and the wire wheels and bias-ply wide whitewall tires are all new.
The paint was professionally applied and baked, in Cotswold Blue, a Jaguar XK140 color. Light gray leather was chosen for the interior to harmonize with the exterior color. The entire restoration is concours-worthy, but has not been shown competitively. The car runs and drives wonderfully, and should be driven and enjoyed. A full restoration file is available, and the car comes with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate documenting its completion on 16 December 1952 and delivery to distributor Charles Hornburg in Los Angeles.