Conceived and constructed in but a few months, the XK120 debuted at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show where the stunning-looking roadster caused a sensation, the resulting demand for what was then the world's fastest production car taking Jaguar by surprise. It was immediately obvious that the slow-to-produce alloy bodywork would have to go, and the car was swiftly re-engineered in steel. The work of Jaguar boss William Lyons himself and one of the most beautiful shapes ever to grace an automobile, the body was conceived as a coachbuilt aluminium structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year! The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, a 3.4-litre 'six' embodying the best of modern design, boasting twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminium-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. The XK120 set new standards of comfort, roadholding and performance for British sports cars and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price. Coupé and drophead coupé versions followed, and for customers who found the standard car too slow, there was the Special Equipment (SE) package which boosted power to 180bhp. With either engine and regardless of the type of bodywork, the XK120 was a genuine 120mph car capable of sustained high-speed cruising. The XK120 was produced until 1954 and would prove to be the most popular of the XK series, with 12,078 examples built, of which 1,175 were right-hand drive open roadsters like that offered here. This example was first owned by David Davies of Broad Oak Motors in Botley, Hampshire and was originally registered 'JGA 724' on 25th January 1951. Restored in 2009 in the UK, it has been in Italy since February 2010 and is currently Italian registered. Some photographs of the body-off restoration are contained within the accompanying file. Offered with old-style logbook and described as in generally good working order, '660517' is finished in Old English White with maroon leather interior, and comes complete with full weather equipment consisting of a hood, tonneau cover and side screens. A Kenlowe electric fan, stainless steel exhaust system and a modern starter motor are the only notified deviations from factory specification.
The side screens will be sent to the new owner post-sale.