1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster, Chassis no. 672363 Engine no. W5072-8
Lot 334
Left hand drive,1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster Chassis no. 672363 Engine no. W5072-8
Sold for £63,100 (US$ 104,718) inc. premium
Lot Details
Left hand drive
1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Registration no. to be advised
Chassis no. 672363
Engine no. W5072-8

Footnotes

  • 'We claimed 120 mph (for the XK 120), a speed unheard of for a production car in those days' - William Heynes, Chief Engineer, Jaguar Cars.

    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. With orders rolling in apace, Jaguar had no choice but to think again about the XK120's method of construction. The work of Jaguar boss William Lyons himself and one of the most beautiful shapes ever to grace a motor car, the body had been conceived as a coachbuilt, aluminium panelled structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year! In conjunction with the Pressed Steel Fisher Company a new all-steel panelled body was developed, which retained the fabulous looks of the coachbuilt original while differing in minor external details. Beneath the skin the steel car was entirely different and it would take some 20 months of development before manufacture could begin.

    The XK120's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, which had been developed during the war and was intended for Jaguar's forthcoming MkVII saloon. A 3.4-litre 'six' embodying the best of modern design, it boasted twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminium-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. It went into a chassis that was essentially a shortened version of the simultaneously announced MkV saloon's, featuring William Heynes' torsion bar independent front suspension. Jaguar lost no time in demonstrating that the XK120's claimed top speed was no idle boast. In May 1949, on the Jabbeke to Aeltre autoroute, an example with its hood and side screens in place recorded a speed of 126mph and 132mph with the hood and windscreen detached and an under-tray fitted.

    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.

    Originally despatched to Jaguar's New York agent, Max Hoffman, this left-hand drive XK120 roadster was imported into the UK earlier this year (taxes paid). The car had already been restored (in 2000, bills available) when works carried out included a re-spray in black and re-trimming the interior in red leather, while refurbishment undertaken in November 2011 included an engine rebuild by a Jaguar specialist and the installation of a complete new braking system and new starter ring gear. Other noteworthy features include Lucas driving lamps and 'tripod' headlights. Taxed, MoT'd and registered by time of sale, this beautiful XK120 roadster is ready for European touring holidays and rallies.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note the correct chassis number is 672362, not 672363. This car is a matching numbers example. This vehicle is offered with a Swansea V5C Registration Certificate, reg number YUT 353
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