1954 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster  Chassis no. S675542 Engine no. F3044-8S
Lot 560
1954 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster
Chassis no. S675542 Engine no. F3044-8S
Sold for US$ 104,500 inc. premium
Lot Details
1954 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster
Chassis no. S675542
Engine no. F3044-8S
3,442cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine
Triple SU carburetors
220bhp (est.) at 5,300rpm
Four-speed manual transmission
Independent wishbone front suspension and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs
4-wheel hydraulic drum brakes

*Single owner from 1957 to 2010
*Outfitted with triple carbs and other speed equipment when new by its first owner
*A Northeastern car from new
*Numbers matching
*Thoroughly documented


The XK120

The XK120 debuted at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, where the stunning-looking roadster caused a sensation. In May 1949, on the Jabbeke to Aeltre autoroute, an example with its hood and side screens in place recorded speeds 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.

The Motorcar Offered

Built on May 6th, 1954 and dispatched a week later, this XK120 was delivered new through Max Hoffman’s New York dealership to Litchfield, Connecticut gentleman racer and life-long sportscar enthusiast Philip Axel Litchfield. A serious enthusiast, Litchfield ordered the car with the ‘Special Equipment’ package that added an extra 20bhp; but being a fierce competitor who often went wheel-to-wheel with the likes of Bob Sharp and other up-and-coming racers at his local track in Lime Rock, more power was needed. A competition intake manifold was acquired from the factory onto which a triple SU carburetor set up was attached. Beyond the hotter specification provided by the C-Type heads that came with the SE package, the compression ratio was bumped to 10:1, Iskenderian racing cams were fitted, dual-point ignition was installed, and the fuel pump was replaced with a high-flow unit.

The very swift Jag provided three happy years of racing for Mr. Litchfield before he focused his attention on a Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing that was sitting in Foreign Cars of Rockland’s showroom. William Genader of Butler, New Jersey, a 22-year-old enthusiast had fancied the hot Jag, and when Litchfield traded it on the 300SL in 1957, Genader swooped in and bought is straight away on October 21, 1957. Genader drove the car until his growing family became too much of a priority, at which point it was put away in his garage. By the early ‘90s, with the kids grown up, the XK was brought back into the sun for a three-year restoration that maintained all of the original speed equipment that the car had always had, as well as its original color scheme. Upon completion, Genader and his wife drove the car to Mr. Litchfield’s home for a memorable reunion. Genader would keep the XK120 until his death in 2010.

The restoration still shows well and evidences the careful attention to originality taken when it was done some 20 years ago. Thoroughly documented, voluminous records and photos accompany the car today along with its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. Showing some 47,300 miles today and having had only two private owners—one of whom kept the car for 53 years—it would be an understatement to say that this is one of the finer XK120s out there. Reported to be a strong runner and a good driver; it appears today much as it did when Phillip Litchfield was rocketing it down the No Name Straight at Lime Rock Park in the early 1950s.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that, due to PA law this title will need to be processed through the PA Department of Transportation and therefore may require up to 14 days for receipt.
Auction information

This auction is now finished.

If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please email us at motors.us@bonhams.com or request a complimentary motorcar valuation.

If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins & Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, and Wine & Whisky:

Buyer's Premium Rates
25% on the first $100,000 of the Hammer Price
20% from $100,001 to $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price
12% on the excess over $2,000,000 of the Hammer Price

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. A processing fee will be assessed on any returned checks. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licences please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.

Contacts
  1. Samantha Hamill
    Auction Administration - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6514
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669
  2. Rupert Banner
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 212 461 6515
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669
  3. Evan Ide
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work Boston, United States
    Work +1 917 340 4657
  4. Eric Minoff
    Specialist - Motor Cars
    Bonhams
    Work
    580 Madison Avenue
    New York, United States 10022
    Work +1 917 206 1630
    FaxFax: +1 917 206 1669