1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Chassis no. 670405
3,442cc DOHC Inline 6-Cylinder Engine
2 SU Carburetors
160bhp at 5,000rpm
4-Speed Manual Transmission
Front Independent Suspension Live Rear Axle
4-Wheel Drum Brakes
*Highly original and unrestored XK120
*Largely preserved car with original body and interior
*Few owners, believed to be fewer than 85,000 miles from new
*Offered with rare Glasspar hardtop
*Eligible for many rallies and driving events
The Jaguar XK120
"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 just 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.
Its stunning appearance notwithstanding, the XK120 was conventional enough beneath the skin, being built on a separate chassis featuring independent front suspension by means of wishbones and torsion bars, a live rear axle and drum brakes all round. The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine. Intended for Jaguar's post-war range-topping saloon, the 3.4-liter six embodied the best of modern design, boasting twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminum-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. When installed in the lightweight XK120, the result was a car with a phenomenal power-to-weight ratio and blistering performance.
The XK120 set new standards of comfort, handling and performance for sports cars and in keeping with the Jaguar tradition there was nothing to touch it at the price. Coupe and drophead coupe versions followed, which provided the opportunity to offer a luxurious interior with copious amounts of wood veneer. Regardless of the type of bodywork, the XK120 was a genuine 120mph car capable of sustained high-speed cruising.
The Motorcar Offered
As indicated by Jaguar's archives, this XK120 was built in the summer of 1950 as a left hand drive Roadster, in silver over red upholstery with a gunmetal top. Its original distributor is recorded in Jaguar's archives as Thomas Plimley of Vancouver, Canada. The consignor states that the Jaguar's first owner was the founder and President of the Montreal Jaguar Owners' Club, and understands that the car was first registered in Montreal, Quebec, in 1951. As a Canadian-delivery model, this XK120 was fitted with European "tripod" headlamps, adding to its appeal. It also features a heater, unusual because Jaguars of the day lacked this comfort item. Because the Montreal Jaguar dealer also sold new Packards, a Packard under-seat heater was neatly installed upside-down beneath the dashboard, no doubt adding to the car's cold-weather usefulness.
After the original owner's death in the mid-1990s, the car was acquired by its second owner, Mr. Dean Watson. The consignor purchased the car in 2008 with just over 77,000 miles recorded, and took it home to British Columbia. He believed that this XK120's indicated mileage of around 84,000 was original, while further feeling that the car was never exposed to rain or road salt. The Jaguar appears to have benefitted from installation of a new clutch and throw-out bearing, while there is a new stainless-steel exhaust system underneath. The internal condition of the engine is unknown, but the consignor says the compression is excellent, and the car runs well.
With just three devoted owners from new, this 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster displays a pleasing patina of age in every aspect. Retaining its original red leather upholstery, convertible top, and tonneau cover all in very good condition this XK120 is a survivor that reflects its age with dignity and the well-worn feeling of a precious heirloom. Even the spare tire is believed to be the one it left the factory with, while a factory service manual and maintenance handbook are included. Also included is a rare Glasspar plastic hardtop. According to the website "Forgotten Fiberglass", Glasspar, a Southern California company known for manufacturing after-market hardtops in the 1950s and early 1960s, offered these desirable accessories through Jaguar dealers in North America. A great and very original example of the classic 120 Roadster, with a clear history from day one, this is a fine way to experience Sir William Lyons' most memorable achievement.
- Please note that this motorcar is not subject to import duty and it is titled as a 1951.
Furthermore, please note that this model is a matching-numbers example with a replacement cylinder head performed in period by a Jaguar dealership.