1954 Jaguar XK120SE Roadster
Chassis no. S672695
Engine no. W5593-8S
3,442cc DOHC inline 6-cylinder engine
Double SU carburetors
180bhp (est.) at 5,300rpm
4-Speed manual transmission
Independent wishbone front suspension and live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs
4-Wheel hydraulic drum brakes
*Current ownership from 1967
*Desirable SE package
*A Northeastern car from new
*Bill Basset restoration
The XK 120 debut in the fall of 1948 was nothing less than a sensation. It was sleek, beautiful and strikingly modern.
When the sedan designed around Jaguar's new XK engine wasn't finished in time, the British automaker showcased the powerplant in a prototype roadster for the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, in London. To gain industry recognition, Lyons knew that he needed a show car that was revolutionary and bold. He handled the styling himself. The company anticipated producing perhaps 100-200 of the car, but ended up selling 12,000 over the course of several years.
The XK motor, engineered by Harry Westlake, was the world's first high-volume twin-cam engine and would prove remarkably reliable and long-lived. In 1951, Jaguar entered the grueling 24-hour of Le Mans endurance race. Three XK120C, the 'C' representing 'competition', were entered. One of the three entrants won the event. And in 1952, an XK120 was driven continuously for seven days and nights around a track located in Montlhery, France. After more than 16,000 miles in one week, the vehicle once again proved its endurance capabilities. The XK engine would become the mainstay of all future Jaguar products over the next six decades.
Producing 160 horsepower, the 3.4 liter, inline-six cylinder engine, would propel the car passed its 120mph promised speed and on to a top speed of around 126-132 mph depending on the trim of the vehicle.
Also available, was the XK120SE, or "Special Equipment", which included wire wheels, upgraded suspension, dual exhaust and a C-Type cylinder head. With these improvements, the XK120SE saw an increase in horsepower to 180.
The Motorcar Offered
Built on August 18th, 1952 and dispatched a week later, this XK120 was delivered new through Max Hoffman's of New York. It is believed that it was sold directly to Germany and was bought by a servicemen stationed there. The current owner acquired it in 1967 through Automotive Engineering (then in Park Square Boston) and has had it ever since.
A call up by the Air National Guard saw the Jag go into storage for a good number of years. In 1988 Bill Basset was asked to fully restore the XK120. Basset restored the car to a high degree of authenticity though the original grey over red color scheme gave way to the appealing BRG over tan we see today. The restoration was of excellent quality and the car has held up well and proved most reliable the car even scored 96 points at a Jaguar meet in the mid-90s.
Today the car looks lovely and runs very well. The interior shows some signs of a few decades use but overall looks great. The exterior does show some minor imperfections upon close examination but for a 20 plus year old restoration it is quite good. The odometer shows just over 66,000 miles.
The car has its full tool kit and jack along with its handbooks and its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. The floor mats and trunk may have never been used, in what seems to be like-new condition.
A great old Jaguar with long term ownership for over 40 years and a fine restoration, it just begs to be driven.
- Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1952.