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 that 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. An original left-hand drive model, this XK120 roadster was sold new in the USA via Jaguar importer Hofmann's and was delivered finished in Sherwood Green with Suede Green interior and French Grey hood. The car was purchased in the USA in late 1989/early 1990 by a Mr Peter Cutler of Bognor Regis, who undertook a 'ground upwards' restoration between 1990 and 1992, converting it to right-hand drive in the process. In 2000 the car was sent to Twyford Moors Ltd for a repaint, as Mr Cutler was not satisfied with the original finish. A bare metal re-spray was undertaken and a number of items replaced, including the fuel tank (see list on file). On presentation of the invoice, Mr Cutler agreed that Twyford Moors Ltd should sell the vehicle, settle their invoice and pay him the difference. The current owner (since 2000) had a number of practical improvements made prior to collection including the installation of front disc brakes, a Kenlowe electric fan and a header tank for the cooling system. Although the vendor has covered only a negligible mileage (1,000-or-so miles, mainly local journeys and visits to the Goodwood Revival) the vehicle has received regular maintenance and is currently undergoing a major service prior to sale. Finished in Old English White with red leather interior, this restored and sensibly upgraded XK120 is offered with sundry invoices, fresh MoT/tax, Swansea V5 and JDHT certificate confirming matching numbers. Also included in the sale is an original XK120 workshop manual, a gift from 1950s XK120 racer Norman Watts, who used the vehicle as transport for his son's marriage.
The vendor advises us his Jaguar is fitted with Koni Classics front and rear shock absorbers.