The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S
Lot 345* N
1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster
Registration no. RJH 400 Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S
Sold for £365,500 (US$ 481,960) inc. premium

Lot Details
The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning,1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster  Chassis no. S661165 Engine no. F2111-8S
The ex-Haddon/Vivian, Alpine Rally class-winning
1954 Jaguar XK120 Competition Roadster
Registration no. RJH 400
Chassis no. S661165
Engine no. F2111-8S

*Important in-period competition history
*Sympathetically restored
*Long term ownership

Footnotes

  • 'Haddon and Vivian drove prudently - in the 1954 Alpine Rally - sacrificing many road marks; but they were rewarded with a win in the over 2.6-litre class ... one of the last competitive international rally performances for a Jaguar XK120...' - Andrew Whyte, 'Jaguar Sports Racing & Works Competition Cars from 1954', Haynes, 1987.

    Registered RJH 400, chassis number S661195, was acquired new for £1,694-2s-0d. by Eric Haddon, a keen amateur rally driver, in February, 1954. Haddon of Wealdstone, north-west London and his Austrian-born co-driver Charles Vivian had several important international rally successes that year, which was impressive considering that they were privateers and the XK 120 had been announced some six years earlier.

    This 120, one of 1,175 RHD cars built and one of the very last, was prepared for competition in-house by the Jaguar works for these events, including what has been described as a factory-solution to the problem of the low dual exhaust system on the 120 by having the pipes exit through two holes in one of the rear wings (fenders). The car was, apparently, modified like this when new. There was also a boilerplate sump guard fitted. The suspension was modified and C-type-specification additions included a close-ratio gearbox. Other modifications included bonnet louvres, quick-fill fuel cap, aluminium fuel tank, extra dashboard lighting and a radiator blind. The rally entries were handled by 'Lofty' England, no less.

    In April '54 Haddon and Vivian took part in what The Motor magazine described as, "The toughest Tulip Rally". Of 211 starters, only 128 completed the 2,100-mile route, which led from seven starting points to the Nürburgring, then through Western Germany, the Saar, the Jura, the Alps, the Massif Central and back through the Vosges, Luxembourg and the Ardennes to Holland and the finish at Noordwijkaan Zee. Only 44 cars completed the road section without loss of marks.

    Of the seven starting points, Haddon and Vivian chose Le Havre as did the majority. Following a number of special sections came three eliminating tests on the Ballon d'Alsace, a speed hill-climb, a speed downhill-climb, and an acceleration and braking test — also downhill. Haddon was second fastest Jaguar with a time of 7 minutes 39 seconds but fastest overall, just eight seconds quicker, was a certain David Murray of Ecurie Ecosse fame.

    The Motor had this to say about day three, the Nürburgring section day. "At first light - 5 am - the big sports cars were again lined up in front of the start, facing north, for the course was to be covered anti-clockwise to avoid giving an advantage to those with knowledge of the circuit." The Haddon 120 was specifically mentioned by the magazine..... "At the Col du Pins speed hill-climb, Haddon and Vivian put up an excellent performance on this multi-hairpinned ascent, finishing second fastest, just two seconds adrift of the leading Porsche, after 4.3 miles."

    "A cloudless dawn," commented The Motor, "came upon a surprising scene in the story-book city of Luxembourg. One special stage remained, the 'Route of the Thousand Curves' in the Ardennes, and then easy motoring to Eindhoven and Noordwijk where the cars must be placed in the closed park until Friday's speed test on the Zandvoort circuit.... and a welcome at the Philips factory which included free electric shaves."

    The final day consisted of a series of races, in classes, for the remaining competitors. Autosport noted that, "Class leader Eric Haddon had the most ghastly luck, when his XK 120 broke a throttle rod on the line" and so Haddon and Vivian were pipped by a Salmson and had to be content with second in class.

    Next event was the classic Alpine Rally of the same year. Run in cool and showery weather, over a route modified to avoid snow- and flood-blocked roads, the event had 82 starters, 37 finishers and 11 winners of Alpine Cups for penalty-free runs. Stirling Moss driving a Sunbeam Alpine, won a coveted golden Alpine Cup for his third successive penalty-free performance.

    From an afternoon start at Marseilles, the route ran northwards through the night across the passes that adjoin France's eastern border. Then came a run across Northern Italy along the southern fringe of the Alps, which culminated around mid-morning with a crossing of the Vivione Pass from Schilpario to Berzo. Hitherto lacking either the fame of the Alpine high roads or the infamy of the Gavia Pass, this mountain by-way caused plenty of trouble. One non-competing car was hit repeatedly before being finally swept off the road!

    Snow prevented the Gavia Pass being used and an avalanche barred the Stelvio. In attempting to overtake another car, Sheila van Damm hit a bridge, more to the detriment of the bridge than the heavy Sunbeam Alpine.

    The next test involved a 1½ kilometre run on a closed autobahn with flying start and finish. According to Autosport it was raining "stair-rods" and there was at least an inch of water on the autobahn. John Gott wrote in the same magazine, "There were some amused smiles when Hal O'Hara Moore and co-driver (Gott himself) lowered the hood and erected a diminutive aero-screen on the Frazer Nash and then got wetter and wetter as they awaited the starter's signal. The smiles became rather wry, however, when the 'Nash bellowed away in a cloud of spray to record 33.2 seconds (approx. 101.2 mph), a time only beaten by the XK 120 Jaguars of Scott and Haddon."

    The route took the crews over a number of spectacular passes including the Giovo, about which John Gott (who was later to become Chief Constable of Northamptonshire) remarked, "The view from the top of this pass is possibly the most magnificent in the Dolomites, stretching deep down into the blue depths of the valley where the whitewashed houses look like children's toys. It is, however, one of the misfortunes of the Alpine that these views almost invariably coincide with a surface like ball-bearings on ice on which the driver is too busy trying to control his car, and the passenger too busy trying to estimate if his efforts are likely to be successful, for them to appreciate these beauties."

    Over the Cayolle, fortunes changed dramatically in the unlimited class where Scott and Cunningham alone were un-penalised in the ex-Appleyard Jaguar (RUB 120). On the climb the rear spring broke, and as the Flower/McMillan Austin-Healey, then lying second, stormed past, Scott shouted, "It's all yours." Scarcely were the words out of his mouth when the Healey's steering broke-up, and the Haddon/Vivian Jaguar, which had lost many marks by now, took over first place in the class, an eventuality which they honestly admitted that they never expected to happen.

    The event was concluded with a timed slalom test. A Morgan made fastest time and The Autocar noted that, "Raymond Flower earned applause for his capable but terrifying performance in the one-wheel steering Austin-Healey. Haddon's Jaguar XK 120 did a fine run in 30.4 seconds", and so finished as winners in the unlimited class.

    Next known event was the MCC Round Britain Rally in November 1954. Haddon took a win in the class for open sports cars over 2600cc. Haddon is said to have raced two XK 120 roadsters but, as far as is known, the other OTS has never been identified. He raced at Snetterton in March 1955, winning the over 2700cc sports car race, presumably in RJH 400.

    After such epic competition Haddon subsequently sold RJH to a Dr Watchman of Liverpool, who is said to have used it on his daily rounds, before it passed to a Liverpool dealer in about 1973 from whom Mike Ridley of Shropshire purchased it. More recently, Mike wrote about his various cars in the XK Club magazine.

    "My next 120 was probably the best Roadster I have driven until very recently. RJH 400 was Eric Haddon's 1954 Alpine and Tulip rally car and was a very special machine. I purchased it from the second owner, Dr Watchman, via a garage in Liverpool, for the not inconsiderable price of £1,650. RJH was a revelation. A wonderful engine, superb positive steering and stoppers that really worked. Add to that a sexy twin pipe system that the works had modified to exit through the rear wing, a fabulous original interior...

    "I sold it in 1974 to Cedric Brierley, immediately regretted doing so, and bought it back again on 25th October 1974 for £2,100! I had the car repainted, changing the colour from BRG back to the original OEW. I competed with the car in one or more sprints at Curborough in 1975. As I wanted something more competitive for circuit racing, I sold the car to Kevin Donnelly in 1975."

    Ridley also states, "Spoke to Eric Haddon on the phone in November 1974. On the 1954 Tulip Rally they won two trophies but ... Eric had unfortunately been burgled and his trophies stolen. He also told me Michelin provided a new set of tyres for the Alpine Rally which were bald at the finish after 2300 miles!"

    Donnelly sold RJH at a Christie's (UK) auction in April 1983 (a 27-year old Robert Brooks handling the Sale. James Knight, still a furniture porter, not joining the motor car department until a year later......) for what was described as a record price. It was featured in the UK magazine Thoroughbred & Classic Cars, March 1987. The car was then sold again at a Brooks' auction at Olympia, London, in November 1992, acquired by Robert Clark, a Kiwi domiciled in the UK at the time. It was imported into New Zealand in 1994 and has been owned by Robert Clark ever since. By 2003, RJH was undergoing a full restoration at Auto Restorations of Christchurch, completed in 2005.

    "I have very fond memories of driving RJH 400," states motoring author and Jaguar historian Philip Porter, "though it was a wet day and we had the soft-top erected and side screens in place – not ideal. The car drove superbly and the rallying history makes this a very special 120."

    A substantial file accompanies the car, including letters from Mr Haddon, numerous copies of 
relevant press cuttings, sundry restoration invoices and an old-style UK logbook. Overall, this is a most attractively presented and original Jaguar XK120 with an impressive competition history.

    Please note that the Lot will be subject to the reduced import rate of 5% if remaining in the EU, and that an application to DVLA will be required to repatriate the registration number RJH 400 to the car.

    Bonhams is grateful to Jaguar Historian and Author, Philip Porter, for his assistance with this catalogue description.
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