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
*Award winning restoration by marque specialists
*Beautifully presented in its original color combination, Pastel Blue over Red interior
*Fewer than 2,800 XK120 Fixed Head Coupes built over three years
*Retains original numbers matching engine and body
*Delivered new to Southern California where it has resided ever since
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 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. With orders rolling in apace, Jaguar had no choice but to think again about the XK120's method of construction. The work of Jaguar boss, William Lyons himself, and one of the most beautiful shapes ever to grace a motor car, the body had been conceived as a coachbuilt, aluminum paneled structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year! In conjunction with the Pressed Steel Fisher Company, a new all-steel paneled body was developed. The body retained the fabulous looks of the coachbuilt original, while differing in minor external details. Beneath the skin the steel car was entirely different, and it would take some twenty months of development before manufacture could begin.
The XK120's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, which had been developed during the war and was intended for Jaguar's forthcoming Mark VII saloon. A 3.4-liter "six" embodying the best of modern design, it boasted twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminum-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings, and a maximum output of 160bhp. It went into a chassis that was essentially a shortened version of the simultaneously announced Mark V saloon's, featuring William Heynes' torsion bar independent front suspension. Jaguar lost no time in demonstrating that the XK120's claimed top speed was no idle boast. In May of 1949, on the Jabbeke to Aeltre autoroute, an example with its hood and side screens in place recorded a speed of 126mph and 132mph with the hood and windscreen detached and an under-tray fitted.
The XK120 set new standards of comfort, handling, and performance for British sports cars and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price. Coupe and Drophead Coupe versions followed, and for customers who 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.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
This elegant and classic Jaguar XK120 was completed at the legendary Coventry-based Browns Lane Jaguar factory on March 6th, 1953. Equipped for the booming US sportscar market, the new Jaguar was dispatched several weeks later to the west coast Jaguar distributor, Charles Hornburg, Jr. in Los Angeles as a left-hand drive example. This Fixed-Head Coupe left the factory finished in Pastel Blue over Red leather interior, the same color combination it still retains today. There was no available information as to who took first delivery of the Jaguar, although in June of 1963, the car was purchased by a Mr. Courtney Manker of Santa Barbara, California.
Manker would be the long-term caretaker of this vehicle and kept the car for next 54 years until his passing in 2017. The following Southern Californian owner of this XK120 took custody of the car in 2017, to which he immediately began the task of having the vehicle restored. The restoration was completed in 2018 and was achieved in high degree. The original body was stripped down to bare metal, showing there were no signs of previous damage to the metal, making this a wonderful candidate for refurbishment. Once the body was ready, a generous coat of its original hue of Pastel Blue was applied. The drivetrain was overhauled, with anything deemed needing repair or replacement rectified with correct components. The interior was redone in its factory original red shade, completing the matching look this car had when it left the Coventry factory.
Today, this coupe still presents incredibly well. With its striking color combination and beautiful presence from its rear wheel covers, this Jaguar would complement any car collection. As a testament to the wonderful restoration and superb appearance of the car, this Jaguar took the 3rd in class award at the wonderful San Marino Concours in 2018. The car received extensive mechanical servicing in 2019, with receipts totaling over $17,000. Additionally, the car received its most recent service in the beginning of 2022. This example, documented by its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate also comes with documents and receipts from previous ownership. Showing what is believed to be true mileage of 61,370 on the odometer, this beautiful XK120 Fixed Head Coupe would be a great entry to any number of historic rallies, a showing at a local concours or JCNA event, or even the neighborhood cars and coffee get together.