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
*Present ownership since 2008
*Offered with Jaguar Heritage Certificate
*Confirmed as matching chassis / engine
*Iconic look for model with disc wheels and spats
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.
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. 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 aluminum structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year! It was immediately obvious that the slow-to-produce alloy bodywork would have to go, and the car was swiftly re-engineered in steel. In conjunction with the Pressed Steel Fisher Company a new all-steel paneled body was developed, which retained the fabulous looks of the coachbuilt original while differing in minor external details.
The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, a 3.4-liter 'six' embodying 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. Jaguar lost no time in demonstrating that the XK120's claimed top speed was no idle boast. In May 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, roadholding and performance for British sports cars and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price.
THE MOTORCAR OFFERED
Jaguar's Heritage department facility enables us to know the precise details of this car's original build and how it correlates with the car today. As new it was delivered through Hoffman's New York agency on March 12, 1954 and supplied to its first owner a few weeks later on March 29. That gentleman was one R. Bell of Cedar Swamp Road not far from here in Coventry, Connecticut. Mr. Bell received his new Jaguar in an altogether more understated way than we see her today, being a scheme of Dove Grey paintwork, French Grey top and a tan interior.
Fast forward to the late 2000s, and the Jaguar either still resided or had returned to Connecticut as it was then owned by a Mrs. Dorothy Bronson of New Canaan, who's husband James had passed in 2006. It would seem that prior to this the Jaguar had received a thorough refurbishment in the more striking, but also ever popular period scheme of red with tan. It is not known how long Bell or Bronson had retained the car, but it doesn't appear to have transacted publicly and may have remained in this area for much of its life. Acquired by the present owner in 2008, the Jaguar has covered a little over 2,000 miles in the last 14 years, latterly with only more modest exercising. Work carried out over the years included a service prior to this ownership by Blackhorse Garage and some maintenance by Automotive Restorations. Today, its refurbishment has aged, and it would benefit from a thorough check over before proper road use and attention to its cosmetic details.
Presented in the purest guise for these cars, with the disc wheels and spats, it does retain its matching numbers engine and will no doubt provide a usable tour car for its next owner down the line.