1950 Jaguar XK120 roadster

According to an interview with Sir William in the 1970s, the design was
created, start-to-finish, in less than three weeks

The first post-war auto salon held in London, the Earls Court British Motor Show, opened its doors on October 27, 1948. No one was prepared for the shock caused by the unveiling of the bronze-colored Jaguar roadster, the XK 120. William Lyons raised the bar for sports cars with this model, and nearly 60 years later we still admire its superb lines and the sound of its inline six-cylinder motor.
The XK120 entered into production in 1949, and was instantly in high demand. The first 244 XK 120s-including the car on offer here-were clad entirely in aluminum. In period, these represented the best of the best, with their advantageous power-to-weight ratio courtesy of the alloy body and the highly tunable, dual-overhead-cam XK engine. This engine was used in production Jaguars in successive stages of development through 1987.
Like many of its siblings, this XK 120 was first shipped to the United States’ West Coast, where it was campaigned in a number of amateur sports car races at Monterey and Santa Barbara. It then served for a time as a dirt-track racer, fitted with an American V8 engine when its original gave out. In poor condition, it returned to England for a full restoration by John May of XK Development at Homesdown Farms, Fiddington.
The car has been prepared according to the Historic Sports Car Club rules, with respect to the spirit of 1950s-era racing. The drum brakes have been kept, as has the steering box (which has been displaced to the right side). Even the lever-arm shocks have been kept at the rear. The engine has been tuned with specific camshafts, 9:1 compression ratio, a C-type head, and SU HD8 carbs, and the Moss gearbox is of the close-ratio type.
Finished in pearl grey with red and biscuit interior and two aero screens, this Jaguar wears red wire wheels and is described as being in very good working condition. It is eligible for many historic events, including the Mille Miglia, Tour de France, and Le Mans Classic.

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson - SCM Contributor

Gary is also Editor in Chief of The Star, the magazine for the Mercedes-Benz Club of America. He has been active for many years in the Austin-Healey Club USA and is co-author of MBI’s best-selling Austin-Healey Restoration Guide, as well as editor of the Austin-Healey Magazine. An avid vintage race driver, he ran his 1960 MGA in three Monterey Historics, four Wine Country Classics, and the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. He is the author of Motoring: Getting the Maximum from Your New Mini, a comprehensive guide to the new MINI Cooper, available through Amazon.com.

Posted in English