1954 Jaguar XK 120 SE Drophead Coupe

This XK 120 drophead coupe is number 266 of just 294 right-hand-drive examples (out of 1,769 DHC cars) produced. The drophead model run was from April 1953 to August 1954. Equipped with the “SE” option package and C-type cylinder head, this example sports the 3/8-inch lift cams, lightened flywheel and damper, dual exhausts, and wire wheels.

These options boosted the base model by 50 hp, with Jaguar claiming 210 hp at 5,750 rpm. The car is supplied with Jaguar Production Trace Certificate and was completed May 26, 1954.

Ownership succession is fully documented, and in 1989 the car was then subject to a full engine and gearbox rebuild by marque specialist Derek Bullmore and later to a complete frame-off, 2,700-hour restoration by Classic Coachbuilders of Sittingbourne, Kent. It was later featured in a London Times article by Lord Montague of Beaulieu in May 1995.

This 1954 Jaguar XK 120SE Drophead was last sold for $81,117, including buyer’s premium, at the Brooks Olympia auction of February 22, 1997 (SCM# 19040). It has been part of a large private collection since then and used sparingly.

Ray Nierlich

Ray Nierlich - SCM Contributor

Ray addiction to anything with a motor started when his father bought him his first mini bike at age 11. In high school, he worked as an apprentice mechanic at Armando’s Foreign Sport Car in Youngstown, Ohio. He escaped Cleveland in 1978 and moved to California, where he worked as a lead technician at Sun Datsun in Whittier, and later as a Jaguar mechanic at California Coventry in Costa Mesa. He soon moved to Doctor Jaguar and eventually bought the business. Nierlich’s first Jag was an E-type, and his love affair with (mostly British) cars continues to this day. He also tinkers with English motorcycles from time to time. Nierlich sold Doctor Jaguar in 2006 and semi-retired to Salinas, California, where he has a hobby shop to play with his collection of cars and motorcycles.

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