‘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 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 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-litre ‘six’ embodying the best of modern design, it boasted twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminium-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp.
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.
Coupé and Drophead coupé 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 XK120 was produced until 1954.
Introduced in 1953, late in the XK120 production run, the Drophead coupé is considered by many enthusiasts to be best of the breed, retaining the original open roadster’s lines while boasting much greater practicality and refinement courtesy of its wind-up windows, opening quarter lights, heater, improved ventilation and a permanently attached lined Mohair hood, all of which had been first appeared on the fixed head coupé in 1951.
ABOUT THIS SPECIFIC EXAMPLE
This beautifully presented XK 120 Drophead Coupé was manufactured in 1952.
The car has been beautifully restored.
The car was formerly owned by a very important collector in the Netherlands. This gentlemen always want to have all of his cars ready to be enjoyed and therefore every car in his collection is very well maintained.
Due to the fact that an XK is a superb driving car the former owner decided to upgrade the Jaguar with the installation of a 5 speed gearbox.
The Jaguar is a fantastic car to drive. It can be easily used for long distance trips but unfortunately the “standard” 4 speed gearbox blocks the engine.
The car can easily drive higher speeds but because of the 4 speed gearbox the fun is over at around 110 to 120 km/h an hour or one must like to rev the engine very high.
Luckily due to the improved 5 speed gearbox the car can easily reach higher speeds and more important the 5th. gear results in more comfortable driving because the revs on higher speeds decrease dramatically.
When we saw the Jaguar for the first time from underneath we were very impressed about the condition. The car has been extremely nice restored from the bottom to the top.
The chassis is beautifully restored and protected. The engine, gearbox and drivetrain are very clean.
Looking at the body of the car one can see clearly that this Jaguar has cost a lot of money to bring in the current condition.
The paint is very nice with a deep shine.
The body panels are all very straight with beautiful fittings.
The windows, glasses and lenses are very nice and the chrome and aluminium parts are also in a impressively nice condition.
The beautiful Red leather interior suits the outside color very nice.
Comprehensively restored, the interior features a walnut dashboard and door trims, all free of warping or cracking and polished to a high lustre.
The seats and carpet are similarly very nice, and the restored convertible hood fits well.
The instruments and switches likewise have been carefully restored.
The luggage and engine compartments are both clean and well detailed.
Purchased by the former owner for his extensive collection in 2008, the XK has been looked after by his in-house mechanic ever since, though seeing very little use, and is certain to delight its next owner.
We are personally in love with this specific Jaguar XK 120.
The sound which comes from the exhaust is slightly louder then normal. It remembers us of an XK 140 which we used some years ago for Italian rallies.
A Jaguar XK can feel so perfect. The seat position can be comfortable and the handling can be superb.
This XK120 is well sorted throughout and ready to be enjoyed by its next owner, in spirited open-air drives, touring events, or car shows.