1950 Jaguar XK-120 news, pictures, specifications, and information
Chassis Num: 670119
Engine Num: W1192-8
Sold for $127,757 (£73,000) at 2005 Bonhams
Sold for $180,000 at 2007 Bonhams
The Jaguar XK120 was meant to be a low production model, but it was considerably more desirable and popular than expected, resulting in higher-than-expected production numbers. It was to have ash-framed alloy coachwork, but this was later replaced by steel after 240 examples had been produced. The alloy had been too expensive to produce.
This car with chassis number 670119 is a left-hand drive vehicle. It was manufactured on February 8th of 1950 and sold by Max Hoffman in New York. It is fitted with the lightweight, alloy-bodied coachwork and one of the few to have survived into modern times.
It is believed that modifications were made by the factory to prepare this for competition. It does not have welding scars from the rear trunk shelf, meaning the back was not raised to accommodate a spare. There is no skirt recess on the rear fender and no lead in the arch. It has a 9.0:1 compression ratio, larger valves, modified camshafts, and twin sand-cast 2-inch SU carburetors. Rather than bucket seats, this car is equipped with LeMans specification racing seats. The aero screen is also a LeMans items. On all four corners are original racing brake drums and Borrani hubs and wire wheels.
From 1985 to 2005 the car was part of the Walter Hill Collection. It was sold at Bonhams' Goodwood Revival Meeting Sale in September of 2005. It was originally painted pale blue but now wears a sand color.
In 2007 it was brought to the Bonhams Auction, An Important Sale of Collectors' Motorcars and Automobilia
, held at the Quail Lodge Resort & Golf Club in Carmel, California. The lot was sold for $180,000 plus premiums and taxes.By Daniel Vaughan | Apr 2008
The Jaguar XK120 was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show as a test bed and show vehicle to highlight the new Jaguar XK engine. The car caused a sensation, which persuaded William Lyons to put it into production as a standard model. The first 57 right-hand drive cars and 183 left-hand drive cars were hand produced in lightweight aluminum alloy between 1948 and 1950. The XK120 was one of the most beautiful cars in the world at a time of great austerity; the curvaceous aluminum was hand tooled and built up over an ash frame. The later steel-bodied XK120s sold in vast numbers and secured Jaguar's fine reputation as a major manufacturer of race and sports cars in the 1950s.
Jaguar has long enjoyed a storied history of dashing styling, high performance and memorable racing victories. The venerable British brand was founded by Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, two-wheel enthusiasts actually, as the Swallow Sidecar Company in 1922. In 1935 they began building cars. Frame and fortune came calling after WWII with a series of sexy sports cars and luxury saloons.
The Jaguar legend dates to 1922 when two motorcycle enthusiasts, Sir William Lyons and William Walmsley, founded the Swallow Sidecar Company. After WWII they began crafting a well-deserved reputation for creating dashing styling and high performance as a steady stream of sexy sports cars and purpose-built race cars rolled out of the British factory. In the early 1950s they added a series of elegant luxury saloons and the XJ joined this line in 1968.
The XK120 roadster had been shown at the 1948 London Motor Show as a concept showcasing the new XK engine. It was a sensation and went into production in 1949. It was named for its reported top speed of 120 miles per hour. The DOHC 3.4-liter six-cylinder engine with twin side-draft carburetors made 160 horsepower. It also had independent torsion bar front suspension, semi-elliptic rear leaf springs, and a telescopically adjustable steering column. More sport road models as well as purpose-built race cars followed that earned considerable success competing on twisty road racing circuits on both sides of the Atlantic.
This is a very early 'steel' car with aluminum bonnet, boot lid and doors which has chrome side lights, short convertible top with fixed windows, tall dash pot carburetors, flat top distributor, boat propeller fan and many other features. The car has its original engine and all accessories, original transmission and running gear and original body bonnet, boot lid and doors.
The car under went a two-year frame off restoration, which was completed in June of 1999. Since that time the car has won many firsts at concours events across the country.
Steel bodied Roadster
Chassis Num: W18608
Engine Num: W1860-8
Sold for $82,500 at 2007 RM Auctions
This 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster was offered for sale at the 2007 RM Auctions held at Meadow Brook where it was estimated to sell between $70,000 - $90,000. This car is powered by a 3442 cc twin overhead cam six-cylinder engine that is capable of producing 160 horsepower. It has a four-speed manual gearbox and four-wheel drum brakes. Since new, this car has been treated to a complex restoration. It is finished in red with tan Connolly leather interior. On all four corners are the correct steel wheels and fender spats. In the back can be found a period correct stainless steel exhaust system.
The Jaguar Xk120 Series was very reminiscent of the 'French Curves' of the pre-War era from marque's such as Delahaye and Bugatti. The styling was by William Lyons, owner of Jaguar, and was revolutionary and bold. His chief engineer, William Heynes, was tasked with designing the mechanical components. The XK120 was offered in three different body styles including roadsters, fixed head, and drop head.
The XK120 is always a popular vehicle no matter where it goes. At auction, this again proved to be true, as bidding climaxed at $82,500 including buyers premium and was sold.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2007
It is believed that the original owner of this Alloy Roadster was Hollywood icon Clark Gable. It was originally painted Suede Green from the factory, and took on a particular shade of silver gray after arriving in California. This color was the Gable's preferred choice for all his cars including the Jaguar Mark V he had been driving prior to the acquisition of his new XK-120.
The car spent four decades in the ownership of the late Joe Cotrofu of Rancho Palos Verdes, CA. This car has been described as the 'most original unrestored alloy body XK-120 in existence.' The original interior is Suede Green and the original side curtains are tan in keeping with the tan roadster top although original specs indicated a black top.
In 2009, this car was offered for sale by Bonhams at the Exceptional Motorcars and Automobilia at the Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA. It was estimated to sell for $250,000 - 300,000, but failed to find a willing buyer capable of satisfying its reserve.By Daniel Vaughan | Nov 2009
Steel bodied Roadster
Chassis Num: 670288
High bid of $170,000 at 2011 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
High bid of $125,000 at 2012 RM Auctions. (did not sell)
This Jaguar XK120 is the 288th example built and is therefore one of the early steel-bodied examples produced after the end of alloy-body production. The car was restored to the original color combination of Pastel Blue with two-tone French Blue and Gray interior. The car rides on period-correct tires manufactured by Coker Classic Tires. This Jaguar has been driven less than 100 test miles since the restoration.
In 2012, this vehicle was offered for sale at RM Auctions sale in Scottsdale, Arizona. It was estimated to sell for $175,000-$200,000. Bidding reached $125,000 but was not enough to satisfy the vehicle's reserve. It would leave the auction unsold.By Daniel Vaughan | Feb 2012
This Jaguar XK120 is one of six works-prepared lightweight aluminum-bodied XK120s readied for the 1950 competition season. It was allocated to Jaguar team driver Leslie Johnson, who was joined by Jon Lea for the car's first outing at the Mille Miglia, where it finished in fifth place. In June of 1950, it was entered at Le Mans and was running in third place after 21 hours when its clutch gave out and it failed to finish. Throughout its competition career, it entered all the major sports car races in Europe while also setting records. At the Montlhery circuit in France, Johnson and Stirling Moss gained the record for the first production car to average over 100 mph for 24 hours at an average speed of 107.46 mph. The car is shown here in its 1950 Le Mans configuration.
This Jaguar XK120 was built in the summer of 1950 as a left hand drive Roadster. It was finished in silver over red upholstery with a gunmetal top. The original distributor was Thomas Plimley of Vancouver, Canada. The first owner was the founder and President of the Montreal Jaguar Owner's Club and was first registered in Montreal, Quebec, in 1951. This XK120 was fitted with European 'tripod' headlamps and a heater. Because the Montreal Jaguar dealer also sold new Packards, a Packard under-seat heater was neatly installed upside-down beneath the dashboard.
After the original owner's death in the mid-1990s, the car was acquired by its second owner, Mr. Dean Watson. The current owner acquired the car in 2008 with just over 77,000 miles recorded, and took it home to British Columbia.
The car is original with its red leather upholstery, convertible top, and tonneau cover. The spare tire is believed to be the one it left the factory with. The car even has its rare Glasspar plastic hardtop.By Daniel Vaughan | Jan 2014
Chassis Num: 670132
Engine Num: W 1270-8
Sold for $385,000 at 2016 RM Auctions
The history of the Jaguar XK 120 dates back to an experimental '100' coupe which was built in 1938 for the Earls Court Motor Show in London. It has many design styles that would later be found on the post-War XK120. The first Jaguar XK 120 was built in just six weeks and displayed at London's Earl Court Motor Show in 1948. The first 242 cars that were built were clothed in aluminum panels over a wood frame. In the post war era, aluminum was not being rationed like steel. Plus, aluminum was easy to work with.
The Jaguar XK120 proved to be so popular, that they were eventually forced to switch to steel bodies, which could be built much faster, and in larger quantities.
The name XJ120 signified the car's top speed. This was made possible by the new 3442 cubic-centimeter double-overhead camshaft, six-cylinder engine which gave the roadster a 126.8 mph in speed trials on a public road in Jabeke, Belgium. Factory driver Ron Sutton drove an example - with the top down and the windshield removed - to a timed speed of 141.51 mph.
Between 1949 and 1954, Jaguar built 7,631 XK 120 models. 2,678 of those were coupes, built between 1951 and 1954. The drop-head coupe arrived last, with 1,769 produced in 1953 and 1954. Just 242 examples were bodied in aluminum.
This particular example is a rare Alloy Roadster that was built on February 13th of 1950 and delivered to Jaguar Cars in Brussels, Belgium. It left the factory finished in black with a two-tone Biscuit leather interior, and a black convertible top. The car's original owner was Guy Gernay, who retained it for 28 years.
The car's second owner was Rick Camparetto of Long Island, New York, who purchased it in 1978. He drove it for ten years and then commissioned a thorough restoration.
The current owner purchased the car in 2014.By Daniel Vaughan | Oct 2016
The Jaguar XK120 was designed to be a prestigious vehicle and produced in low numbers. The designation '120' represented the vehicles top speed of 120 miles-per-hour. At the time, it was the fastest production car in the world.
The British automotive industry was greatly influenced by World War II. Many manufacturers went out of business due to the lack of funds, fuel and supply shortages, or their factories had been destroyed during the war. In order to stay in business, a solid production line was required that could compete with its class of vehicles. William Lyons, owner of Jaguar, did so by creating a new class - one that was faster, more reliable, stylish, and cheaper than any other vehicle on the market.
To gain industry recognition, Lyons knew that he needed a show car that was revolutionary and bold. Lyons handled the styling while his chief engineer, William Heynes, was tasked with designing the mechanical components. When the vehicle was displayed at Earls Court, the reaction was overwhelming. Originally, Lyons planned to make between 100 and 200 examples. After the public reaction to the car and to keep up with demand, he decided to change the body from hand-formed aluminum to all-steel construction.
The body of the car was reminiscent to the 'French Curves' produced by manufacturers such as Bugatti and Delahaye of the early 1930's and 1940's. They were created in three different body styles, roadster, fixed head, and drop head (convertible).
The vehicle was powered by a 160 horsepower, 3.4 liter, inline-six cylinder engine. Peak horsepower was achieved at 5000 RPM. The 120-mph was the promised speed, the top speed of the vehicle was around 126-132 mph depending on the trim of the vehicle.
The vehicle was designed as a touring car. However, many of the vehicles were raced. Their main weaknesses were their drum brakes which wore quickly, and their steering which was heavy and less responsive when compared to other purpose-built racing vehicles.
In 1951, Jaguar entered the grueling 24-hour of Le Mans endurance race. Three XK120C, the 'C' representing 'competition', were entered. One of the three entrants won the event.
In 1952, an XK120 was driven continuously for seven days and nights around a track located in Montlhery, France. After more than 16,000 miles in one week, the vehicle once again proved its endurance capabilities.
In 1954 production ceased. Over 12,000 examples were produced.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2008
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