The Jaguar XK120 was manufactured in England by Jaguar Car Ltd. between 1948 and 1954. The XK was the first post-war from the marque, succeeding the SS 100 which ended production in 1940 after the start of World War II. The XK120 was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show and highlighted the new XK engine. The XK engine is a dual overhead cam 3.4-liter, straight 6 with an alloy cylinder head and twin side-draft SU carburetors that develops 160 horsepower. 'The Motor' magazine reported a top speed of 124.6 mph in 0 to 60 in 10 seconds making it among the most powerful of sports cars. This XK is among the first 240 manufactured with alloy bodies on ash framework and was raced extensively by Roger Barlow of International Motors in Los Angeles, with mechanic Phil Hill.
The Jaguar XK120 celebrated its 60th birthday in 2008. The XK120 was the first sports car produced by Jaguar after the war. The name '120' came from the impressive 120 mph top speed of this vehicle.
The XK120 was a very important model for Jaguar. The company's impact on sports cars and road racing can't be overstated. During the early 1950's, road racing in California was taking off. International Motors was the authorized Jaguar Dealer in Hollywood, California and Roger Barlow was its owner. Barlow helped with the founding of the California Sports Car club.
Many of the early pioneers in racing came thru Barlow's International Motors. Phil Hill started as a young mechanic there. John Von Newman, Richie Ginther, Stan Nowak and other raced or were associated with the dealership.
This example is a rare alloy-bodied version. It was owned and raced by Roger Barlow. In fact, it competed at the very first California Sports Car Club race on April 16, 1950. While it still wears its race gear, the car has been judged at JCNA meets and has been celebrated at shows around the country.By Daniel Vaughan | Aug 2008