Lot 334 - 1954 Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupé
|Odometer reading||40,500 miles|
|Estimate||£37,000 - £42,000|
|Result||Sold - £75,404|
The Earls Court Motor Show, London in October 1948 saw the introduction of the aluminium bodied XK120 Open Two Seater (OTS). In this post war austerity period, this dramatic sporting and luxurious Jaguar was immediately successful. Incredibly, the classic shape came about quite unintentionally. William Heynes, Jaguar's Chief Engineer, oversaw the development of the XK six-cylinder engine that was developed with the intention of powering a new high performance saloon. The XK120 body was put together to clothe the test bed for the new engine and so it progressed from there. The first cars were built using the traditional pre-war method of aluminium coachwork over an ash frame; it was not until April 1950 that a steel bodied XK120 was produced. Once the new OTS had become established, the fixedhead coupé and drophead coupé models were put into production.
March 1951 saw the first drophead coupé and with a double lined hood, quarter lights and (unlike the roadster) wind up windows, it feels very snug and comfortable once the hood is up which makes it an ideal choice for relaxed high speed cruising in even the most severe weather conditions. Air vents in the front wings were introduced in 1951 to ventilate the footwells as additional comfort for the driver and passenger. Production of the XK120 only came to an end in 1954 with the introduction of the XK140.
On sale today is an XK120 drophead coupé first registered on the 9th February 1954. During the course of its life, this XK has undergone some useful upgrades for modern road use. She is fitted with the later more powerful 3.8 XK unit coupled to a standard four speed (plus reverse) Moss gearbox with a stainless steel competition exhaust providing the music. Stopping power is supplied by disc brakes all around with XK150 springs fitted to the rear. A Kenlow fan ensures confidence in traffic and non-standard seat belts are fitted for the safety of the occupants. Road contact is via the bodied-coloured wire wheels which are shod with Pirelli Cinturato tyres.
This example has been in the current ownership for the past 14 years (with the previous owner having the car some nearly 10 years) and has been used for several Norwich Union runs, occasional outings and a sojourn to the south of France. A full history is supplied for this period with all the MoT test certificates, tax discs and invoices for works carried out. It should be noted that the invoices within the history file include works by the highly respected Jaguar specialists, Nigel Dawes, Peter Chambers and Brian Windle. Recent works include: a re-cored radiator, brake overhaul, waxoil, new rubber cased six volt batteries and a full service. The chassis is described by the vendor as excellent and the coachwork is also in very good condition throughout. A note within the history file states that prior to the current ownership, this XK has undergone the following works: 1986 bare metal lead filled respray, trimmed by Suffolk and Turley at that time, 1987 works by XK engineering, 1993/4 new hood, tonneau, re-veneered dash and leather door trims fitted amongst other items recorded.
The model presented here with coachwork in Royal Blue with matching hood, tonneau cover and contrasting grey leather trim and sitting on painted wire wheels. It is understood that she will be presented with a new MoT test certificate prior to sale and with a current road fund licence valid until the end of March, 1274 EL is ready to use immediately.
Interested parties should satisfy themselves as to the description and condition of each lot prior to the sale. Accordingly, buyers are on notice that each vehicle is offered ‘as is/as seen’ subject to the Terms and Conditions for the auction. Buyers are advised to inspect the vehicle in person or use a professional to carry out this service. Historics will not entertain disputes over descriptions.