Lot 180 - 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Lot 180 - 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Lot 180 - 1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Lot Number 180
Registration 345 RU
Chassis Number 660808
Engine Number W33388
Odometer reading 35,390 miles
Result Sold - £96,220
  • Stunning restored example
  • Recent full mechanical overhaul by RPS
  • Successfully raced in period

The Jaguar XK120 was manufactured between 1948 and 1954 and was Jaguar's first sports car since the SS100 which ceased production in 1940. The XK120 was launched in roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show as a show car for the new Jaguar XK engine. It caused a sensation, thus persuading Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put the car into production. The '120' in its name referred to its 120mph top speed which made the XK120 the world's fastest standard production car at the time of its launch. It was available in two open versions; first as the roadster, then also as a drophead coupé from 1953. It was also available as a closed, or 'fixed-head' coupé from 1951. With an alloy cylinder head and twin side-draft SU carburettors, the double overhead-cam 3.4 litre straight six XK engine was comparatively advanced for a mass-produced unit of the time. With a standard compression ratio of 8:1 it developed 160bhp. This same basic design of the XK engine, later modified into 3.8 litre and 4.2 litre versions, survived into the late 1980s. All XK120s had independent torsion bar front suspension, semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear, re-circulating ball steering, telescopically adjustable steering column and all-round 12-inch drum brakes.

Manufactured on the 23rd May 1951 and dispatched to the first owner, Peter French, for the 14th June. This stunning XK120 roadster is presented in Silver with contrasting blood red trim and benefitted from a new hood frame, hood and side screens in 2016. Our vendor has owned this car since 2015 and has since treated the car to a full mechanical overhaul with RPS (Rally Preparation Services) in Oxfordshire, experts in their field. Between June 2019 and July 2021 this included stripping and overhauling the cylinder head converting to unleaded, a rebuilt steering box and culminated in a stripped and rebuilt gearbox a modified radiator and brake overhaul with detailed invoices in excess of £35,000. In period we are informed that this car competed with racing driver Billy Bradshaw and was successful winning the 1956 Walter Sexton Memorial Trophy and that a genuine C-Type head was purchased for the princely sum of £100 and fitted during this period (no longer with the car). Now a restored example with an original service manual and history folder with impeccable mechanical workmanship this car would be a fabulous addition to any collection and would be an ideal car for any XK enthusiast looking to enjoy the joy of driving these 50’s sports cars.

Interested parties should note that the C-Type head fitted in period when racing is no longer with this car.

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.

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