In 1948, at the Earls Court Motor Show in London, Jaguar presented the world’s fastest production car. The Jaguar XK 120, introduced as an open two seater, reached, as its name suggests, an unprecedented speed of 120 miles (193 kilometers) per hour.
The body of the car was designed by director and founder of Jaguar, Sir William Lyons himself. The shapes of the beautiful sports car body were praised and adored in the competition. The original shapes of the prototype car, frame number 660001, were largely preserved until production cars, but the body material soon changed from aluminum to steel. The first production car, the XK 120 with chassis number 670003, was delivered to Hollywood actor Clark Gable.
It wasn’t just a new car model, but the role of the XK 120 was much bigger. It served as a test bed for new XK engine, designed by Jaguar’s chief engineer William Heynes. The revolutionary inline six engine was equipped with two overhead camshafts, aluminium-alloy cylinder head and seven main bearings, producing a maximum output of 160 horsepower. The XK engine became one of the most prestigious six-cylinder engines of all time, which Jaguar used with various versions until the 1990s.
Already before the end of the Second World War, Jaguar knew how to design and make sports cars. Before the XK the latest sports car in production was the SS100. It was name came by Swallow Sidecar, the company that preceded Jaguar. 100 was named after the car’s power. SS100 was also successful in motor sports, both on gravel and on the track. The new XK 120 was no exception to Jaguar’s motorsport success and it not only broke speed records, but was also successful in Le Mans, Targa Florio, Mille Miglia and also in Monte Carlo rallies. Leslie Johnson, Clemente Biondetti, Ian Appleyard, Tommy Wisdom and Sir Stirling Moss, just to name a few motorsport legends who have raced with XK 120 Jaguars. In Finland SPJ Keinänen won Eläintarhan ajot – race with XK120 in 1951.
The motorsport success of the XK 120 signaled Jaguar’s direction far into the future and encouraged Lyons and Heynes to invest not only for the development of sports cars, but also in motorsport. The XK series was continued and in 1954 the larger XK 140 was introduced followed XK 150 in 1957, that was also available as a four-seater.
This particular XK 120 Open Two Seater was manufactured in Coventry in 1950. The Jaguar was brought to Finland by R. Forrström, the founder of the Finnish Jaguar club, whose company Suomen sijoitusautot specialized in the sale and restoration of British classics. Forrström decided to completely rebuild the XK120 in the spirit of a Le Mans racer. The car was made with a 100% aluminum body. Engine was updated to similar XK -engine as the very original straight six, but bigger 4.2 litre that was tuned with, among other things, bigger carburettors and performance camshafts.
The restoration of the car is complete and has included, among other things, a thorough restoration of the body and chassis, a complete restoration and rebuilding of the engine and gearbox, and renewal of the electrical and stainless steel exhaust systems. The Jaguar has updated with bigger disc brakes both in front and rear.
The interior has been rebuilt to every detail and the wooden steering wheel and upholstery have been renewed. The body is finished in Jaguar’s metallic silver tone. The hood is locked in the Le Mans spirit with a leather strap and the windshields are the original Brooklands.
The Jaguar has been with its current owner shortly after its completion since year 2005. The car has only been driven a few hundred kilometers since finished the rebuilt and restoration. The Jaguar is really fast, works perfectly and is indeed a real driving pleasure.
The Jaguar will be sold with fresh Mot/Tüv inspection valid until 07/2024.
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