The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 159
1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

Selling on Saturday

1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

CHASSIS NO: 673895

• Overall complete appearing restoration candidate
• Example of one of the most important sports cars built
• Most desirable XK120 body style

3,442 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, twin SU carburetors, 160 HP, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse wishbones, elongated torsion bars and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 102”

From its landmark introduction at the London Motor Show held at Earls Court in 1948, Jaguar’s brilliant XK120 stood in stark contrast to every other sports car available at the time and forced every other manufacturer back to their respective drawing boards. As the first model powered by the all-new DOHC, inline six-cylinder “XK” engine, the XK120 was the world’s fastest production car at introduction and begat a succession of exciting new Jaguar automobiles that continued through the early 1970s. As Jaguar expert Philip Porter recently wrote for an Octane magazine retrospective article, the XK120 “…burst into a very grey world that was still recovering from the ravages of World War II, and which only served to heighten the drama of the car’s entrance.”

Originally conceived simply to publicly showcase Jaguar’s all-new XK twin-cam engine while the new Mark VII saloon chassis was being readied for introduction, the XK120 was in fact, as Jaguar author Paul Skilleter described, “…an afterthought car, an unplanned, accidental offshoot of the saloon range, it enhanced the Jaguar image enormously, besides earning many thousands of valuable dollars.” With its potent DOHC 3.4-litre inline six-cylinder engine, independent front suspension, beauty, and reasonable price, the XK120 redefined the “sports car” concept at one stroke.

Most importantly, the XK120 quickly earned a lasting niche in the lucrative American export market for Jaguar. In addition to the relative ease of service offered by the sturdy XK engine, Jaguar marque authority Paul Skilleter further noted the XK120 “…demonstrated that an ultra-fast sports car need not be uncomfortable, or intractable in heavy traffic, or require any great measure of driving skill to achieve high point-to-point average speeds over all types of road.” In short, the XK120 was, and remains, a winning combination in every respect.

This 1952 Jaguar XK120 Roadster is offered in non-running, but complete overall condition. Finished in gold paint with black upholstery piped White, this XK120 had accumulated some 72,000 miles prior to being placed into long-term storage. The legendary ‘XK’ DOHC 3.4-litre inline six-cylinder engine appears complete and retains its SU carburetors and porcelain-finished exhaust manifolds. As offered, it will provide a highly desirable and worthy candidate for complete restoration.

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