Launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, the Jaguar XK120 Roadster caused a sensation. Penned by Sir William Lyons, the model's sensuous lines seemed almost impossibly glamorous to a country still feeling the effects of rationing. While, the 120mph top speed that its name signified soon became the stuff of legend. Literally flooded with orders, Jaguar began limited hand-built production soon thereafter (although, it was not until 1950 that the factory was sufficiently 'tooled-up' to discard aluminium in favour of steel for the curvaceous bodywork). Based around a cruciform-braced box-section chassis equipped with independent torsion-bar front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle and hydraulic drum brakes, the lithe two-seater proved equally adept on road or track winning both the RAC TT and Alpine Trial during 1950 (the former victory coming at the hands of Sir Stirling Moss). Credited with developing some 160bhp and 190lbft of torque in standard tune, its legendary 3442cc DOHC straight-six engine was allied to four-speed manual transmission. Arguably, the defining sportscar of its generation, a perilously shaky post-WW2 British economy gave the Coventry manufacturer little choice but to concentrate on overseas sales.
According to its accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Production Trace Certificate, this particular example left the famous Browns Lane factory bound for America on 11th March 1952. Imported via Max Hoffman's New York based distributorship and registered to Charles P Goggi Esq of Tryon Polk County, North Carolina the following year, the XK120 subsequently spent time in Rockdale County, Georgia. Repatriated to the UK during the early 1980s, the two-seater was treated to a very extensive restoration (including conversion from left- to right-hand drive) by David A.C. Royale & Co of County Durham some ten years later. Detailed invoices on file from 1990 - 1991 total approximately £36,000 and give an indication as to the thoroughness of the work. Aside from a further £3,500 spent on engine repairs in 1993, the Roadster appears to have needed little by way of expenditure over the last two decades. Finished in red with black leather upholstery, the Jaguar rides on smart chrome wire wheels and boasts such worthwhile upgrades as disc brakes and flashing indicators.
Image and description kindly supplied by H&H Classic Auctions
Jaguar XK120 Roadster 1952
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