|Hammer value||N/S (est. £65,000 - £70,000)|
|Description||Jaguar XK120 FHC|
|Registration||AE 83 87|
|Engine size||3,442 cc|
Jaguar's first post-war sports car, the XK120 roadster was conceived and designed in a matter of months, primarily to act as a showcase for the marque's new XK engine. Shown at the 1948 Earls Court Motorshow in the dark days of rationing, it caused such a sensation that William Lyons was forced to put it into production right away. Arrestingly beautiful, the first cars had handbuilt aluminium bodies on an ash frame, but by 1950 a more mass production version with a pressed steel body with alloy doors, bonnet and boot had been developed. A fixed head version was launched in 1951, followed by a drophead in 1953. Just 12,780 Jaguar XK120s were produced before it was replaced by the larger XK140 in October 1954, the vast majority in left-hand drive.
The chassis was a strong box-section affair with independent torsion-bar front suspension, a leaf-sprung 'live' rear axle and hydraulic drum brakes. Power came from the now legendary XK twin-overhead cam 3.4-litre straight-six engine, developing 160bhp and giving the car a genuine 120mph top speed, making it the fastest production car of its day – hence the XK120 name. In 1952 Stirling Moss and three other drivers famously drove a virtually standard XK120 around the banked track at Montlhery for seven days and nights on end, clocking up an average speed of 100.31mph before driving the car back to London with no problems whatsoever.
This stunning left-hand drive 1952 XK120 fixed-head coupe was fully restored 10 years ago by Dutch specialists, Fokkens Engineering, at a cost of over 100,000 Euros (£90,000 with bills on file). Virtually every part of the car was rebuilt or renewed as necessary, including a full interior retrim in black leather with bucket seats and a Moto-Lita woodrim steering wheel and boss which makes for more leg room so drivers over 6ft tall will comfortably fit inside.
To promote cooling it is fitted with a louvered bonnet with leather strap, uprated aluminium radiator and Kenlow-type fan. Other features include 2" sand cast carbs (costing 3,600 Euros) with Facet fuel pump and racing filler cap, dual circuit brakes and new Vredestein tyres all round. Superbly detailed throughout and said to drive beautifully, the car has only covered some 3,000 miles since completion.
Although all duties have been paid, the car has not yet been UK registered and is still on its Dutch number plates. With an MOT until June 2012, this is a truly outstanding car that is worthy of the closest inspection.