Lot 28 (Chateau Impney, 7th December 2016)
Registration No: YWG 503
Chassis No: 672627
Mot Expiry: Exempt
An eye-catching sight in period Pastel Green, this lovely lefthand drive Roadster has had just three owners from new and only one for the last 48 years. A remarkably original, unrestored, matching numbers example even down to its cylinder head, it has undoubtedly benefited greatly from a life in the California sunshine and being garaged when not in use. A recent £5,500 recommission means it is now ready for a new keeper to add to the existing relatively modest mileage of 66,000. The vendor variously grades the Jaguar as having an 'excellent' XK engine, 'very good' Roadster bodywork and manual transmission, 'average' paintwork, and 'poor' Green interior trim. UK registered and equipped with original-style Ace number plates, 'YNG 503' should be eligible for a number of significant historic events, including the Mille Miglia.
The stunning-looking XK120 Roadster caused a sensation when it was launched at the London Motor Show of 1948. Capable of 120 mph and more (hence the name), it immediately assumed the mantle of the world's fastest production car. The equally elegant Fixed Head Coupe version followed in 1951 with the Drop Head Coupe completing the range in 1953. The key to the car's stunning performance was its all new, alloy-headed DOHC 3.4-litre, straight-six engine, the basic design of which successfully powered a whole range of Jaguars until the late '80s. In standard form the output was 160bhp, but in SE (Special Equipment) guise (which included firmer suspension and a twin exhaust) this rose to 180bhp, and with the C-Type head installed nearer 200bhp was on tap. In testing a Fixed Head SE XK120 in 1952, Autocar achieved a 0-60mph time of 9.9 seconds. The 120's suspension was independent by wishbones and torsion bars at the front and by live axle mounted on semi-elliptic leaf springs at the rear.