22nd Jun, 2022 13:00

Imperial War Museum, Duxford

Lot 48

1953 Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupé

Sold for £68,625

(including buyers premium)

Lot details

Registration No: 388 UYY
Chassis No: 677636
MOT: Exempt

  • Subject to a comprehensive mechanical overhaul by Jaguar specialists The Splined Hub to the cost of over £30,000
  • Matching chassis and engine block numbers
  • The beneficiary of some £54,000 worth of restoration expenditure since 2015
  • Finished in an appealing colour combination and fitted with a Guy Broad five-speed gearbox
  • Sold new in 1953 via Hornburg, Jaguar’s Los Angeles distributor

The stunning-looking XK120 Roadster caused a sensation when launched at the 1948 London Motor Show. Capable of 120mph and more, it immediately assumed the mantle of the world's fastest production car. The equally elegant Fixedhead Coupé version followed in 1951 with the Drophead Coupé completing the range in 1953. The key to the car's electrifying 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 order to confirm the model's top speed potential to the press, the second XK120 built was driven flat out on the Jabbeke straight, Belgium, achieving an astonishing 136.596mph in stripped form.

According to the accompanying Jaguar Heritage Trust certificate, this XK120 was dispatched via the company's Los Angeles distributor Hornburg in left-hand-drive Drophead Coupé configuration having been manufactured on the 8th of July 1953. Finished in Dove Grey with Tan-coloured interior trim upholstery and a Fawn hood, the XK120 is thought to have competed in a modest amount of racing in Arizona through the ‘70s. Spending the majority of its life in Arizona until being shipped to Germany in 1990, ‘388 UYY’ was placed into storage in a container awaiting the beginning of a restoration that never materialised.

Rediscovered in 2015, the previous owner commissioned a full body-off cosmetic restoration, with the refurbishment involving: a bare-metal respray; full interior retrim (including re-upholstery, dashboard and carpets); a replacement hood; replacement and re-chroming of the chrome parts; fitment of a new Guy Broad five-speed gearbox; and new wire wheels and tyres. The total expenditure on the parts alone is understood to have exceeded £24,000.

Imported into the United Kingdom in 2017, the Jaguar was purchased by the vendor (in 2018) who subsequently commissioned a comprehensive mechanical restoration by The Splined Hub (renowned Jaguar specialists) which exceeded over £30,000 worth of expenditure. The work comprised a full engine overhaul with a replacement cylinder head; suspension renewal; re-wiring; cooling system refurbishment; a braking system overhaul; steering column and shaft renovation; heating repairs; fettling to the door and bonnet fitment; amongst much more. The wood trim and veneering were also replaced by Chapman and Cliff.

Boasting matching chassis and engine block numbers (with the original head accompanying too), ‘388 UYY’ is offered complete with the aforementioned Heritage certificate, invoices relating to the Splined Hub restoration and previous works, along with a current V5C document.

For more information, please contact:
Paul Cheetham
07538 667452


Auction: Imperial War Museum, Duxford, 22nd Jun, 2022


Tuesday 21st June 2022 from 12pm to 6pm
Wednesday 22nd June 2022 from 9am

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