Wed, 14th Oct 2015 12:00

Imperial War Museum Duxford

  Lot 75

1952 Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe John May Speciale

Sold for £129,375

(including buyers premium)

Lot details
Registration No: USY 222
Chassis No: 679351
Mot Expiry: Exempt

- Beautiful example built to exemplary standards by John May

- Competed in the 'Daily Express' Production Jaguar race at the Silverstone Classic in July 2009

- 3.8 litre engine with semi race camshafts & 3x HD8 SU carburettors, E-Type (4.2) all synchro gearbox

In addition to maintaining the factory XK 120's for many years and providing the basis for the Nigel Dawes series, John May has been creating his own interpretations of the ideal XK Jaguar for several decades. Today, he is no longer accepting new work. It is not simply that his cars are built to exemplary standards and incorporate the fruits of his vast experience of the marque, it is his uncompromising determination to get the detail of the job absolutely right which makes his output special.

679351 left Brown's Lane in 1952, bound for the US. By the late 1990's it had found its way back to Tewkesbury and underwent a painstaking bare chassis restoration. The detailed specification was formulated with occasional competition in mind, but principally, to serve as a long range tourer. It was finished in 2000. In the early years following the completion of its build, the car took part in the road going class of a few XK races, only failing to finish once (when the driver broke the gearstick and got fed up driving around in second gear). It was always driven to and, importantly, back from the circuits at which it competed, never suffering an impact. Its only 'competitive' outing in the past 10 years came as the result of an invitation to take part in the 'Daily Express' Production Jaguar race at the Silverstone Classic in July 2009, a one off race staged to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the XK's first competition victory at Silverstone in 1949. A commemorative plaque from this event is fitted to the dashboard. Although it has had limited use, the car has been maintained by John.

Finished in Jaguar Gunmetal Grey with red leather and Turrino 5 ½ x 15" colour coded wheels with polished alloy rims laced in E-Type offset pattern, the car's enviable specification includes fixed quarter lights and rear windows, minimalist custom indicators, halogen headlights, rack & pinion steering, modified suspension geometry, adjustable telescopic dampers all round, uprated springs and torsion bars, Salisbury 4HA axle with Powr lock differential and 3.05:1 'touring' ratio, disc brakes all round with Alcon 4 pot front callipers, custom made rear anti roll bar, Dave Butcher E- type 3.8-litre engine with semi race camshafts and 3x HD8 SU carburettors, E- type (4.2) all synchro gearbox, XK 140 radiator electric fan with viscous coupling, alternator, sports exhaust with removable rear baffles, side mounted aluminium water header & oil catch tanks, bucket seats - position adjustable, 4 point harnesses, full leather trimmed roll cage, competition pedal box, leather trimmed dash, doors and rear parcel shelf and battery box, full instrumentation including map light and period aviation chronometer, period Motorola radio (display only), 2 speed wipers and electric screen wash, wood rim steering wheel, plumbed in fire extinguisher (unused), ignition cut out, burst proof aftermarket locks and leather edged carpets.

This stunning XK, ready to be enjoyed and worthy of close inspection, is offered with Swansea V5C, detailed specification sheet, Jaguar Cars vehicle information sheet, invoices from XK Developments and assorted old MoTs.

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