The Jaguar XK120 was the first post war sports car to be built following Jaguar’s hugely successful SS100. The XK120 was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show as the test-bed and show car for the new Jaguar 3.4 litre six-cylinder XK engine. The alloy cylinder head, twin side-draft SU carburettors and duel overhead-cam 3.4 litre unit produced a staggering 180bhp. The XK 120 proved an instant hit and went into immediate production on the orders of Sir William Lyons.
The Jaguar factory supplied the worlds press with a couple of XK120’s which they tested to their optimum performance in Belgium on a long, straight, stretch of road between Jabbeke and Ostend. The cars achieved speeds reaching in excess of Jaguar’s claimed 120 mph, making it the world’s fastest production car. Production was heavily biased towards the export market with a tiny number of cars remaining in the United Kingdom. The XK120 remained in production for 6 years and during this time successfully competed in many race and rally events including the Mille Miglia, Le Mans 24hr, Targa Florio. It also achieved a win in the Alpine Rally.
The Jaguar XK120 SE Coupe to ‘Nigel Dawes Specification’ Chassis no: S681366, offered here at Autostorico was first registered to Colonel Hughes from Lowery Air Force Base in Denver Colorado in 1954. The car remained in the USA passing through two further keepers until it was bought by its current owner a Jaguar enthusiast in 1994. He immediately shipped the car to the United Kingdom with the intention of having it restored and upgraded by Nigel Dawes the XK Guru who builds what is considered to be the ultimate ‘Grand Touring’ XK120 Coupe. Unfortunately, Nigel was fully committed to building his run of ten cars and unable to take another commission on. Our client then put the car into store until 2016 when he instructed Carrosserie Company in Barnard Castle, a respected restorer of pre-war Rolls Royce and Bentleys to undertake a complete body off restoration prior to painting in Aston Martin Racing Green. The engine build was entrusted to Guy Broad with the brief to build to ‘fast road specification’ which included C-Type heads. All parts for the restoration were procured from Guy Broad including; 5 speed gearbox, uprated torsion and anti-tramp bars, disc brake conversion, all new poly bush conversion, 2-inch SU carburettors, new tilting bucket seats, 123 electronic ignition, alternator, alloy radiator and fan, high torque starter. Attention then passed to the interior trim which is Fern Green leather with book matched veneer dashboard and door capping.
The car was completed in 2019 and put into storage with the intention of the car returning to the US. The owner tested the car several times whilst in the UK and was never really happy with its mid-range performance and finally reached out to Ian Nuttall at IN Racing who rebuilt the engine to his specification and completed its final performance testing.
The car comes complete with a Jaguar Heritage Certificate and a large file including various invoices and other related materials.