1954 Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster Registration no. Not UK registered Chassis no. S674964 Engine no. F2068-8S
Conceived and constructed in but a few months, the XK120 debuted at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show where the stunning-looking roadster caused a sensation, the resulting demand for what was then the world's fastest production car taking Jaguar by surprise. It was immediately obvious that the slow-to-produce alloy bodywork would have to go, and the car was swiftly re-engineered in steel. The work of Jaguar boss William Lyons himself and one of the most beautiful shapes ever to grace an automobile, the body was conceived as a coachbuilt aluminium structure for the simple reason that Jaguar expected to sell no more than 200 XK120s in the first year!
The car's heart was, of course, the fabulous XK engine, a 3.4-litre 'six' embodying the best of modern design, boasting twin overhead camshafts running in an aluminium-alloy cylinder head, seven main bearings and a maximum output of 160bhp. The XK120 set new standards of comfort, roadholding and performance for British sports cars and, in keeping with the Jaguar tradition, there was nothing to touch it at the price. Coupé and drophead coupé versions followed, and for customers who found the standard car too slow, there was the Special Equipment (SE) package which boosted power to 180bhp. With either engine and regardless of the type of bodywork, the XK120 was a genuine 120mph car capable of sustained high-speed cruising.
This XK120 comes with a Jaguar Vehicle Information Sheet showing that it was manufactured as a left-hand drive roadster and despatched new to Hoffman's in New York, USA in February 1954. The car retains matching chassis, engine and gearbox numbers, and we are advised that its engine now produces 210bhp, having been fitted subsequently with the desirable C-type cylinder head. The XK was originally finished in Pastel Blue, its colour today.
Its history is not known prior to the early 1990s when the car was sold at auction to Germany, being described at that time as a solid 'barn find'. The new owner kept it stored for several years before selling it to a buyer from Finland. The Finnish owner then consigned the car to a German specialist where a 'last nut and bolt' restoration was carried out to a high standard, the work being completed in 2009. Only slightly in excess of 200 miles have been covered since then and the XK remains in commensurately excellent condition. It also benefits from a major service carried out in June 2015 (bills available) and is ready to be enjoyed.