1950 Jaguar XK 120

Alloy Roadster 'Barn Find'

Summary

  • Year of manufacture 
    1950
  • Car type 
    Other
  • Lot number 
    207
  • Condition 
    Used
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
    Other

Description

  • One of 184 left-hand-drive alloy examples
  • Numbers matching chassis, engine, gearbox, and body
  • Loosely reassembled and evaluated by noted marque expert
  • A charming barn find Jaguar, off the road since 1982

Steel was in short supply in the years following World War II, which prompted Jaguar to abandon its plans to build its first post-war model from that comparatively pliable material and instead utilize alloy panels over a wood frame. The XK 120 was initially intended as a stop-gap model for Jaguar, and a home for its new 160-horsepower straight-six, but its legacy is unparalleled.

Chassis 670053 was completed on 12 December 1949 leaving Holbrook Lane finished in attractive Suede Green over a matching Suede Green interior. It was dispatched on 3 January 1950 to Hoffman in New York. What happened to the car over the subsequent years is not entirely known, though this XK 120 eventually made its way from Washington State over the border to British Columbia, where it was tucked away in a garage in Sidney, a quiet coastal town on Vancouver Island. The Jaguar was carefully dry stored, and it would remain tucked away from the public’s eye for nearly four decades before it saw the light of day again.

The wait was certainly worth it, as appreciation for early examples of the XK 120 – especially the mere 184 left-hand-drive alloy examples built – has never been stronger. Though partially disassembled and stored in boxes at the time of its slumber, the car was recently loosely reassembled for the purpose of determining its completeness by British marque expert Richard Owen of Owen Automotive. According to its Jaguar Heritage Trust production trace certificate, the Jaguar retains its numbers matching chassis, engine block, gearbox, and body. The 3.4-liter straight-six has been bored out and though it turns over freely, is in need of a full rebuild. The engine is fitted with an unstamped ‘studless’ Williams Mills foundry cylinder head, which is believed be the correct type for these early cars. The wheels have been restored in preparation of a topcoat, and new Avon tires are fitted.

Some quirks that speak to the car’s past include a custom stainless instrument panel, wooden dashboard fascias, and a bonnet from a later production steel car. What has not changed are the car’s fundamentals, retaining much of the hard-to-find hardware specific to these aluminum cars. The car is also accompanied by its JDHT certificate and a tool roll. The chance to rehabilitate one of the most storied post-war sports cars is exceptionally unusual, making this XK 120 an extraordinary opportunity.

Please note that an import duty of 2.5% of the purchase price is payable on this lot if the buyer is a resident of the United States.

To view this car and others currently consigned to this auction, please visit the RM website at rmsothebys.com/en/auctions/mo20.