1951 Jaguar XK 120

Drophead Coupé Abbott Four-Seater Design


  • Year of manufacture 
  • Car type 
    Convertible / Roadster
  • Drive 
  • Condition 
  • Interior colour 
  • Number of doors 
  • Number of seats 
  • Location
  • Exterior colour 
  • Gearbox 
  • Fuel type 


- A 5000 hours restoration resulted in this absolute amazing condition Jaguar XK
- A full aluminium example
- An important masterpiece of post war British coach building
- Mentioned and shown in photographs in a variety of important books about Jaguar and the Jaguar XK 120 in particular
- A fine and unique Jaguar in brand new show condition throughout
- A potential prize winner on any important Concourse d’ Elegance worldwide
- Matching numbers
- Original color scheme
- With Heritage certificate, articles in books and magazines and an extensive restoration reportage

“We claimed 120 mph (for the XK120), a speed unheard of for a production car in those days” – William Heynes, Chief Engineer, Jaguar Cars.

The year 1948 saw the introduction of one of the greatest post war classic sports cars; the Jaguar XK 120.

The Jaguar XK 120 established revolutionary new standards, the car combined racing car performance with practicality.

Above that, the beauty of design was breathtaking with timeless pure lines and elegance.

Together with the introduction of the new model, the XK 120 Jaguar launched the new 3442 cc six cylinder twin cam engine.

This superb piece of machinery gave the XK 120 a top-speed of 120 mph, unrivalled in it’s decade. The Jaguar XK 120 open two-seater (OTS) was accompanied by a fixed head coupe (FHC) model in the year 1951. A drop head coupe (DHC) model saw the light of day in 1953.


This XK120 is not an ordinary standard example but a very rare aluminium coach built version.

Jaguar cars never built a XK 120 four-seater. However one extraordinary XK 120 four-seater was designed on special order by Abbott of Farnham, coachbuilders in Surrey, UK.

Just one Jaguar XK 120 four-seater DHC has been built by Abbott.

This special ordered custom built Jaguar was finished two years before Jaguar cars presented the Jaguar XK 120 drop head coupe two-seater.

On April 17, 1951, Jaguar Cars despatched a rolling chassis with number 660750 to Abbott of Farnham.

The chassis was commissioned with a custom built four-seater DHC body by Mr. David Stuart Mitchell, businessman and resident of Tauranga, New Zealand.

Abbot of Farnham created the special body from scratch starting July 13, 1951.

The car was fully built from aluminium as the early built Jaguar XK 120’s.

Abbott was a traditional coach builder in these days and could be remembered for the estate car conversions it built on big Fords during the 1950s and ’60s, which were marketed under the Farnham name (Abbott was based near Farnham in Surrey, UK). The company’s history encompasses many glamorous names and Bentley, Bristol, Nash-BMW, Lagonda and Rolls-Royce were just a few of the marques bodied by Abbott.

ED Abbott founded the company in October 1929 but its origins go back much further and the company has its roots at the very start of the motor industry. In the late 1920s a contract came in from Lagonda, to build the standard coachwork for its Rapier, and this was followed by other regular work from Frazer Nash-BMW and Talbot. Its high-profile customers included ex-prime minister David Lloyd George and writer Rudyard Kipling, who both ordered Abbott-bodies Rolls-Royces.

Following the wishes of Mr. Mitchell Abbott created an all-new four-seater bodywork inspired by the ravishing lines of the Jaguar XK 120.

All panels were hand beaten of aluminium sheet and fitted on an wooden ash frame.

The Abbott design was subtly lengthened to create extra space for the additional rear seats.

To realize excellent proportions Abbott rounded the original straight slope of the front wings and made them carry on lower towards the end of the doors.

Slightly longer than that of the stock XK120, the extra length was created by placing the boot further behind on the chassis.

The added length was brilliantly hidden within the shape of the rear wings.

The result was a surprisingly balanced and harmonious design.

The body was hand crafted in the traditional manner, using aluminium panels on an ash framework. Abbott went out of their way to ensure that the adaptations required to accommodate the extra rear seats, including moving the boot rearwards, did not ruin the XK120’s graceful lines.

The Jaguar XK 120 Abbott was found in a barn in 2002. At the end of 2002, the restoration of the Jaguar started to the highest possible standards by a world renown restoration company from Christchurch New Zealand.

The full frame-off restoration took over 5000 hours to be completed early 2006. At the 2007 Essen Techno Classica the Abbott won the first prize as best restored car of the show. Various classic car magazines published about this unique Jaguar XK 120 Abbott.

Most of parts used to built the XK 120 four-seater were also early Jaguar XK 120 items except for the door locks which were borrowed from the Jaguar SS90/SS100 models.

All bright work at the exterior were XK 120 OTS items except for the unique windscreen frame.

As ordered by Mr. Mitchell the automobile was fitted with extras like a pair of fog lamps, a radio, and a tow bar. Abbott completed their work on the special XK 120 early 1952, as they had the car shipped to Mr. Mitchell in New Zealand.


The Jaguar has been restored to the highest possible standards.

The car is perfect exterior and interior wise.

All new wiring was fitted. Nuts and bolts, screws, washers and other small parts of the original type were used but fully restored.

The restoration took about 5.000 hours of work. More than a 1000 digital pictures are available.

After thirty years on the road the owner decided to restore the Jaguar. He moved the car to a barn where it was partly dismantled and stripped of paint.

For some reason the owner changed his mind. He left the car alone and the next twenty years the Jaguar sat quietly in it’s Christchurch barn.

After discovery by a local restorer in the year 2002 the car was acquired and an extensive restoration followed.

Before the start of the restoration, the car was studied in detail. Crucial information was found in books and in old photographs.

All original parts were put together to see if the car was still complete. It was complete, even the side screens were still around.

The hood frame was found to be heavily twisted, and the boot lid had been exchanged with a badly fitting XK 140 item in the past.

The Jaguar was fully dismantled in a photographic recorded process and the body was taken off the chassis.

The body and chassis were stripped off paint completely and the bright work was stripped of old chrome.

The ash frame has been fully restored and conserved.

The original body panels were repaired and new panels were hand beaten from aluminium sheet.

The body job was carried out meticulously, the shape had to be perfect in this phase. All panels and bright work were mounted to check for perfect fit.

The body base structure and the panels were primed with special epoxy for aluminium.

Epoxy is the best primer to protect and conserve the metal. After that a layer of spray filler was applied and sanded way down to smoothen the body.

The restoration has been carried out with a minimal amount of filler (thin and crisp restoration). The bodywork was primed, sanded, painted cream white (glasslike).

All chrome parts, including the special Abbott windscreen frame and grille, were stripped of old chrome and triple plated to perfection.

The chassis was sand blasted inside and out, meticulously cleaned, primed and spray painted black according to original specifications.

The inside of the tubular chassis was extensively corrosion proofed. Fuel tank has been recreated using the original example.

All mechanics, engine, gearbox, rear axle, steering gear and brake system were fully restored and overhauled within the smallest tolerances.

The engine was given some mechanical upgrades like forged pistons. Dyno-tested for three hours before it was mounted to the car.

A new walnut veneer varnished wooden dashboard was fabricated, as original. All gauges like the odometer, speedometer, rev. counter and all switches have been taken apart for full restoration, overhaul, and calibration.

The seat frames, springs and inner material were fully restored and renewed. The seats, rear bench, door panels, dash top and bottom were upholstered with first class red Connolly leather. The floor was upholstered with fine red wool carpet.

The hood frame was stripped of paint repaired and fully restored as were the side screen frames. The soft top, side screen trim and the tonneau cover have been crafted from the highest quality mohair.

We can conclude that this fine and unique Jaguar XK 120 Abbott is in a brand new show condition throughout.

A potential prize winner on any important Concourse d’ Elegance worldwide.

Matching numbers, and restored with utmost precision.

The presence of a complete history file, Heritage certificate, articles in books and magazines, and the extensive restoration reportage, give convincing insight about the importance of this unique Jaguar.


Finished in Cream paintwork with a Red leather interior this fine example is in exceptional condition throughout.

Being restored with the utmost precision, the presence of complete history file, Heritage certificate along with being in books and magazines really give a convincing insight about the importance of this unique Jaguar.

We can be very short about the condition of the exterior of the car as every single detail is in a mint condition. The panel fits are excellent, the chrome is in excellent condition even as the windows, the wheels etc. etc.


The interior was especially fabricated for the Abbott and the design was largely taken over from the XK 120.

The rear bench was of course unique and it followed the shape of the front seats.

The dashboard was given a varnished walnut veneer facia with the same overall layout as the XK 120 OTS.

The drop head convertible top had been tailor made for the Abbott.

The entire interior, every single detail is in mint condition.


The car is in the condition of a mint top concours car and the driving is as perfect as from a just prepared holiday/rally car.

Absolutely amazing and difficult to describe how superb this Jaguar is driving.

The information provided on this website has been compiled by The Houtkamp Collection with the utmost care. The information contained within this advert is provided ‘as-is’, without warranties as to its accuracy whether expressed or implied and is intended for informational purposes only. The Houtkamp Collection is not liable for any errors or mistakes.