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Jaguar XK120 3.4 OTS 1953 Old English White

The XK120 was the first sports car Jaguar produced since the SS 100, which ceased production in 1940. The XK120 was first launched as a open two-seater in 1948, at the London Motor Show. It was intended to be a testbed and a show car for the new Jaguar XK engine. The display car was the first prototype, chassis number 660001. It looked almost identical to the production cars except that the straight outer pillars of its windscreen would be curved on the production version. The roadster caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into full production.

The first 242 cars produced wore wood-framed open two-seater bodies fitted with aluminium panels. In early 1950 production switched to the 51 kg heavier all-steel version. The cars owns its name to the fact that its topspeed was 120 mph, which made it the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch.

Ultimately the XK120 was available in two open versions, firstly the open two-seater (OTS), called the roadster in the US, then as a closed fixed head coupé (FHC) from 1951 and also as a drophead coupé (DHC) from 1953. A smaller-engined version with a 2-litre 4 cylinder engine, designated the XK100, intended only for the UK market was cancelled prior to production.

On 30 May 1949, on the empty Ostend-Jabbeke motorway in Belgium, a prototype XK120 timed by the officials of the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium achieved an average speed of 132.6 mph with the windscreen replaced by just a small aero screen and a alternative top gear ratio. With a passenger-side tonneau cover in place it reached 135 mph. In 1950 and 1951, at a banked oval track in France, XK120 roadsters averaged over 100 mph for 24 hours and over 130 mph for an hour, and in 1952 a fixed-head coupé took numerous world records for speed and distance when it averaged 100 mph for a week. Furthermore the roadsters were also successful in racing and rallying around the world, with wins at Le Mans, Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, Silverstone and Tulip Rally to just name a few.

The car shown here was originally sold to Mr W.R. Eijlers via main distributor Chas. Hornburg of Los Angeles California.

The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust accompanying the car, verifies that this is an original matching nrs. XK120 3.4 Open two-seater LHD. It was originally delivered in Lavender Grey with a French Grey hood and Red interior, the car was completed on 27 March 1953 and was dispatched on 2 April 1953.

It now resides in Old English White with Biscuit leather interior. Most of the restoration work on the car was done during the mid to late 1980s. In the nice history file, accompanying the car, are many invoices showing ownership and work done. This includes a bill of sale from 1958 and invoices from many years of its life.

In 2000 the car was still in California and by 2013 it was in Monaco. In 2015 it was sold to Spain. It now comes for sale with Spanish (EEC) papers, heritage sheet and history from new. It has had recent service work done and is ready for enjoyment. The car has good solid bodywork and present well. It runs and drives very well.

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