Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe 1953

Model history

The Jaguar XK120 set new standards of comfort, roadholding and performance for British sports cars. It brought racing car performance to the road, yet it did so with a level of comfort and sophistication unknown in such a vehicle. The car was intended for limited production only to try out Jaguar’s new twin overhead camshaft engine, designated during design and development by the initials ‘XK’. In its original form, the engine gave 160bhp, sufficient to endow the XK120 with a top speed to match its name and exceptional acceleration. The car was the fastest in production in the world and at 1263 pound (including purchase tax), the exciting new performance within the reach many people.

The XK120 proved particularly successful in competition, and in 1949 a virtually standard car achieved a speed of 126.594 miles per hour, proving the model designation “120” was no overstatement. Star American racing driver and eventual World Champion Phil Hill successfully campaigned an alloy XK120 Roadster in 1950, concluding the season at the inaugural Pebble Beach Cup race of 5 November 1950. Despite the loss of the car’s clutch and brakes, Hill still managed a first-place finish in a performance that truly defined his driving skill and the XK120’s competition prowess.

The Jaguar XK120 was produced in 3 body configurations: as a Open Two-Seater (OTS), a Fixed Head-Coupé (FHC) and as a Drophead Coupé (DHC). FHC and DHC models had additional or alternative items of body trim associated with the windows and roofs.

The Jaguar XK120 DHC was more luxurious compared to the OTS which combined the virtues of the OTS and the FHC.

To name a few features, DHC models had chromed door handles and side window frames were fitted. The seat squabs had more shape and the dashboard was entirely different. The dashboard in the DHC was an opulent wooden one with walnut veneer.
The DHC’s mohair folding hood was a much more elaborate affair than the roadster’s an it had an inner headlining which made the mechanism invisible.

The Jaguar XK120 DHC was in production for less than 18 months and so fewer were made than the roadsters.

The appeal of XK’s today is probably based on such intangibles as nostalgia and style, but they can be very practical cars. Part of the XK120’s charm is its lack of body trim, which allows the pure, clean shape of the car to be fully appreciated. The performance, even by today’s standards, is highly respectable. A top speed of 120mph is still very impressive and the acceleration is surprisingly lively.

This example

This particular example was manufactured on 19 March 1953 and distributed by Max Hoffman USA on 31 March 1953.
It was imported from the United States into England in June 1990. The car had only one English owner who lived in a small village near Luton. In 2000 it was imported in the Netherlands in a solid and original condition but needing restoration.

The car was carefully restored in the period 2000-2004 to concours condition. No expenses were spared and countless hours have been spent building this car. The well documented body-off restoration was completed in the Netherlands in 2004 by well known restoration shop of Bart Holland.

The restorations costs were an incredible 700.000 Dutch Guilders, although the estimate was 300.000,- Guilders.

Since the restoration the car has done very few km and it is still impeccable and very close to perfection.

The car comes with records of service history and lots of documentation of restoration is available.

The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate is also included which confirm that this car is a matching numbers and original LHD Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe from 1953. The car is finished in its original special order Baltic Grey with an tan leather interior and fitted with the optional ‘’cranked’’ gear lever. The soft top is finished in original black mohair.

We are very pleased to offer this wonderful Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe from 1953 on behalf of its first and only Dutch owner. Surely one of the best XK120’s available to the market today.

This example ticks all the right boxes and will simply not disappoint upon viewing.

Dutch registration.

Price is 155.000,- euro.

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