1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster

Lot 19 | Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate: Not Sold


1950 Jaguar XK120 Alloy Roadster

Lot 19 | Monterey Jet Center Auction | Estimate: Not Sold


  • One of only 242 alloy bodied cars constructed
  • World's fastest production car upon debut in 1949
  • Numbers matching 3.4 L DOHC inline six-cylinder engine
  • Includes a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate documenting original build details


Chassis No. 670121
Engine No. W 1193-8

With the end of WWII in sight, Jaguar Chief Engineer William Heynes and his team were hard at work engineering Jaguar's first in-house engine design. His resulting work, the legendary 'XK' 3.4 L twin overhead cam engine, produced 160 hp from its six-cylinders when topped with twin SU carburetors. Initially developed to power Jaguar's new luxurious Mark V sports sedan, the XK engine was first fitted to an ash-framed, Mark V chassis modified to accept an all-enveloping roadster body.

The Jaguar XK120 'Super Sports' roadster debuted at the British International Motor Show, Earls Court, London on 20 October 1948. As the first show since the end of World War II, it was very well-attended with over 500,000 Britons present to view the automotive world entering an exciting, new era. The model number '120' was so named on an expected top speed of 120 mph, a claim that became fact when a stock model reached 126.4 mph on a closed Belgian motorway in June of 1949. The Super Sports' pace was soon proven in competition at the Silverstone International Production Car Race with XK120s finishing in first and second place after 28 laps.

Initial public reaction to its appearances at Earls Court and Silverstone left no doubt that the XK120 would need larger scale production. After only 242 alloy-bodied cars were built, XK120 body production shifted to steel, which was becoming more widely available as post-war material shortages began to ease. While appearing very similar to the steel cars there are numerous differences found only on the alloy models. Chrome top bows and seat bases, tall neck SU carburetors, gas filler lock located on the rear fender, a passenger grab bar mounted below the edge of the scuttle rather than the dash, and the large rubber grommets on the base of the windshield posts are all subtle details that set them apart.

According to the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust, this XK120 was the 121st alloy car produced, with a build date of 6 February 1950. It was shipped in left hand drive configuration to the Max Hoffman Company in New York, 23 March 1950, only eight months after the first XK120 landed in the United States. Rear-wheel spats, slim front bumpers with guards, and steel disc wheels accentuate its graceful, sweeping contours that feature a narrow 13 bar grill and faired Lucas PF770 tri bar headlights. The aircraft type, fully instrumented dash containing a 140 mph Smiths speedometer made quite the statement in 1950.

This alloy-bodied XK120 with its numbers matching engine resided for a number of years in a prominent Swiss collection where it was campaigned on a number of tours and rally events before returning to the United States where it passed through two more esteemed and significant collections in Southern California. Touring events continued stateside with completion of the prestigious Colorado Grand. Originally Pastel Blue with Duo Blue seating, chassis number 670121 was refinished in Jaguar Old English White over a Red / Beige leather interior. The body wears the period appropriate livery combination so well that this Jaguar appears more like a patinated, preservation class XK120 than an older restoration. It is completed with side curtains, an Operator's Handbook, tool roll, jack, tire pump, spat key, grease gun and a Jaguar Heritage Trust Certificate confirming original build details.


Alexander Weaver
Senior Car Specialist

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