1950 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster
Lot 823 | Passion for the Drive: The Cars of Jim Taylor | Estimate: $325,000 - $375,000
Chassis No. 670116
Engine No. W 1225-8
Body No. F 1158
One of the 240 early alloy-bodied XK 120s, this car is identified on its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, a copy of which is included in the file, as having been originally dispatched on 21 February 1950, and sold by Max Hoffman in New York, finished in red with fawn interior. Its original engine was no. W 1225-8. Inspection confirms that the cylinder head has been replaced, though it retains the original, numbers-matching engine block, as well as the original chassis number tag within the engine compartment.
According to racing historian Jim Sitz, the Jaguar was owned by Richard H. “Dick” Irish, who in May 1951 finished 9th in the Giants Despair Hillclimb, followed by participation that December in the 2nd Annual Road Races at Palm Beach Shores, Florida. Reportedly that same year he traded the car in on a Norton-engined Kieft Formula III and a Ford pickup truck, then went on to set track records at such East Coast venues as Senator Newell Wood's Brynfan Tyddyn, where one turn was dubbed “Irish Corner” in a nod to Mr. Irish.
The car was acquired in 1988 by Terry Cohn of Surrey, who completed a restoration in black, after which the XK 120 was driven by Martin Stretton to victory in its class in the 1988 Tour Auto. Cohn kept the XK 120 until 2000, when he sold it to Peter Scott, who reportedly intended to use it on the grueling South American Inca Rally. That endeavor never came to fruition and the Jaguar was sold in 2002 to Jim Foght of Illinois, who entered it in several concours; despite its preparation for rallying, the car did extraordinarily well, scoring 99.44 points in the JCNA Competition Class in August 2003, and First in Class at Greenwich in 2004. Mr. Taylor acquired the XK 120 from Mr. Foght in 2006.
The car retains its 'rally restoration,' with features such as C-type-style bucket seats with five-point harnesses, a Terratrip rally computer, turn signals, provisions for the fitment of Brooklands-style windscreens, and turn signals, as well as a sporting louvered hood and 15-inch chrome wire wheels with two-bar knock-offs, shod in aggressive radial tires. The interior has a wonderful, purposeful feel thanks to the presence of the original steering wheel on its telescopic column and a dash laid out with original gauges. Lockheed front disc brakes have been installed, along with an aluminum radiator, an electric fan, and a five-speed gearbox; the engine is fitted with large early sand-cast SU carburetors and, importantly, stainless steel exhaust.
As is typical of this collection, the restoration has been scrupulously upkept and is still in fine order even after extensive use, with only slight wear noticeable throughout, in particular to the carpets. Indeed, Mr. Taylor loves this Jaguar and has used it extensively over the years, including in the Colorado Grand, for which he has occasionally loaned it to equally sporting friends.
At the time of cataloging, the car had recorded 9,650 miles. It is accompanied by an original handbook, as well as a tonneau cover, knock-off hammer, jack, original-style tan leather seats matching the interior trim, as well as a collection of service invoices and judging sheets from the Foght ownership and copies of older British registration documents. In sum, it is a superb example for continued enthusiastic enjoyment, exactly the same pleasure that it has given Jim Taylor for the past sixteen years.