1954 Jaguar XK 120

It is Spring, and so we look at another convertible with an interesting history:

Launched at the 1948 London Motor Show as a show car, it caused a sensation. Following the economic austerity of World War II, the XK120 was a shock. Jaguar’s first post-war sports car was beautiful and elegant, and demonstrated “Britain had both the technical capacity and design excellence to deliver a sensual and emotionally engaging car.”

Originally a concept car showcasing Jaguars’ new twin-cam inline-6 cylinder engine, the combination of styling, 120 mph performance, and surprisingly affordable price, the overwhelmingly positive reaction persuaded Jaguar to put it into production.

It was powered by a dual overhead-cam 3.4 L straight-6 XK engine, which made 160hp. The “120” in its name refers to the XK’s 120 mph top speed (faster with the windscreen removed). This made it¬† the world’s fastest production car at the time of its launch. XK120s did well in racing, and set numerous high-speed runs and records.

Manufactured between 1948 and 1954, about 12,000 were built. They range in price from $50k for a rough version, six figures for a nicely restored example; Concourse quality cars can go for even more.



Source: Classic Driver

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