Lot 305

Monterey 2023

1949 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster


$190,400 USD | Sold

United States | Monterey, California



Chassis No.
Engine No.
W 1112-8
Cylinder Head No.
W 1112-8
US Title
  • One of 184 left-hand drive alloy roadsters
  • Comprehensively restored in 1990 and well maintained since
  • Factory-correct Red over Biscuit and Red leather interior with a black soft-top
  • Numbers-matching 3.4-liter inline six-cylinder engine and cylinder head
  • Vintage rally veteran; JDHT certificate

Intended as a concept car to showcase Jaguars’ remarkable new twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine, the XK 120’s breathtaking styling and groundbreaking performance created a sensation at the 1948 London Motor Show. Jaguar rushed the largely hand-built aluminum-bodied XK 120 into production, but with time and delivery pressures mounting, it soon reengineered the car for mass production using steel bodies. A mere 242 aluminum examples were built before the XK 120 shifted to steel production, making the lighter, handcrafted aluminum cars forever rare and desirable.

The example offered here is believed to be one of 184 left-hand drive alloy cars built. It was completed on 16 December 1949 and shipped to Canadian distributor James L. Cooke Motors in Toronto, Canada, according to its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate. The original dealer is not recorded, but it is likely to have been Cooke Motors, and the “date of dispatch” is listed as January 1950. Then, as now, it was finished in vibrant Red with a Biscuit and Red leather interior and black soft-top. Crucially, the car retains its numbers-matching 3.4-liter inline six-cylinder and cylinder head. Characteristic pressed steel wheels and rear wheel spats lend a dramatic shape and clean look. (Frequently, wire wheels are fitted in place of the pressed steel type, which necessitates the removal of the spats to accommodate the wire wheel hubs.)

This XK 120 benefitted from a comprehensive restoration by RM Auto Restoration in 1990, the quality of work evident in the excellent panel fit and even gaps, difficult to achieve with this body. Thoroughly appreciated on-road under previous ownership, this two-time veteran of the Colorado Grand rally remains well-preserved, a testament to consistent care from conscientious owners. Overall, the presentation is one of a sensitively matured restoration that conveys both the excellence of the original design and the quality of skilled refurbishment.

The current owner, a multiple vintage sports car enthusiast, acquired this XK 120 out of California in 2014, continuing its mindful maintenance and servicing as needed. In July 2022, a new 12-volt Odyssey Extreme battery is said to have been installed and the brake master-cylinder is said to have been rebuilt. The fuel-pump diaphragm was replaced in 2023.

Now offered with side curtains, side curtain covers, and a car cover, this XK120 represents an outstanding opportunity to acquire a well-preserved, conscientiously enjoyed example of one of the 20th Century’s most iconic cars, eminently capable and entertaining, built to run fast.