Amelia Island | Lot 173
1954 Jaguar XK 120 SE Roadster
$109,200 USD | Sold
| Amelia Island, Florida
22 May 2021
- Highly desirable “SE” specification
- British Racing Green over biscuit Connelly leather interior
- Numbers-matching engine block and body
- Benefits from a previous restoration circa 2008 and nearly $8,000 USD of service completed January 2021
Sir William Lyons assumed that the post-WWII fortune of his company would be made on saloon cars for export markets. As the new saloon body was not yet ready for the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, however, it was decided that Jaguar’s new XK engine would be launched in a limited-run roadster.
The XK engine would become the mainstay of all future Jaguar products for decades to follow. The 160-horsepower 3.4-liter inline-six-cylinder engine was standard for the XK 120; also available was the 180-horsepower XK 120 SE (“Special Equipment”) specification. In addition to a C-Type cylinder head, the SE was fitted with wire wheels, upgraded suspension, and dual exhaust.
This attractive XK 120 SE Open Two-Seater (OTS), or Roadster, was dispatched to Max Hoffman’s New York City Jaguar dealership in late February 1954. Though the car’s earlier history is unknown, it evidently benefits from a complete restoration, said to have been completed in 2008. This restoration furnished the XK 120 SE with its present color combination of British Racing Green over a biscuit Connelly leather interior. The car has also been fitted with a black cloth top which folds beneath a matching tonneau, a perfect piece of equipment for wet-weather touring.
Though the car’s engine block is the numbers-matching unit, the present cylinder head is a non-C-Type replacement. Power is routed to a four-speed manual transmission and transmitted to the ground via a set of correct-type chrome wire wheels wrapped in Firestone tires.
In January 2021, the car was treated to an extensive servicing at Lamborghini of Houston which included the fitment of new tires, aluminum radiator, and servicing to the car’s fuel system, ancillaries, and carburetors. A paint correction regimen was also completed at this time.