- Highly desirable “SE” specification
- Numbers-matching chassis, body, engine, cylinder head, and gearbox
- Beneficiary of a prior restoration
- Part of a private collection since early 2009
- Accompanied by Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT) Certificate
Given the Jaguar XK 120’s status as a true automotive icon, it is surprising to many that the model was originally conceived and born as a limited-edition stopgap model. William Lyons assumed that the post-WWII fortune of his company, the recently re-named Jaguar Cars Ltd., would be made on saloon cars that would sell in export markets, especially the United States. To that end, the new dual-overhead-cam, six-cylinder, 160-horsepower XK engine was developed to power a new line of sports luxury four-door sedans. As the new car was not yet ready for the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, it was decided that the engine would be launched in a limited-run roadster before becoming a regular offering. That roadster, of course, was to be known as the XK 120—so named for its top speed of 120 mph.
After proving itself on race and endurance courses around the world, the XK engine would become the mainstay of all future Jaguar products over the next six decades. 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 Jaguar XK 120 SE was completed on 21 May 1954. An open two-seater roadster destined for North America, it was built to left-hand-drive specifications and originally finished in Red over Black with a Black soft top. It was dispatched on 11 June 1954 to noted distributor Hornburg of Los Angeles, California. While early ownership history is unknown, by the 1990s the car was owned by racer and collector Michael Stott of Ho-ho-Kus, New Jersey. During his ownership Mr. Stott had the car serviced at Donovan Jaguar Service, with select records on file.
Today the Jaguar is finished red over tan with a tan convertible top. The car was restored some years ago, and has since been nicely maintained. Its front bumper prominently exhibits Vintage Sports Car Club of America and Sports Car Club of America badges. The car rides on Firestone whitewall tires mounted on chrome knock-off wire wheels. The interior is trimmed in tan leather featuring a four-spoke Moto Lita wood-rimmed steering wheel. The car is accompanied by a tan tonneau cover, a full-size spare, and a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, confirming the car retains its numbers matching chassis, body, engine, cylinder head, and gearbox.