Lot Number

1952 Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe

Sold For $154,000

Inclusive of applicable buyer's fee.

RM | Sotheby's - MONTEREY 15 - 16 AUGUST 2014

Chassis No.
Engine No.
W 4293-8
  • Concours-quality restoration completed in 2013
  • Matching-numbers drivetrain
  • Accompanied by a JDHT Certificate, fitted luggage, and tools

160 bhp, 3,442 cc dual overhead-camshaft inline six-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with solid rear axle and semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

Jaguar’s stunning XK120 was a massively important car for the marque and for post-war Britain. As it was the fastest car in the world upon its introduction, and arguably the most beautiful, the XK120 put Jaguar firmly back on the map. After the model’s debut at the 1948 Earl’s Court Motor Show, one journalist commented, “All perceived notions as to what was a series-production sports car disappeared overnight.” It showed that Jaguar’s best days were still yet to come, as well as those of the entire British car industry. Between 1949 and 1954, 12,055 examples were constructed, and less than a quarter of those were bodied as fixed head coupes.

The XK120 Fixed Head Coupe entered production in 1951 as the second of three XK120 models, and it boasted the highest level of practicality out of the three. The addition of a hard top not only protected its occupants from the weather, but it also added even more voluptuous curves to the shape of the automobile’s body. The fixed head coupe was aimed squarely at the American export market, with the purpose of swaying even more Americans towards buying a car from across the pond. The added usefulness of this body style meant that it could be purchased as a daily driver or as an automobile to enjoy for the weekend and special occasions.

This original left-hand-drive example was built on February 20, 1952, shipped to Los Angeles, and then sold new via Charles Hornburg’s famous West Coast Jaguar Distributorship. Its previous owner of nearly 50 years purchased the car in the Seattle area and then took it with him to California and Texas during his tenure. After the previous owner parted with it in 2009, its new owner commissioned a two-year, complete, body-off, nut-and-bolt restoration, which was performed by Brian Anderson’s Classic European, of Vista, California, and just completed in April 2013.

Three months later, in July, the XK120 was shown twice and awarded Second in Class at the Dana Point Concours d’Elegance and Second in Class in championship-level judging at the San Diego Jaguar Clubs North America Concours d’Elegance. These successful outings were followed by an appearance at the prestigious 2013 Quail Motorsports Gathering in August.

The current owner has subsequently invested a great deal of time and money into this Jaguar so that it would perform on the road just as well as it did on the concours field. Two cracked brake drums were replaced, as was a broken hood release cable, and the telescoping steering wheel was adjusted for proper operation. In addition, the underside has been more thoroughly detailed, including such work as the removal and painting of the fuel tank.

It remains impeccably finished in its original exterior color of Cream over a Shell leather with contrasting black piping interior, and it has been tastefully equipped with steel wheels, rear-wheel spats, two pieces of custom-fitted luggage, and an original set of driving lamps. Also included is removable auxiliary electric fan, which ensures cool running. Additional items accompanying the car include a complete tool kit, the original grease gun and foot pump, a reproduction owner’s operating instruction manual, a restoration book with receipts, and a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate. This genuine, matching-numbers Fixed Head Coupe is a relatively rare and particularly elegant example of one of the greatest post-war sporting cars ever conceived.

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