1948 Jaguar XK120,Its Classy And Elegant. 1948’s Super Car



After making a lasting
impression in the
automotive world, Jaguar
was forced to reconsider
their XK120 in 1950 for
larger scale production. To
meet demands, Sir William
Lyons had the car tooled
for a steel body which
would save costs and
improve delivery times. Like the aluminum-bodied cars which were very hard to purchase, the production versions had had French curves, 120 mph performance and an easy price tag of £988.

Despite being made in steel,
the
XK120 lost none of its
appeal or charm. It still
used the same XK engine,
which was the world’s first
affordable and mass-
produced twin-cam unit,
and had the sweeping body
which was inspired by
Italian sports cars and the
streamlined styling of the
French design houses.
In 1950, Jaguar took
necessary steps to move
towards large-scale
production enabling Jaguar
to produce over 12 000
examples. In 1951, the
range was extended with a
Fixed Head Coupe which
was followed up by a
Drophead Coupe in 1953.
The later had luxuriously
crafted soft tops with
burled wood veneer trim
and rollup windows inside.
Around 1,800 XK 120
Drophead Coupes were
produced.
Before 1949, Jaguar only
played a small role in motor
sports, but after the debut
of the XK120, everyone
was interested to see how
the cars would perform on
the track. Jaguar was no
doubt interested as well
and some of the very first
cars were prepared for
Silverstone where they
took both first and second
place. The following year,
three privately entered
XK120s raced LeMans with
impressive
competitiveness.
Success at Lemans
encouraged Jaguar to build
a specially designed XK120
which would lead the
company into its most
successful year. The
XK120C (or C-Type)
endurance racer used a
tube frame chassis and
streamlined body with the
familiar XK120 drive train.
This combination was quite
successful and claimed
Jaguar’s first outright
victory at Le Mans.
After Jaguar had won
LeMans, and the XK120
debuted at the New York
Auto show, Americans
seriously started to
consider British roadsters,
propelling an entire
industry of British sports
cars made for export.
Throughout the years,
Jaguar nurtured this
relationship with the
updated XK140 and XK150.
Important Sales & Chassis
660449 – In 1951,Image
This XK120 was
prepared to support the
new C-Type at the 1951 24
Hours of LeMans. While the
C-Type won, privateers
Bob Lawrie and Ivan Waller
drove 660449 to 11th place
overall, the XK120’s
highest placing at the race.
In more recent times,
660449 has been subject to
a
complete restoration,
which included upgrading
most of the components to
drive the car in vintage
events. The restoration
debuted at the 2002
LeMans classic. It will be
offered for sale at Christies
Auction at Retromobile.
ImageLWK707 – Known for
its
unique
registration plate, this
XK120 Coupe ran the ‘7
days and 7 nights’
endurance run at Montlhery
with drivers Moss, Fairman,
Hadley
and Johnson.
LWK707 ran for a full 7
days during which the car
averaged just over
100mph. It remains in
remarkably original
condition to this day.

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