Jaguar XK120 SE Roadster

The XK120 made its debut at the Earls Court Motor Show in 1948, creating nothing short of a sensation in the automotive world. Originally conceived as a low-volume car rather than a serious production vehicle, it was destined to become a formidable offering and one of the most celebrated sports cars of all time. A total of 12,055 XK120s were produced from 1948-1954, including 7,374 steel-bodied roadsters. This was Jaguar’s first modern envelope body with integral fenders and a newly designed chassis with torsion bar front suspension. The elegant, curvaceous styling was the work of Sir William Lyons and was offered in roadster, coupé and drophead coupé body styles throughout the model run.

The XK engine was a marvel of modern efficiency offering smooth power and great flexibility throughout the driving range. The six-cylinder 3.4-litre twin cam unit produced 160 hp while breathing through twin SU carburettors. Amazingly, a version of this engine would continue to power Jags into the 1970s. An SE model became available for 1951 which included an improved 3.4-litre motor with higher-lift camshafts, lightened flywheel, stiffer rear springs, wire wheels and dual exhaust system. SE versions offered a significant increase in horsepower: 180 hp compared to the standard model’s 160 hp.

This car was auctioned off by RM Auctions in January of 2011 at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona and in June of 2011 at the Syon House, London and in October of 2011 at the Battersea Evolution, London.

180 hp, 3,442 cc twin overhead cam inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, Girling drum brakes with servo, independent wishbone front suspension with torsion bars and anti-roll bar, rear live axle with semi-elliptic springs, left-hand drive. Wheelbase: 2,590 mm.

Source: RM Auctions
Photo Credit: Copyright Simon Clay

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