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Jaguar XK 120 (1949 - 1954)


For the 1948 motor show a new Lyons design stole the show and was destined to become one of the greatest sports cars of all time; the XK 120. This was no thinly disguised racing machine. It was refined and had unrivalled comfort for such a car, and to cap it all, was priced at just 998 (1,298 with tax). The six cylinder engine was one of the best designs ever created and was beautiful to look at as well. The car if anything was a bit slab sided, and one would encounter an internal sill upon opening the door as high as the Hoover Dam!

The car formed the basis of one of the most exciting post war competition histories and the model is much sought after and still is a delight to drive. As usual, the British tin bodywork did no justice to the car and extensive rusting would become apparent after a few years.  Some of the chromed fittings were also susceptible to blistering and pitting, having been cast in some dreadful alloy.

Price New $4,039

Production Total
Total XK-120 production
1949-1954 is 12,078 units. That includes 7,631 roadsters, 2,678 fixed-head coupes, and 1,769 drophead coupes.



Inline, DOHC, 6 cylinder, cast iron block, aluminium alloy heads
Displacement 210 cubic inch (3442 cc)
Aspiration 2 SU Sidedraft Carburettors
Bore x Stroke 3.27 x 4.17 inches (83 x 106 mm)
Horsepower 160 @ 5000 rpm
Torque 195 lbs-ft @ 2500 rpm
Miscellaneous 7 main bearings, solid cam followers

Curb Weight 2920 lbs (roadster)


0-60 mph (coupe) 9.9 seconds
Top Speed (coupe) 120 mph