Car of the Week: Jaguar XK120

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Manufactured between 1948 and 1954, the Jaguar XK120 is an iconic Jaguar sports car. When released, it was Jaguar’s first sports car for years, since production on the SS 100 ceased.

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Launched at the London Motor Show, the ‘120’ in the name refers to the cars 120 mph top speed which made it the world’s fastest production car at the time. The first production car was delivered in 1949 to Clark Gable, and after several tweaks and design shifts, two open versions were available; one as a drophead coupe and one as a fixed head coupe.

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The first models were built with aluminium bodies on ash frames mounted on modified Jaguar chassis. For a considerable time, demand outstripped supply and, as a direct result, the cars were made with pressed-steel bodies instead.

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Back in 1949 at the start of the XK120’s run, the car was reviewed by Motor magazine. Due to the fact it was so early on in the process, Motor actually tested the prototype version of the XK120 roadster which registered a top speed of 124.6 mph and a 0-60 time of 10.0 seconds. Remarkably, the car, including taxes would have cost a mere £1,263! It’s unconceivable to even think about getting a new car (never mind a Jaguar) for that amount of money in 2014.

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This particular model is undoubtedly one of the finest available on the market today and until June of this year, it had only had one owner. Amazingly, since then, it has also only completed 55,000 miles and it was restored between 1997 and 2003. Of this specific model, only 294 right hand drive cars were ever built, so this represents a real piece of motoring history. What’s more, the car even comes complete with a hand written logbook including history and maintenance dating back to 1977. If you’re interested then check out the full listing here.

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