16-17 August 2013

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Lot 145

1954 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

  • Chassis no. 674293
  • Engine no. F1028-8
  • Gearbox no. JL19622
  • Body no. F6444

Sold for $132,000

160 bhp, 3,442 cc dual overhead-camshaft V-6 engine with dual SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent torsion bar front suspension, double wishbones and anti-roll bar, solid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and front and rear drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • Incredibly low mileage, matching-numbers example
  • Equipped with an extremely rare factory hardtop

Upon its unveiling at Earls Court in 1948, Jaguar’s XK120 took the world by storm. Jaguar’s first sports car since the SS 100 stopped production in 1940, and the XK120 was at the cutting edge in terms of both design and performance. The “120” stood for the Jaguar’s top speed, making it the fastest production car in the world at its introduction. Originally intended for a limited production of just 200 units, massive demand quickly pushed the XK120 into regular production. Little did Jaguar know at the time that the XK120’s original 3.4-liter engine would be so successful that its basic design would remain in road going Jaguars for nearly 40 years.

The roadster was the first XK120 body style introduced to the public, and it was arguably the most attractive. With swooping fenders running the entire length of the car’s body, the XK120’s design was quite dramatic and pulled at the heartstrings of nearly everyone who saw it. By the last year of production, in 1954, Jaguar had produced a grand total of 2,256 roadsters, making it the most popular body style of the line.

The current owner has been in possession of this XK120 Roadster since 1999. He took extreme pride in his XK120, and he was always sure to extend it the best care and maintenance, as well as exercising it regularly to ensure that it ran as it should. Under his ownership, the car was maintained by British Automotive Repair, of Scottsdale, Arizona, who reported that this XK120 is in exemplary cosmetic and mechanical condition. A restoration in the mid-1990s refinished it in black with a red leather interior, while the majority of the car’s internal components remain mostly original, including its 3.4-liter engine and transmission.

The most notable feature of this XK120 is its factory hardtop. Only fitted to a small percentage of roadsters, the factory hardtop is easily installed and looks fantastic, only adding to the roadster’s dramatic lines. The same portable windows that affix to the more popular soft top are also interchangeable with the hardtop, making this XK120 an excellent choice for long-distance vintage rallies. The original soft top and tonneau cover are included in the sale as well, making it a rare three-top example.

Interestingly, this car was featured in The Jaguar Story by Joseph H. Wherry. Sporting the same fiberglass hardtop, the car was finished in cream and brown and was appropriately nicknamed “Chocolate Sundae.” Taken on an extensive test drive by the author, he remarks that “taking the curves was a pleasure in an XK 120 Roadster, the sharper, the better. Using the gears properly, shifting down if in mountains or just for the fun of it, and then applying the accelerator pressure would bring the car through without excessive lean.”

In the world of the XK120, this is very rare car. Factory hardtops are extremely hard to come by, and considering its incredible condition, it will be difficult to pass up for any Jaguar aficionado. As when tested for The Jaguar Story, this XK120 will surely continue to be a pleasure to drive, be it top on or off.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more