Monterey

19-20 August 2016

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Lot 135

1950 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster

  • Chassis no. 670132
  • Engine no. W 1270-8
  • Gearbox no. JH 1622
  • Body no. F 1173

Sold for $385,000


Please note that this vehicle is titled as a 1951.

190 hp, 3,442 cc DOHC six-cylinder engine with two 1¾-inch SU carburetors, four-speed manual transmission, independent front suspension with torsion bars, double wishbones and anti-roll bar, live rear axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102 in.

  • The 132nd of only 184 left-hand drive alloy XK 120 roadsters built
  • Matching numbers throughout with fresh restoration
  • Three owners from new with two long-term single owners
  • Finished in its original colors of Black over Biscuit


The Jaguar XK 120 began life as the sole experimental “100” coupe, built in 1938 for the Earls Court Motor Show in London. It featured the familiar long hood and sloping tail, but bobbed fenders replaced the swooping wings of the SS 100. William Lyons modernized the idea after WWII, with flowing lines and a brand new 3.4-liter twin-cam engine. The first XK 120 was built in only six weeks for London’s 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, and it was a sensation. The first 242 cars were built with aluminum panels over a wood frame since aluminum was light and easy to work, and it was not rationed like steel. Lyons originally planned to sell 200 XK 120 OTSs (Open Two Seaters), but at only £998, orders poured in so fast that he was eventually forced to switch to steel bodies, which could be built much faster, and in large numbers.

With typically British understatement, the “120” signified the car’s top speed, and the new 3,442-cubic centimeter double-overhead camshaft, six-cylinder engine pushed the new roadster to 126.8 mph in speed trials on a public road in Jabeke, Belgium. That was half again as fast as most cars on the road in Britain. Once the top was down and the windshield removed, factory driver Ron Sutton was timed at 141.51 mph. In addition to its performance, the Jaguar’s sensuous flowing lines and sparkling performance made it a huge hit.

In all, there were 7,631 XK 120 roadsters built from 1949–1954, and 2,678 coupes between 1951 and 1954. The weather-tight drop head coupe arrived last, with 1,769 produced in 1953 and 1954. With only 242 examples bodied in aluminum, these earliest XK 120 roadsters are by far and away the most desirable examples.

According to the accompanying Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate, the alloy roadster on offer today was built on 13 February 1950 and delivered to Jaguar Cars in Brussels, Belgium. It was finished in Black with a two-tone Biscuit leather interior, and a black convertible top. The first owner was Guy Gernay, who would own it for 28 years.

Gernay later moved to the Northeastern United States, and a photograph exists of him racing the XK 120 at Bridgehampton in the 1960s. It is believed that an air scoop was installed in the front of the hood at that time to combat engine cooling problems that afflicted XK 120s when they were raced. Wire wheels were not available until 1951, but they resolved critical brake overheating issues, and it seems likely that the black painted wires on this car were fitted at the same time. The wire wheels also required the rear fender skirts to be removed since the knock-off spinners would not fit behind the skirts. The Jaguar has since been fitted with black painted disc wheels as well as the attractive fender spats.

The second owner of 670132 was Rick Camparetto of Long Island, New York, who bought the car in 1978. He drove it for 10 years then commissioned a thorough, documented restoration of the car, assembling as many new old-stock pieces as possible and being careful to retain its original black finish and tan leather interior. The current owner acquired the car in 2014.

The consignor reports that XK 120 specialist Terry McGrath recently visited chassis number 670132 and spent two weeks studying the car in detail. Having seen most of the 242 aluminum-bodied XK 120s in person, the consignor noted that McGrath was impressed by the originality of this matching-numbers car, which is accompanied by such items as its original side screens, top frame, and skirts.

This handsome and desirable roadster is accompanied by substantial records, invoices, and a JDHT Certificate. With proven race history, the new owner can decide whether he or she wants to show the car at concours events, or compete in important historic events for which it is eligible, such as the Mille Miglia. It is bound to be welcome wherever it appears, and to deliver thrills to the driver, navigator, and spectators alike.

Addendum

Please note that this title is in transit.

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

aweaver@rmsothebys.com

+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

asabatie-garat@rmsothebys.com

+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

bruprecht@rmsothebys.com

+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

dswig@rmsothebys.com

+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

drose@rmsothebys.com

+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

dgould@rmsothebys.com

+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

gduff@rmsothebys.com

+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

jauerbach@rmsothebys.com

+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

kforry@rmsothebys.com

+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

mmalamut@rmsothebys.com

+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

msquire@rmsothebys.com

+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

mfairbairn@rmsothebys.com

+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

ocamelin@rmsothebys.com

+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

pdarvill@rmsothebys.com

+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

pfisher@rmsothebys.com

+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

smyers@rmsothebys.com

+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

tvandervelden@rmsothebys.com

+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