18-19 August 2017

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Lot 135

1949 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster

  • Chassis no. 670111
  • Engine no. W 1216-8
  • Body no. F 1141

Sold for $330,000

Please note that this lot is titled as a 1949.

  • One of 242 alloy-bodied XK 120s
  • Finished in the original color combination
  • Former JCNA class winner as well as Best of Show recipient
  • Well-maintained, recently freshened concours restoration
  • Documented with its Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust (JDHT) certificate

The first Jaguar XK 120 was built in only six weeks for London’s 1948 Earls Court Motor Show, and it created a sensation. The first cars were built with aluminum panels over a wood frame since aluminum was light and easy to work, and was not rationed like steel. William Lyons originally planned to sell only 200 XK 120s, but at only £998, orders poured in so fast that he switched to steel bodies, which could be built much faster, and in greater numbers.

In all, 7,631 XK 120 roadsters were built from 1949–1954. Of those, only 242 examples were bodied in aluminum, and these earliest XK 120s are considered to be some of the most desirable examples.

The car offered here is recognized by Jaguar Heritage as having been manufactured on 26 January 1950 and shipped on 10 February to CAMAV, the Jaguar distributor in Caracas, Venezuela, a country that at the time had its fair share of wealthy sports car enthusiasts. Finished in Red over Biscuit and Red upholstery, with a fawn soft top, its next known owner was James Caraher of Tacoma, Washington, in 1979. The XK 120 was restored under Caraher’s tenure and later sold to Robert Ames of Seattle in the late 1980s. Ames proceeded to refine the restoration and elevate the car to concours condition. Shortly thereafter it was entered in the fourth Biennial JCNA Concours at Bend, Oregon, in August 1989, winning its class with 99.36 points as well as being awarded Best of Show, as confirmed by the JCNA.

The Jaguar was acquired by the current consignor in the early 2000s and has recently been sorted by XKs Unlimited of San Luis Obispo, California, following many years of climate-controlled storage. Much of the original restoration is well-preserved and still very authentic, including the correct, rare aluminum-hub brake drums. The original engine block matches the JDHT certificate, though the cylinder head is an unstamped replacement unit. Further, the car is accompanied by a correct tool kit, air pump, and jack.

An alloy XK 120 is a figurehead of any proper sports car collection, and this is a fine example, benefiting from an interesting history and excellent enthusiast care over the last three decades.

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