1951 JAGUAR XK120 OTS “ROADSTER”
Registration Number: LXJ 300
Chassis Number: 660612
Recorded Mileage: 31,310 miles
- Original RHD example, delivered new via Henlys of Manchester
- Entrant in the 1977 Mille Miglia and other period historic motorsport events
- Complete with detailed history file dating to the 1970s
A war-fatigued Britain, still getting back onto its feet following the 2nd World War, saw a glimpse of the future in October 1948 with the launch of the Jaguar XK120 at the Earls Court Motor Show. The ‘120’ referred to the car's top speed which, at the time, made it the fastest production car in the world. Jaguar seems to have always had a flair for marketing and to illustrate that the car's top speed was not a figment of a publicist's imagination, in May 1949, on the Jabbeke to Aeltre autoroute, an XK120 with its hood and side screens in place recorded a speed of 126mph, and no less than 132mph with the hood and windscreen detached and an undertray fitted. The car was in almost instant demand and went on to spawn the famous XK lineage of fast and elegant sports cars.
The XK120 became a massive success both on the road and the track, where it scored numerous victories. The many drivers included Stirling Moss, Peter Walker, Peter Whitehead, Leslie Johnson and Ian Appleyard. In XK120C/C-Type form it won Le Mans in both 1951 and 1953, while its engine was to power three more Le Sarthe winners and a whole host of successful Jaguar models for the next fifty years.
This wonderful survivor was delivered to its first owner via Henlys of Manchester on 1st February, finished in Pastel Blue with Duo Blue interior trim and a French Grey fabric roof. The XK changed hands several times in the following twenty or so years until being acquired by a Mr. David Bowles in response to classified advert placed in Motor Sport magazine in May 1976. Mr. Bowles promptly prepared the Jaguar for a new career in historic rallying, commencing with the first Mille Migla retrospective event of June 1977. The detailed history file contains his entry pack for the event, in Italian of course and containing schedules and maps, in addition to a rather delicious looking menu for the dinner finale.
The trusty Jaguar went on to participate in, amongst others, the 1979 Del Garda Circuit Race, the 1980 VSCC Pomeroy Memorial and Wiscombe Hill Climb, the Shelsley Walsh Hill Climb in 1984 and the Norwich Union Classic in 1989. The Bowles kept their beloved XK for a further 17 years before in 2006 ownership passed to our current vendors, motorsport enthusiasts and locals to Prescott Hill Climb. In preparation for rallying in period the Jaguar was fitted with a later 3.8 litre Jaguar motor fed via twin 2-inch SU carburettors. The original 3.4 litre engine, which was subject to a full rebuild in the 1990s but has not run since, is also supplied with the car.
Having not been restored since the 1970s but well maintained over the years, in the last 15 or so years this lovely original Jaguar has enjoyed regular servicing and minor running repairs as and when required. Notably the car was treated to various recommissioning works in 2022, supported by an invoice for £1585. The comprehensive history file supplied with the XK contains the original buff logbook and more recent registration documents, various correspondence going back to the 1970s, bills for maintenance works and older mechanical rebuilds, and a number of older MoT certificates.
Presented in admittedly a few shades of Willow Green with nicely worn in interior, and featuring a number of period scrutineering stickers still on the dashboard, this charming old Jaguar could be driven as is or fully restored as the next owner so wishes.