2019 Shannons Sydney Late Autumn Classic Auction

1953 Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupe




Engine In-line 6-cylinder, 3442cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Drophead Coupe
Colour Black
Interior Red
Trim Leather
Wheels Steel Disc
Brakes Drums


This lot is no longer available

One of the most influential sports cars of the immediate post-war era, Jaguar’s XK120 stunned the world when it first appeared at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show.  The combination of streamlined styling and a powerful overhead-camshaft six-cylinder engine put the XK120 in a league of its own, with a top speed of 120 mph in an era when most cars could barely top ‘the ton’.  In a Britain still struggling to recover from the dark days of the war, the XK120 captured the public’s imagination in a way few cars before or since have done and Jaguar successfully exploited this through a series of record breaking attempts and of course, on the track.  A strong showing in competition certainly did the XK120s reputation little harm – in its most highly developed form, as the XK120C (or C-Type as it is usually referred to), the model won the gruelling Le Mans 24-hour race on no less than two occasions while standard cars were successfully campaigned all over the world.  Powered by a brand new 3.4-litre twin-cam six-cylinder engine developing 160 horsepower, the XK120 was the fastest production car of the day.  Initially available as a roadster only, Jaguar added a stylish fixed-head coupe and more luxuriously equipped drophead coupe to the line-up in 1953.  The folding top mechanism was a masterpiece of simplicity and beautifully trimmed, with a Perspex rear window and even had an interior light, affording excellent protection from the elements.  Jaguar intended the drophead coupe to be a more luxurious package and equipped the car with wind-up windows, wider doors and the walnut-veneered dash also found in the fixed-head model.  As the final member of the XK120 family, the drophead coupe was unsurprisingly built in the fewest numbers and just 1,760 were made (roughly ten per cent of total XK120 production) with the vast majority going to American customers.  As values of the XK sports models have soared in recent years, XK120 roadsters have become increasingly sought after and finding an original, Australian delivered example is all too rare.  Had the car been produced in the limited numbers originally envisaged by Jaguar, values today would arguably be on a par with low volume exotics from Aston Martin, Ferrari or Maserati – cars in whose 

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