Rare alloy coachwork. Restored by RM Auctions in attractive colors. Ideal for pre-1957 rally event participation.
1949 Jaguar XK 120 Alloy Roadster
Chassis No. 670059, Engine No. W-1112-8
Red with Two Tone Red and Biscuit Leather Interior
In 1948, Jaguar revealed the beautiful and now iconic XK 120. The economic austerity following World War II was greatly relieved by prosperity, hope, and new technology. The XK120 became a breath of fresh air, ushering in a new age of motoring pleasure. The fluid and sensuous XK 120 was a revelation of beauty and performance. Overnight, Jaguar became instantly recognized for creating a powerful yet emotionally engaging car – something of a surprise given the rather reserved nature of the British public. Although originally intended to be a concept car showcasing Jaguars’ remarkable new twin-cam inline 6-cylinder engine, the breathtaking styling and genuine 120 mph performance, coupled with an affordable price, captured the imagination of both young and old buyers. In short order, the largely hand-built aluminum-bodied 120 was rushed into production as orders came flooding in. With time and delivery pressures growing, Jaguar smartly reengineered the car for mass production using steel bodied tooling, allowing them to produce thousands of cars. A mere 242 aluminum examples were built before the XK120 shifted to steel production, making the lighter, handcrafted aluminum cars forever rare and desirable.
This Jaguar XK120 is an excellent early series construction alloy example, presented in beautiful colors, sporting correct features and details just as it was when delivered new. The Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate indicates this car is one of a mere 184 left hand drive examples built with an original hand-formed alloy body. The certificate records the car was completed on December 16, 1949, and subsequently shipped on January 13, 1950, to Toronto, Canada distributor James L. Cooke Motors. Originally finished in red with red and biscuit interior and a black top, the car was fitted with engine # W-1112-8, which is stamped on the overhead cam head and on the engine block, consistent with numbers recorded on the Heritage Trust Certificate. Having benefited from a 1990 restoration performed by RM Restorations, the car has been serviced and maintained to a high standard. The restoration continues to sustain the quality and refinement evident when it was freshly completed. Under previous ownership, this car is also known to have twice participated in the Colorado Grand. The current owner, a multiple vintage sports car enthusiast, purchased this car from Fantasy Junction in 2014, maintaining and servicing the car as needed. In July 2022, a new 12 volt Odyssey Extreme battery was installed and the brake master cylinder was rebuilt and reinstalled.
Today this XK120 presents as a beautiful alloy body example still reflective of a once spectacular show winning restoration. Although the finishes are showing signs of age, the former and current owners have exhibited great care while driving and maintaining this rare alloy bodied car. The paint remains very glossy throughout with only minor areas of age seen in typical areas. Overall, the body is in excellent condition showing remarkably well given that the restoration work was performed over 30 years ago. Panels are very nicely prepared with excellent transitions from front to rear surfaces especially considering the handmade nature of alloy construction. The hood, doors, and trunk shut and latch properly, while the rear fender spats fit properly to the car and create a beautiful profile, particularly in the deep red color. The chrome is in excellent condition, very much in keeping with the overall finish of the body. Emblems, and minor trim including the windscreen are all in excellent condition with proper fit to the body contours. Factory solid steel wheels are painted and trimmed to match the body color while a set of correctly sized 6.00-16” Pirelli tires are fitted. Overall, the exterior visual presentation is one of a sensitively matured restoration that conveys both the excellence of the original design and the quality of the restoration.
The interior has been correctly restored with proper materials, in colors reflective of the original delivery when built. The two-tone leather seats are quite nice, still properly bolstered, and comfortable with a nice hue and sheen consistent with careful use over the years. Carpeting and door panels are also in very good condition with evidence of use and mild toning in the foot wells. The dash and instrumentation are in excellent condition, all of which appear to function as expected with very nice nomenclature, needles, and race-inspired dial faces. The switches, gearshift lever, and emergency brake handle are all in very nice condition with no notable flaws. The car is fitted with a black canvas top which fits properly to the windscreen. The exterior black canvas is in excellent condition with a correct rear window, proper headliner, and correctly finished top irons. The trunk is very much in keeping with the interior condition. Materials show a bit of use but are still very tidy including the spare tire storage area which still retains the key handle suitable for removing the rear fender skirts.
Under the hood, the beautiful dual-overhead camshaft Jaguar engine still delights with excellent finishes and correct components. The restoration work has settled here as well but the finishes have been properly maintained in keeping with the look and feel of an enjoyable sports car. The overall condition of the engine is very satisfying, displaying consistent luster throughout, correct factory hardware, and proper detailing, including the correct twin air cleaners, gloss black porcelain exhaust headers, and SU carburetors. The undercarriage remains correct with proper finishes showing aging mostly to the painted surfaces. There is no visual evidence of structural compromise to the floor, suspension mounting areas, or damage to any of the major components. Even the rear leaf springs still maintain the protective wrapping, laced to preserve the lubrication, and protect the rear springs from excessive road wear. In all, the underside components are very presentable and worthy of the reputation RM Restorations has continued to deliver over the past three decades. Clearly proper care and storage have minimized the impact of time on this top-tier restoration, which remains admirably preserved after all these years.
The car starts easily on choke, reaching operating temperature and warming to a slow idle. Driving manners are composed and confident with the engine functioning smoothly and the gearbox easily engaged with each up-shift and selective downshift. The clutch takes up properly, oil pressure is good, the system charges as expected, and there is no oil smoke when running. Acceleration is brisk and cornering is still very much a delight when at speed, particularly given the open coachwork and lighter weight alloy body. The car comes with side curtains, side curtain covers, and a car cover.
This is an outstanding opportunity to acquire a rare and beautifully restored vintage Jaguar. As one of the most iconic and significant cars of the 20th century, a genuine handmade aluminum XK120 roadster remains a premier example of automotive art, worthy of the very best collections. Finished in beautiful colors, this Jaguar awaits the next owner to deliver continued ongoing care or refinement while still enjoying the open-air driving experience. This is a rare opportunity to own and drive one of just 184 left hand drive examples, ready to continue dazzling a crowd of appreciative onlookers just as it has done for more than seventy years.
Please note this car is duty paid in the US, and ownership is transfered on a V5 in the name of the consignor.
The above vehicle information is complete and accurate to the best of our knowledge at the time it is posted to this website. Corrections or additional information is always appreciated. All advertised prices exclude government fees and taxes, any finance charges, any dealer document preparation charge, and any emission testing charge. Vehicles are subject to prior sale. All advertised to be true but not guaranteed. We assume no liability for errors or omissions.
Fantasy Junction • 510-653-7555 • 1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608