SOLD 07/19

1953 Jaguar
XK120 Roadster

Strong Driving Example Presented in The Quintessential Colors, Sitting on Chrome Wire Wheels. Nearly $20,000 in Recent Sorting. Priced to Sell in Today's Marketplace!

  • VIN5673397
  • Exterior ColorBritish Racing Green
  • Interior ColorTan Leather
  • Mileage27895 Miles (TMU)
  • Engine3.4 Liter Inline-6 Cylinder
  • Engine no.W-7916-8S
  • Transmission4-Speed Manual
  • StatusSold
  • StockFJ2354


1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
Chassis No. S673397, Engine no. W-7916-8S
British Racing Green with Tan Leather Interior

When Jaguar unleashed the astonishing XK120 to the motoring press and public, it was a modern-day revelation. Even for demure Brits, emerging from economic austerity following World War II, the XK120 created new enthusiasm not just for cars, but sports cars. Beautiful and powerful, the XK120 demonstrated to the world that Britain had both the technical capacity and design excellence to deliver a sensual and emotionally engaging car.

The heart of the new XK120 was Jaguar's remarkable new twin-cam inline six-cylinder engine. But it was the affordable price and ease of use that made it such a big seller. Unprepared for the flood of orders, Jaguar immediately reengineered the earlier cars for mass production steel body tooling, in order to meet customer demands. This effort not only improved output, it allowed Jaguar to expand their market share exporting to North America and other parts of the world.

Any doubts about the “120”, name inspired by the car’s top speed, were swiftly banished when a standard XK120 achieved a top speed of 126.4 mph with hood and side screens erected and 132.6 mph (minus its weather protection) equipped with an under tray and solid roof. The XK120 set new standards of comfort, road holding and performance not just for British sports cars, but a new standard for all cars. Without exception, there was simply nothing that could exceed the performance of the XK120 nor compete against the remarkably affordable price.

This particular XK120 is a handsome early production 1953 example, presented in traditional British Racing Green with tan leather interior and tan convertible top. The car appears to have been largely restored some years ago and more recently has benefited from nearly $20,000.00 worth of professional mechanical servicing performed between June and November 2018. According to the detailed four-page invoice, the engine was serviced including rebuilding the carburetors, installing new fuel lines, new valve cover gaskets, new spark plugs, oil filter and oil change, all fluids checked and replenished as needed, and an upgraded clutch bushing. The fuel tank was flushed and a new sending unit installed, missing wheel well deflectors installed, and new undercoating applied to the chassis. A new exhaust system was fabricated from the headers to the tail pipes including fresh exhaust hardware and exhaust manifold studs replaced as needed. Addressing the brake system, the master cylinder and all wheel cylinders were replaced as well as the bearings and wheel seals. A set of custom pedals were installed and adjusted and the system was tested for good brake pressure.

Inside the cockpit, the steering column was removed and repainted and the dashboard also removed for improvements to the interior trim. The center console was slightly lowered, new carpeting installed, and the seats slightly modified to allow more room for occupants. At this time a great deal of the electrical system was serviced and improved including the installation of a new battery, and improved wiring for lighting, turn signals, and instruments. For the exterior of the car, the bumpers were removed and proper bumper caps installed and a few other exterior cosmetic issues addressed to improve the overall visual presence. The front bumpers are included with the sale, and are in very good condition.

In March 2019, the car returned to the same shop for seat belt installation, properly anchored to the floor panels. A fuel filler neck leak was repaired, the clutch adjusted, and a few other miscellaneous items tended to as needed. During consignment inspection it was determined that the engine in the car is a period correct complete replacement unit with matching head and block numbers.

Today, this sporty XK120 roadster displays handsome character, authentic construction, and honest finishes throughout. The paint is glossy throughout, however, there are various chips and minor flaws from use and a few places where the finish has puckered at one area of the hood and along the forward edge of the driver’s door. The body is in generally good condition showing sound panel gaps and good door fit with good closures and latching, typical of a car that can be enjoyed without worry. The traditional color combination is highlighted by correctly sized black wall tires, mounted on chrome wire wheels, accented by chrome plated dual-eared knockoffs.

The chrome is in good condition overall with good luster including a very nice grille, and polished headlight trim. The windscreen and chrome trim are in good condition, with mellowing to the chrome surface as one might expect from an older restoration. The tan convertible is in very good condition, loosely folded and stowed into the storage area behind the seats.

Inside the cockpit, the tan leather interior is very nicely presented and is one of the highlights of the presentation. Materials and finishes are quite tidy with good seam and stitch lines, excellent padding, and a very handsome dashboard. The instrumentation is in very good condition showing excellent numeric indication, correct needles, and contrasting dial faces. The steering wheel, switches, gearshift lever, and emergency brake handle are all in very good condition and the newer carpeting displays only minor evidence of use. The trunk is very much in keeping with the interior condition showing a very tidy spare tire storage compartment with what appears to be the original spare wheel and tire.

Lifting the hood, the cowl shows honest unrestored finishes, however the dual-overhead camshaft engine has been nicely prepared with proper coatings and correct components. The finishes have mellowed in the engine compartment over time, but the components are consistent throughout and detailed using correct factory hardware, wires, and fasteners, save for the aftermarket, albeit effective air cleaners. The undercarriage remains tidy and clean with no evidence of structural damage or significant compromise to the floors or suspension components.

The car starts easily and settles into a smooth, audible idle. Once warmed to operating temperature, the driving experience is relaxed and the engine displays good power, pulling strong in all gears and displaying strong oil pressure. The gearbox shifts well when operated with patience, and the clutch takes up well. Driving manners are pleasant, offering easy handling and typical braking. The open coachwork, low seating position, and handsome interior contribute to stately but sporting driving pleasure. Much of the joy of owning a car like this is using it without the worry of diminishing a fresh restoration. The car comes with a set of side curtains, two older tonneau covers, a restored convertible top, and a box of assorted parts including a spare grille.

This is a wonderful opportunity to acquire a very handsome Jaguar XK120 Roadster, ready for your driving pleasure, at a very attractive price point. As one of the most beautifully designed cars ever conceived for road use, this XK120 offers the next owner all the classic elegance and motoring experience of one of the most iconic sports cars ever built.

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.

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Fantasy Junction  •  510-653-7555  •  1145 Park Ave, Emeryville, CA 94608