1954 Jaguar XK120 DHC ConvertibleSOLD

Christie's Retromobile Paris Auction - February, 16 & 17th, 2007

See all the Images for this Car
Estimate 65,000 - 95,000 Euros
Result (incl.) 88,125 Euros

Engine: six cylinders in line, dual overhead camshaft, 160 bhp, 3,442cc, dual SU carburettors; Gearbox: four-speed manual; Suspension: front, independent with torsion bars and tubular shock dampers, rear, live axle with semi-elliptical leaf springs and hydraulic lever shock dampers; Brakes: four-wheel hydraulically-actuated drums. Left hand drive.

Model history:

In February 1945 SS Cars Ltd. became Jaguar Cars Ltd., adopting the name which had long distinguished its sporting models. Simultaneously, development of the XK engine was moving forward during evening fire watch sessions as Jaguar's production facilities worked flat out in support of the British war effort.

Jaguar Chief Executive William Lyons along with Chief Engineer Bill Heynes, Claude Baily and Wally Hassan created the high performance dual overhead camshaft XK engine to capitalize on Jaguar's sporting image. When the engine was ready before the Mark V series saloons, Lyons penned an open two seat sports model to showcase it. Conceived as a low production model to demonstrate the XK's performance, it was clothed in hand-hammered aluminum body panels, with production of only 200 units planned.

Lyons named his show car the XK 120 for its engine and top speed. Its introduction at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show was a sensation, immediately overshadowing the sporting sedans that were Jaguar's bread and butter. Lyons, never one to miss a commercial opportunity, quickly recognized the XK 120's potential, commissioned tooling for steel bodywork and capitalized on the XK 120's combination of performance (it was, at the time, the fastest production car in the world), compelling style and moderate cost. Eventually 12,045 were built.

Jaguar was quick to capitalize on the XK 120's success, adding a fixed head coupé to the line in 1951 and following it up in 1953 with an elegant and luxuriously trimmed drophead coupé in 1953. The drophead was very different in its presentation from the roadster, with carefully tailored soft tops and rich real burled wood veneer trim inside, all carefully and largely individually-fitted like fine furniture. With rollup windows, wind wings and leather upholstery it was suitably opulent and tastefully club-like. Only 1,769 XK 120 Drophead Coupés would be built in the two years before production shifted to the revised XK 140, making these by far the most rare and desirable of all XK 120 models aside from the very first alloy-bodied roadsters.

The XK 120 Drophead Coupé combines the sporting heritage of Jaguar, the competition success of the XK 120 OTS and C-types, William Lyons' unmatched flair for design and a luxurious ambience which sets it apart in any company.

Specific history of this car:

Chassis 678241 was originally delivered to Hollywood dealer Hornburg on Sunset Boulevard, April 21st 1954 in the exact colour combination it bears today. This is confirmed by a JDHT certificate no. 17658 of May 2000, also confirming that the car is fully matching numbers today as it was when it left the factory. Having spent all its life in California the car came to Europe in 1995, rust and damage free. A concours restoration was subsequently commissioned with well known Dutch Jaguar specialist 'Noble House' in Almere.

Today this rare XK is in quite superb condition, the professional rebuild having been from the bare chassis up and comprising engine, gearbox, body, electrics with a new wiring loom and of course the drive train. Rare in this very desirable period colour combination we highly recommend close inspection of this stunning classic open Jaguar.

Reference Number 6936

as of 2/1/2007

Car 1954 Jaguar XK120 DHC Convertible
VIN S678241 
Exterior / Interior Color      Pale Green /      Green 
Configuration Left Hand Drive (LHD) 
Transmission Manual Shift 
Options Exterior: Wire wheels
Interior: Leather interior 
More Images
See all the Images for this Car