20-21 January 2011


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Lot 129

1952 Jaguar XK120 Fixed Head Coupe

Sold for $55,000

160 bhp, 3,442 cc inline six-cylinder engine with dual overhead camshafts, four-speed manual gearbox, independent front suspension with transverse wishbones, elongated torsion bars and anti-roll bar, rigid rear axle with semi-elliptic leaf springs, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 102"

- Recent nut-and-bolt restoration

- Owned by prior owner for 20 years

- Matching numbers and complete with JDHT certificate

The prototype of Jaguar’s brilliant XK120, simply intended to showcase Jaguar’s all-new “XK” DOHC six-cylinder engine, was built on a Mark V chassis and completed in just six weeks’ time for display at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show in London. Unforeseen demand for the rakish roadster was heightened by its sparkling performance, particularly the ability of a lightly modified example to reach 141.51 mph in the hands of company driver Ron Sutton during a timed run on Belgium’s Jabbeke Highway. Production of the XK120 continued into 1954.

This fixed-head coupe from 1952 was recently acquired from a long-term owner and is certainly one of the nicest examples available today. The prior owner purchased it in 1989 from a gentleman who had stored it in his garage, unused, for several years, and then it again sat covered in a garage, untouched, for another 20 years. Just two years ago, a full “nut-and-bolt” restoration commenced, beginning with a full disassembly. The chassis was stripped, sandblasted and repainted to a deep gloss black finish, and the body was acid-dipped to remove all traces of rust, debris and old paint prior to being refinished in its original white.

All wiring and hoses were replaced with new, factory-correct items, and the engine and gearbox were rebuilt and refinished back to factory-original specifications. The interior was thoroughly restored with new items covering the brightwork, carpeting, headliner, leather seats, door panels and steering wheel. The instruments were restored, and the burled wood trim was beautifully refinished. Final assembly was completed by well-known Jaguar restoration experts in Texas, and the car is truly lovely today. With matching numbers and complete with a Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust certificate, it is a highly satisfying and drivable example of one of the greatest postwar sports cars ever produced.


Please note that this lot is titled by the engine number W47598.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more