9-10 October 2014

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Lot 163

1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

  • Chassis no. 670840
  • Engine no. W 2183-8
  • Gearbox no. JH 4394
  • Body no. F 2066

Sold for $104,500

160 hp, 3,442 cc DOHC inline six-cylinder engine, four-speed manual transmission, torsion bar independent front suspension, rear leaf-spring suspension, and four-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 96 in.

  • Early-production car with desirable “discs and spats”
  • Matching-numbers example, as per its JDHT Certificate
  • Award-winning older restoration by a marque specialist
  • Includes side curtains, original tool roll, and owner’s handbook

In the aftermath of WWII, Jaguar Cars owner William Lyons created a new class of sports car, one that was faster, more reliable, better looking, and less expensive than any comparable vehicle on the market. This car was designated the XK120, with the “120” referring to the car’s top speed, and it cemented Jaguar’s stature as having the world’s fastest production car. The XK120 started from a clean slate and also featured the world’s first high-volume, twin-cam engine. A short-wheelbase chassis and a voluptuous two-seater roadster body was married to the powerful new engine, and the result—a car that was sleek, beautiful, and strikingly modern—was nothing less than sensational.

The XK120 offered here is a highly desirable early-production example that features disc wheels and rear fender skirts, or spats, which typify the original design in its purest form. Other items particular to early 120s include a chrome-plated convertible top frame and chrome around both the seat frames and wing-mounted parking lights.

This Jaguar, a matching-numbers and highly original car to begin with, was the subject of a comprehensive body-off restoration by marque specialist Steven Helms, of Classic Motorcars in Reading, Pennsylvania. The work included rebuilding its engine and transmission to factory specification. The restoration was completed in 1992 and photo-documented with before and after images of its bare chassis and dozens of other images. Upon completion, it was immediately judged at 99.72 points at its first JCNA outing. Following several other accolades, the Jaguar received its AACA Senior National Award in 1994.

This car, which has been stored in a climate-controlled garage, has been virtually unused since its restoration, with fewer than 350 miles showing, and it has recently received a freshening at Classic Motorcars. Helms reports his astonishment at how well the car has held up for over 20 years, and he deems it still show-worthy to this day. In addition to a thorough detailing, a complete tuning regimen was performed, including the often necessary fuel service, which entailed having the gas tank removed and flushed.

Importantly, the XK120 retains its original side curtains, which have been unused since the restoration and still look smart. Other items of note include the complete original tool roll, tire pump, jack, and owner’s handbook. The car also includes the removal/installation tool for the attractive fender skirts.

This XK120 would perfectly complement the desires of any collector seeking the rewards of owning a fantastic example of the post-war Jaguar that raised the bar significantly for production sports cars and became an enduring legend at the same time.

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


+1 717 623 1638
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


+1 805 231 6410
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


+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
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


+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
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


+31 653 84 19 60
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