‘The XK120 was first introduced in 1948, and quickly became known for its sleek and elegant design, as well as its impressive performance. The “120” in the name referred to the car’s top speed of 120 miles per hour, which was a remarkable feat at the time.
‘The SE (Special Equipment) model was introduced in 1951, and featured upgrades such as a more powerful engine, wire wheels, and a dual exhaust system. The M designation was added in 1953, and denoted the car’s ability to be fitted with an optional high-performance “C-Type” cylinder head, which increased power output from 160 to 180 horsepower.
‘In addition to its performance upgrades, the XK120 SE M Roadster featured a number of other enhancements over the standard XK120. These included a special exhaust system, a higher rear axle ratio, and larger brakes. The car also featured wire wheels and a wood-rimmed steering wheel as standard equipment.
The XK120 SE M Roadster was built by hand at Jaguar’s factory in Coventry, England. The car’s aluminum bodywork was hand-formed by skilled craftsmen, which gave each car a unique and individual character. The car’s interior was also hand-crafted, with leather seats and a wood dashboard.
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‘Fully documented history with original paint and interior and all matching numbers original SE engine, heads and transmission! We recently acquired the car from the third owners with the car sporting an outstanding all original patina and excellent body with no damage history and no rust! The car has its all original paint and interior and will be sold with its original wheels and tires, yes tires!
The car currently has four stock period correct steel wheels boasting the five optional center locks (which were available from 1951) with the spats (aka Fender Shirts in America!) being removed as was typical due to insufficient clearance for the knock off hubs (with its original ‘knock off’ Thor Hammer’ English mallet) with new tires. The original wheels and tires are being kept separately for preservation purposes (see photos below) and are in wonderful condition and will be sold with the car, the car also has its original spare wheel in its rightful place in the trunk compartment, original roadside jack, mallet and factory tools in their original case, the original ‘Fawn’ color soft top and frame, and of course the car boasts its original matching numbers engine as verified by the Jaguar Daimler Heritage Trust Certificate.
A History On the Racetracks
The Jaguar XK120 had a successful racing career during the 1950s. The car’s combination of speed and reliability made it a popular choice for endurance races, and it enjoyed particular success in the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
In 1950, a modified XK120 driven by Leslie Johnson and Clemente Biondetti won the grueling Mille Miglia road race in Italy, covering the 1,000-mile course in just over 16 hours. This was a significant achievement for Jaguar, and it helped to establish the XK120’s reputation as a high-performance sports car.
The following year, Jaguar entered three factory-backed XK120s in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Despite facing tough competition from more established racing teams, the XK120s performed admirably, with two of the cars finishing in 12th and 15th place overall.