The XK 120 (Drop Head Coupe) was launched in 1953, two years after the introduction of the XK120 roadster . The DHC was more luxuriously appointed than the roadster and featured wind up windows and wood veneer on the dashboard and door cappings. The first few cars were hand built of aluminum with ash frames on a modified steel chassis. To meet buyer demand starting with the 1950 model year, all bodies were produced in steel but still retained aluminum doors, hood and trunk. All these cars were powered by the 3.4 litre double overhead cam engine which produced 160 BHP. Two other versions of the base engine model were also made, the 3.4 SE and the 3.4 MC making 180 and 210 BHP respectively. In November, 1949 the Motor Magazine road tested the XK 120 and recorded a top speed of 124.6 mph. The car received immediate acclaim and Jaguar had then fulfilled their promise to build a car that would exceed 120 and be marketed as the XK 120. Aside from its outstanding performance the car had sleek lines and was a sensational hit with nothing else coming close to compare with it at the time.
The car being offered is a very well cared for and original car which has spent a large portion of its life in the care of a single family. In 2006 the car was brought to Automotive Restorations for a complete frame off restoration. The entire body was removed and disassembled and panels were shot blasted to remove any rust and then coated with an epoxy prime, block sanded and coated with a urethane base primer to guard against future corrosion. After the sheet metal was treated the assembled body was treated to a new paint job. All exterior painted surfaces received 3 coats of Glasurit White and 4 coats of clear. Following that the body was baked, hand wet-block sanded ,compounded and polished.
The engine was completely stripped and rebuilt with new pistons, valves , oil pump , timing chain and anything else that showed wear or needed replacement. The radiator was re-cored and all hoses replaced. The fuel tank was replaced and carburetors rebuilt from scratch.
The interior of the car was completely gutted and everything was renewed including stripping and painting the seat frames and the seats were upholstered in original specification red leather. All the interior door panels were replaced. All interior wood was stripped and refinished. New Wilton wool carpet and under felt was installed.
The convertible top was completely dis-assembled and a new replacement fitted.
Suspension and brakes were completely overhauled and new bushings fitted.
All new seals were installed and a new windshield glass. All exterior chrome was re-plated.
The complete list of work completed is available for inspection in our files.
The cost of this overhaul exceeded $100,000
The process was completed at the end of 2006 and the car has been driven little since, with 61,575 miles currently showing on the odometer. It would be hard to imagine a nicer original car than this one. A significant aspect of this restoration was that it was carried out to sympathetic standards, keeping everything to the original factory build wherever possible. The final result is a magnificent car that looks and performs like new.