One of only 240 alloy-bodied examples
The 15th LHD XK120 built
Highly eligible including Mille Miglia
Chassis no. 670015
Once seated, there are few over-bonnet views greater. The large smooth steering wheel directly in front of you, followed by the long curvaceous wings disappearing into the horizon, and muscular bonnet vents you immediately take a step back in time. The beautifully patinated Smith’s gauges on the dashboard, the small ignition key and unassuming black push-start button wonderfully disguise this cars soul. As much as you can look at this cars beauty all day long, once the engine bursts into life and the low burble is heard from the twin-pipe exhaust, there is no going back. Whether you desire an evening cruise to your favourite local restaurant, or a spirited drive on a Sunday afternoon, the XK120 is more than capable of fully delivering the driving experience your searching for. With its short flute-style gear lever communicating the most mechanical feedback, the gearbox is a pleasure. The steering, despite being considered heavy at slow speed, itis tremendously precise and almost perfectly weighted at cruising speed. Despite this car being fitted with the sportier, competition-designed, ‘aero-screens’ you are still adequately protected from the wind, also aided by sitting low in the comfortable, leather-lined, bucket seats.
Driving this car is always enjoyable, you cannot help but smile as you cruise along, left arm resting on the leather lined body whilst holding the smooth black steering wheel as you look out across one of the most iconic cockpit views in the automotive world.
The Jaguar XK120
There was only
one car that people remember from the 1948 London Motor Show, the achingly
beautiful Jaguar XK120. Once the crowds had fallen in love with its fabulous
curves, the car was rushed into production and would become the single most
important roadster in Jaguar’s history. The first prototype was produced
without tooling or testing and shortly after the motor show was entered in
competition which quickly led to a comprehensive motor sports campaign.
To rush the XK120 into production Jaguar relied upon components developed during the war for the upcoming Mark VI saloon. Everything from existing chassis members to the XK engine which was the world’s first affordable and mass-produced twin-cam unit. The 3.4 litre engine was developed by Chief Engineer Bill Heynes, Claude Baily and Wally Hassan during the war and was more than sufficient for the alloy-bodied XK120 compared to the much larger and heavier MK VI saloon it was originally intended for. With time, the XK engine went on to power Jaguar to five wins at the famed 24 Hours of Le Mans.
Why XK120? The car gained its name thanks to the 120-mph top speed achieved by the aluminium bodied variants, which also made it the world’s fastest production car at the time of its production! This speed was even higher when the car was fitted with its smaller, competition-derived, ‘aero-screens’.
The first production roadsters were hand-built with aluminium bodies fitted to ash frames, mounted on modified Jaguar Mark V chassis. Quickly jaguar realised that demand vastly outweighed supply and in 1950, having produced only 240 hand-built aluminium bodies, switched to much heavier, pressed-steel bodies. Mass production was the only way Jaguar could keep up with demand which was fuelled by the XK120’s low price of only £988.
The car offered here, chassis 670015, was hand-built in late 1949 before being dispatched to the famed Max Hoffman dealership in New York on 11th November 1949. It is the 15th example built in left-hand drive. One can only imagine how elegant the car looked on the road in 1949 wearing its original colour combination of Pastel blue with a Duo-Blue interior. Despite being delivered through Max Hoffman in New York, this car was originally registered to Lt.Cmdr. W H Wilson on the UK registration ‘JRW 117’, which was issued in Coventry, UK.
It is reported that the car then moved with Wilson to his next post in Canada before passing to owners in New York. The car later passed to Nicholas R.Mates II of Indianapolis in March 1982. Mr Mates announced his purchase of 670015 in the September 1983 EJAG magazine where he wrote “Last March I purchased a 1950 XK-120 with an all aluminium body: Chassis No. 670015, Body No. F1020, Engine No. W1012-8.” Mates then goes on to ask how he can discover more about his cars history and original specification. Later Mates advertised the car for sale asking $6,500 at which point it is believed the car passed through Bernard Gliberman in West Bloomfield, Michigan, USA. From various posts on the internet we believe the car was then owned by RM Restorations in Ontario, Canada in the August 1990.
In May 2004 the car was purchased by Mr Ferdinand Balcar, another resident of California. In June 2004 Mr Balcar registered 670015 in California with license plate ‘SHNR259’. In 2008 the car was then exported to France where it was restored in recent years to the elegant colour combination of Old English White over a burgundy leather interior which it wears today. Currently the car is offered with a FIVA Identity Card which was issued in 2014 to its current Italian owner.
Price : £325,000
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