The Jaguar XK120 was first revealed to the public at the London Motor Show in 1948, and it reinvented the world of sports cars by providing a car with elegant curves, a fantastic chassis, and a remarkable price. It became the fastest production car at the time of launch, and was rivalled only by the V12 Ferrari which was 4 times the price.
This proved to be an unbeatable combination, and became a milestone for Jaguar whilst reviving the motor industry with much fanfare after the war. Interestingly, the XK120 was only really designed as test bed with which to show off the XK engine, but with orders flooding in Jaguar wasted no time and put the car into full production. Several versions were eventually released, with the Roadster version being a hit amongst Hollywood stars like Clark Gable. It is still a design classic today, and in 1999 the car featured in the box office hit Cruel Intentions, driven by Ryan Phillippe & Reese Witherspoon.
The XK120 was the creation of Sir William Lyons, aka “Mr. Jaguar”, and was powered by the 3442cc power plant dubbed the XK engine, generating 160bhp, and the XK120 is so named as its top speed tipped 120mph. As expected it was a success on the track and was driven by some of motor sports biggest legends such as Stirling Moss and Ian Appleyard, and helped Jaguar win the Le Mans title on several occasions.
There are still a large number in circulation today, looking as they did when they first rolled off the production lines thanks to being a favourite amongst classic car enthusiasts and being lovingly restored. If you are interested in purchasing one, expect to pay in excess of £70000 for a prime example.