The Jaguar XK120

Succeeding a nearly eight-year gap after the SS100, the Jaguar XK120 began production life in 1948 as an open two seat model on an ash wood frame with aluminum body panels. The “120” in the name was in reference to the advertised top speed, 120 mph. This spirited automobile catered to adventurous, but discriminating tastes with Clark Gable becoming a notable proud owner of the first 1949 roadster to roll off the production line.

In 1950, Jaguar moved the XK120 body paneling to pressed steel, while continuing to utilize aluminum on the bonnet, boot and doors. A DOHC straight six dominated the entire line until its last year-model in 1954.

All models bore independent torsion bar suspension for the front wheels and semi-elliptical leaf springs supporting the rear. The barchetta-styled doors were opened using an interior pull cord, as the three were no external handles. Most models were fitted with removable spats, or fender skirts, giving the XK120 the classic Jaguar appearance fondly remembered in nostalgia.

The last of the XK120 were assembled in 1954 as the XK140 took up the reins in 1955, but the XK120 remains legendary in being at one time, the fastest production car in the world!


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