Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120

| 15 Nov 2019
Classic & Sports Car – Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120

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There’s not much that beats the satisfaction of getting a job done – and if you bid on this rare Jaguar XK120, you might get the chance to finish a project that’s been 50 years in the making.

A 1954 XK120 fixed-head coupé, it’s one of only 151 produced in right-hand-guise and has spent the past half-century on a farm in Wales.

And while it clearly requires a little work before it’s back on the road, it goes to auction with The Market next week in largely finished condition and still wearing its original chassis and engine.

Classic & Sports Car – Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120
Classic & Sports Car – Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120
Classic & Sports Car – Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120

The XK120 is a British motoring legend. Launched in roadster form at the first post-war Earls Court Motor Show, in 1948, it set the tone for the British sports-car invasion of the 1950s, which saw thousands of dashing open-topped two-seaters shipped over to a new life in the United States.

It caused a sensation, partly because of its glorious swooping shape – conceived in just two weeks by William Lyons! – but mostly thanks to its scarcely believable performance.

Under the bonnet sat an incredible 3.4-litre, 160bhp XK twin-cam that could propel the XK120 to – you guessed it – 120mph. In fact, it could go faster still; at Jabbeke in 1949 it clocked a top speed of 132mph and an average of 126mph to set a new record.

With a decent price of £998 and track success almost from the word go, it was an instant hit and Jaguar duly cashed in, ramping up production and creating fixed-head and drophead coupé models.

Classic & Sports Car – Fancy a project? Try this barn-find Jaguar XK120

The example for sale is a fhc version, built in 1954 and originally sold by Byatts of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, in Birch Grey with a grey leather interior.

It’s had only one owner since then and has spent most of its life sat on a farm in Wales, where its second custodian embarked on a restoration project that he would ultimately not complete.

It’s thought to be one of only 57 right-hand-drive examples still in existence and will be offered with an estimate of £25,000 to £35,000.

“When a truly rare car comes to auction which has also been tucked away and off the market for decades it creates an unmissable opportunity for collectors,” says Tristan Judge, director, The Market.

“This car’s story makes it even more interesting and appealing to buyers. With the current owner having spent some 50 years tinkering, now the opportunity exists to take-over and finish the existing project or begin a new restoration to return this classic to its former glory.”

The online-only auction will run from 20-27 November. Click here to take a closer look.


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