Production years: 1948 - 1954

The XK120 was a late decision to provide a ‘concept’ to show off Jaguar’s new XK twin camshaft 3.4 litre 6-cylinder engine. Fitted to a shortened version of a new chassis destined for a luxury saloon and clad with an all aluminium two-seater roadster body style, the car was such a success when launched at the British Motor Show in 1948 that Jaguar had to move the car over to full scale production. As the name implies the car was capable of up to 120mph (proved on numerous occasions by public exhibition).

By 1950 bodywork production had moved over to all steel and in 1951 an additional model, the Fixed head coupe was produced, at the time unique in having saloon car interior appointments including wind up side widows, lockable doors and wood veneered dashboard. In 1953 a further new model was added, the Drop head coupe providing the benefits of open top motoring, but with a quick action hood and luxury appointments. The XK120 stayed in production until 1954 when the XK140 was introduced.

Model Summary

Model Type:

XK Sportscars

Production Dates:

1948 - 1954

Engine Range:

3.4 Litre Coupe

0 - 60 mph:

10 seconds

Top Speed:

124.6 ots (120.5 fhc; 119.5 dhc) mph

XK120 Technical Specifications

Technical Information

Engine Statistics

  3.4 Litre Coupe
Engine (cc) 3442
Bore and Stroke (mm) 83 x 106
Compression Ratio 8:1 (7:1/9:1 optional)
BHP 160
@ RPM 5000
Torque (lb ft) 195
@ RPM 2500
Fuelling 2x SU carbs

Engine Performance

  3.4 Litre Coupe
Top Speed 124.6 ots (120.5 fhc; 119.5 dhc) mph
0 - 60 mph 10 seconds
Fuel Consumption 19.8 (17.2 fhc, 14.5 dhc) mpg

Model Specifications

  3.4 Litre Coupe
Transmission 4-speed (3 synchro)
Wheel Size (in) 16, steel or wire
Suspension (Front) Ind wishbone, torsion bar
Suspension (Rear) Live axle, leaf spring
Brakes 4-wheel drum

Model Dimensions

  3.4 Litre Coupe
Length (in) 174
Width (in) 61.5
Height (in) 52.5 (53.5 fhc)
Wheelbase (in) 102
Front Track (in) 51
Rear Track (in) 50
Weight (Cwt) 26 (27 fhc,27.5 dhc)

Optional Extras

  • Luca fog lamps
  • Fitted luggage (two suitcases to match trim)
  • Boot lid chromed luggage rack
  • Choice of seven Radiomobile radios with fitting kits
  • Auxiliary (larger) fuel tank
  • Aero screens to replace full length split screen
  • Underbody steel shield for adverse road conditions
  • Bucket front seats
  • Dunlop racing tyres
  • External (boot) spare-wheel mounting
  • Heater unit (only from 1952, then standard equipment)
  • High-lift camshafts
  • C-type cylinder head
  • 2in H8 SU Carburettors
  • Close ratio gearbox
  • Wire wheels
  • Dual exhaust system
  • Chrome wheel rimbellishers for steel wheels
  • White-finished Bluemel steering wheel
  • Racing clutch

Chassis Numbers

Model Driver Side Chassis No. Commenced Number made
XK120 Roadster RHD 660001 1175
XK120 Roadster LHD 670001 6437
XK120 FHC RHD 669001 194
XK120 FHC LHD 679001 2484
XK120 DHC RHD 667001 294
XK120 DHC LHD 677001 1471
Jabbeke 6 1953 Norman Dewis Driving Xk120 Drivr Be
Xk120 Rdster

Model Contacts

Paul Skilleter

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