Jaguar XK120

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Jaguar

Jaguar XK120

1948 - 1954
Country:
United Kingdom
Engine:
6 cyl.
Capacity:
3442 cc
Power:
160-265 bhp
Transmission:
4 spd. man 3 spd. auto
Top Speed:
193-217 km/h
Number Built:
12,055
Collectability:
5 star
Designed to be a low-volume dream car rather than a high production motor car, the Jaguar XK120 became an overnight sensation and highly profitable. While most were exported to the USA, there are still examples to be found in Australia and the celebrated "classic" can be purchased at a price.

The Jaguar XK120 Roadster was launched at the 1948 Earls Court Motor Show and was an immediate success. This very stylish car had a top speed over 120 mph (hence the 120 name), and was tremendously good value for money being considerably cheaper and more advanced than any rival. It was a combination of beautiful looks combined with an impressive engine that was to ensure its success.

It was the fist car to feature the all-new double overhead camshaft engine, which in one cubic capacity or another went on to power all Jaguar cars - both saloon and sports, for about forty years. The new 3.4 liter straight six was a silky smooth engine, using twin cams and twin SU carburetors to develop 160 bhp.

The XK 120 was hugely popular and orders were much higher than Jaguar had anticipated. The first cars featured alloy body panels over an ash frame, but after production of about 200 models jaguar switched to a mass-produced mainly steel body to keep up with demand.

The "120" in XK120 was in fact true of the cars performance, the first model rated at a top speed of 120 mph (193 km/h). Later "SE" (Special Equipment) models came with higher lift cams and twin exhausts that were able to lift the power to 180 bhp.

In 1951 a Fixed Head Coupe version was introduced, with a Drophead Coupe joining the range in 1953. Both of these cars featured wind-up windows, external door handles, and a walnut dashboard. A Special Equipment model was available from 1951 with a 180 bhp engine.

Production of all models ended in 1954 when the XK140 was introduced.

Jaguar XK120 Specifications

Model

Roadster

Drophead Coupe

Fixed head Coupe

Years Produced

1948 - 1954

1953 - 1954

1951 - 1954

Body Type

Steel body on separate chassis (early roadster had alloy body panels)

Length

14ft 5in

14ft 5in

14ft 5in

Width

5ft 1in

5ft 1in

5ft 1in

Weight

25.5cwt

27.5cwt

27cwt

Engine

6 cylinder twin overhead camshaft 3442cc inline

Power

160 bhp @ 5100 rpm

160 bhp @ 5100 rpm

160 bhp @ 5100 rpm

Torque

195lb ft  @ 2500 rpm

195lb ft  @ 2500 rpm

195lb ft  @ 2500 rpm

Gearbox

4 speed, synchro on 2nd, 3rd and top

Driven Wheels

Rear

Rear

Rear

Brakes

Drums front and rear

Drums front and rear

Drums front and rear

Front Suspension

Independent by torsion bar & wishbone, anti-roll bar

Rear Suspension

Live axle / leaf spring

Live axle / leaf spring

Live axle / leaf

Jaguar XK120 Performance

Model

Roadster

Drophead Coupe

Fixed Head Coupe

Top Speed

125 mph

120 mph

122 mph

0 - 60 mph

10 seconds

12 seconds

12 seconds

Fuel Consumption

22 mpg

22 mpg

22 mpg

Visitor Rating:


Also see:


Jaguar XK120 Brochure
Jaguar XK140
Jaguar XK150
Jaguar Heritage
Swallow Sidecars - The William Lyons Story
Jaguar - A Racing Pedigree
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