The radical two seat Jaguar XK120 production sports car was launched at the 1948 London Motor Show along with the Mark V Jaguar and was produced through 1954. A total of 12,055 were produced. The 120 referred to its' guaranteed top speed of 120 miles per hour, which made it the world's fastest standard production car at the time.
The XK120 was initially available as a roadster in 1948 and was joined in 191 by a "fixed head" coupe and in 1953 with a more deluxe version, a "drop-head" coupe. The "drop head" coupe had such comfort features as roll-up side windows, a padded canvas top that could be lowered, and a wooden dash panel. All models had "spats", rear fender skirt, which enhanced the streamline appearance. However, on cars fitted with wire wheels, the fender-skirts were omitted due to a lack of clearance for the knock-off wing nut.
The original Jaguar XK120's were built with all aluminum bodies on ash frames. In order to keep up with demand, this was changed in 1950 to steel stamped bodies although Jaguar continued to use aluminum doors, hoods, and trunks.
Jaguar XK120s began winning races and setting records throughout Europe and the United States immediately. Until NASCAR recently allowed the Toyota Brand to race in its' top series, the only other imported car to win a NASCAR Grand National, "Sprint Cup" race was Al Keller who finished first in his XK120 at Lindon Airport, New Jersey on June 13, 1954 over Joe Eubanks in a Hudson and Buck Baker in an Oldsmobile 88.
1951 Jaguar XK 120
- Year Built: 1951
- Vehicle Type: Series XK 120
- Built By: Jaguar
- Suspension: Front - Independent Torsion Bar. Rear-Leaf Spring
- Engine: 207 cubic inch, dual overhead cam, alloy head, dual carburetors, 160 bhp
- Owner: Woodland Family Collection