After discontinuation of the SS100 in 1940, Jaguar introduced its first sports car XK 120 with aluminum body in late 1948. The 4-cylinder small engine planned for the English market was replaced by the new, manual, 6-cylinder overhead camshaft (DOHC) XK engine. Using a style decided by the chairman William Lyons, the two-seater roadster’s design code, XK 120, was later adopted as the model name. In 1950, the steel body with 112.5 lbs more weight was adopted. In 1951, the hardtop Fixed-Head Coupe (FHC) with the same profile as the 1938 SS100 Coupe was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show. 1953 saw the introduction of the convertible Drophead Coupe (DHC).

Brought from the United States along with its white twin in our Museum, this black XK 120 was produced at Jaguar’s Browns Lane, Coventry, factory with a light body for racing. It took part in many shows in the United States and England. The XK 120, the fastest mass production car in the world in its day, played a significant role in races, as had the SS100. Of the three XK 120s that joined the British Racing Driver’s Club Meet race in 1949, two came first and second. In 1950, Stirling Moss won the Tourist Trophy, while Lyons’s son-in-law Ian Appleyard won the 1950, 1951 and 1952 Alpine Rallies and the 1951 RAC and Tulip Rallies. In 1952, Stirling Moss, Jack Fairman and Bert Hadley drove at an average 100 mph in an XK 120 coupe for seven days and nights in the Linas-Montlhery race near Paris, breaking eight world records in 168 hours. Inspired by motorboats with its two-piece windshield, the roadster can reach 136 mph when the windshield is replaced by a smaller Aeroscreen racing windshield. Over five years of production, the XK 120 sold 12,078, before it was replaced by the XK 140 in 1953.


  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK 120
  • Model / Body Number Super Sports
  • Body Style Roadster
  • Year 1952
  • Origin England
  • Production Total 7,631
  • Passenger Capacity 2


  • Engine Jaguar XK6 3.4 Litre, 6 cyl, In-line, DOHC, Gasoline, 210.1 cu. inch, 160 bhp, 5200 rpm, Twin SU H6 Carburetor
  • Bore x Stroke 3.27 x 4.17 inch
  • Transmission Manual, 4-speed, synchro, floor shift
  • Top Speed 125 mph
  • Acceleration 0-60 mph, 10 s
  • Body / Frame Steel, open two-seater (OTS) / Steel, ladder type, box section
  • Suspension Front Independent, double-wishbones, torsion bar, shock absorbers
  • Rear  Semi-elliptic leaf springs, Girling PV7 shock absorbers
  • Electrical System 12 Volt (2×6), 64 Ampere
  • Brakes Hydraulic, servo, 4-wheels drum (Girling)
  • Wheelbase 102 inch
  • Overall Length 173 inch
  • Overall Width 62 inch
  • Overall Height 52.5 inch
  • Shipping Weight 2745 lbs
  • Front / Rear Tread 51 inch / 50 inch
  • Tires 6.00 x 16