The history of the Jaguar XK120

The Jaguar XK120 is a cars which was manufactured by Jaguar between 1948 and also 1954. Jaguar’s very first post-war sports car, it did well the SS 100, which discontinued production in 1940.

The XK120 was introduced in roadster form at the 1948 London Electric Motor Show as a testbed and reveal cars and truck for the new Jaguar XK engine. It created an experience, which encouraged William Lyons to place it into manufacturing.

The “120” in its name described its 120 miles per hour (193 km/h) full throttle (faster with the windscreen removed), which made the XK120 the globe’s fastest basic production cars and truck at the time of its launch.

It was available in two exchangeable variations first as the roadster (marked OTS, for open two-seater, in America), then likewise as a drophead coupé, or DHC, from 1953 and also as a closed, or “fixed-head” coupé (FHC) from 1951. The DHC was a much more luxurious model, featuring a stunning wood dashboard and wood functions on the door interiors.

The roadster version succeeded in racing.

The first 242 cars and trucks, all roadsters hand-built between late 1948 and early 1950, had aluminium bodies on ash frameworks. To satisfy demand it was required for the mass-production variations, beginning with the 1950 design year, to have pressed-steel bodies. They preserved aluminium doors, hood, as well as boot lid.

With alloy cyndrical tube head as well as twin side draft SU carburetors, the double overhead-cam 3.4 L straight-6 XK engine was fairly advanced for a mass-produced unit of the time. With basic 8:1 compression proportion it created 160 bhp (119 kW). A 7:1 reduced compression variation was additionally readily available to deal with low quality fuel. This exact same standard layout of the XK engine, later customized right into 3.8 L and also 4.2 L versions, survived right into the late 1980s.

All Jaguar XK120s had independent torsion bar front suspension, semi-elliptic fallen leave springs at the back, recirculating-ball guiding, telescopically flexible steering column, and also all-round drum brakes that were prone to discolor. Some autos were fitted with Alfin brake drums to assist overcome this brake fade.

The roadster’s lightweight canvas top as well as detachable sidescreens stowed hidden behind the seats, and its barchetta-style doors had no exterior handles; rather there was an interior pull-cord which was accessible via a flap in the sidescreens when the weather condition devices remained in area. The windscreen could be removed for aeroscreens to be fitted.

The drophead coupé had a cushioned canvas top, which folded onto the back deck behind the seats when not in use, and also roll-up windows. The windshield was fixed. Dashboards and door caps in both the FHC and also DHC were wood-veneered, whereas the roadster’s were leather-trimmed. All models had detachable altercations covering the rear wheel arcs, which enhanced the structured appearance. On autos fitted with optional centre-lock wire wheels (offered from 1951), the altercations were omitted as they gave insufficient clearance for the two-eared Rudge-Whitworth knockoff hubs.

Along with wire wheels, upgrades on the Special Equipment, or SE, variation (called the M version in the United States) consisted of increased power, stiffer suspension as well as double exhaust system.

XK 120 Engines: Design/ Years/ Variation/ Configuration/ Bore-Stroke/ Carburettor/ Power

XK 120 3.4/ 1948-1954/ 3442 cc/ DOHC Straight-6/ 83 mm-106 mm/ Double SU H6/ 160 bhp (119 kW; 162 PS) @ 5000 rpm

XK 120 3.4 SE/ 1951-1954/ 3442 cc/ DOHC Straight-6/ 83 mm-106 mm/ Double SU H6/ 180 bhp (134 kW; 182 PS) @ 5300 rpm

XK 120 3.4 SE (C-Type Head)/ 1951-1954/ 3442 cc/ DOHC Straight-6/ 83 mm-106 mm/ Double SU H8/ 210 bhp (157 kW; 213 PS) @ 5750 rpm

The Motor magazine road-tested an XK120 roadster in 1949. With hood as well as sidescreens in position, it attained a top speed of 124.6 mph (200.5 km/h), accelerated from 0-60 miles per hour (97 km/h) in 10.0 seconds and also eaten fuel at the rate of 19.8 miles per royal gallon (14.3 L/100 km; 16.5 mpg-US). The cars and truck as evaluated cost ₤ 1263 including taxes.

In May 1949, Jaguar showed an XK120 roadster to journalism on the high-speed autoroute between Jabbeke as well as Aeltre in Belgium. The road was shut for the event. The white left-hand drive cars and truck, chassis number 670002, was the second XK120 built. Jaguar’s growth designer Walter Hassan was to have driven but fell ill, so Jaguar test-driver Ron “Soapy” Sutton alternatived to him. With hood as well as sidescreens put up, as well as the airflow under the cars and truck boosted by the addition of an unabridged aluminium undertray, the Jaguar was timed through the flying mile by the Royal Car Club of Belgium at 126.448 mph (203.498 km/h). With hood, sidescreens as well as windshield got rid of, a metal airflow deflector suited front of the driver, and a tonneau cover fastened over the traveler side of the cockpit the rate boosted to 136.596 mph (219.830 km/h), making the XK120 the world’s fastest manufacturing auto.