The Jaguar XK120
is a sports car
which was manufactured by Jaguar
between 1948 and 1954. Jaguar's first post-war sports car, it succeeded the SS 100
, which ceased production in 1940.
The XK120 was launched in roadster form at the 1948 London Motor Show
as a testbed
and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine
. It caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons
to put it into production.
The "120" in its name referred to its 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed (faster with the windscreen removed), which made the XK120 the world's fastest standard production car at the time of its launch.
It was available in two 'open' versions – first as the roadster
(designated OTS, for open two-seater, in America), then, also as a drophead coupé, DHC, from 1953 – and as a closed, or "fixed-head" coupé
(FHC) from 1951. The DHC was a more deluxe open model, featuring the wood dashboard and wood accent veneers on the interior as found on the FHC.
The roadster version was successful in racing.
The first 242 cars, all roadsters hand-built between late 1948 and early 1950, had aluminium bodies on ash
frames. To meet demand it was necessary for the mass-production versions, beginning with the 1950 model year, to have pressed-steel bodies. They retained aluminium doors, bonnet
, and boot
With alloy cylinder head
and twin side-draft SU carburetors
, the dual......