1951 Jaguar XK120

Four-seat Tourer
Bonhams Les Grandes Marques du Monde 2021
Wednesday, 3 March - Wednesday, 10 March 2021
€126,500 ($150,535)
Sale Price
€150,000 - €200,000
Est. Range
12 March 2021
Sold Date
Lot Number
Recent restoration
Auction House
Chassis no. 660750. Engine no. W3023-7. White with Claret cloth top over Claret leather. RHD. 3,442 six, 7:1 compression ratio, dual SU carburetors, 4-speed, full weather equipment, steel wheels, teardrop spats, outside fuel filler, Lucas tri-bar headlights, Lucas driving lights, flat windshield, tool roll, jack, trailer hitch, varnished wood instrument panel.

Evaluation: The only known 4-seat XK 120, an export model destined for David Stuart Mitchell of Tauranga New Zealand with a 7:1 compression ratio export engine. Show polished cam covers, fastidious attention to detail throughout, although badly presented in the online photos. Represented online as a “Drophead Coupe”, it isn’t. It has side curtains and a single layer top. That aside, it is a singular, unique automobile that will stand out at any Jaguar or British car gathering and was chosen as ‘Best Restored Car’ at Techno Classica Essen in 2007. That it looks this good fourteen years later is a credit to the caliber and quality of its restoration and its subsequent preservation.

Bottom Line: The prettiest XK 120s are the creations of William Lyons and his team, the OTS, DHC and FHC. This doesn’t approach those in style or design, but it is true to the Lyons line, if exaggerated in its rear overhang to accommodate the two back seats. It is hard, even with the few detailed photos, to criticize the caliber of its restoration and condition and, for a car that will forever confer upon its owner the mantle of a “unique” XK 120, a rare opportunity. It’s no Ghia Supersonic (most recently sold by RM at Monterey in 2015 for $2 million) but it will be a welcome entrant in the same field of coachbuilt XK Jags and for a lot less money. This was an astute purchase.

by Rick Carey
19 March 2021
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  • Larry Jackson says:

    So, are the “rear seats” just jump seats, because the battery box is right behind the front seats and the boot and gas tank aren’t going to allow much in the way of a seat or foot well area.

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Condition definitions
Condition #1: Concours
Condition #1 vehicles are the best in the world. The visual image is of the best vehicle, in the right colors, driving onto the lawn at the finest concours. Perfectly clean, the vehicle has been groomed down to the tire treads. Painted and chromed surfaces are mirror-like. Dust and dirt are banned, and materials used are correct and superbly fitted. The one word description for #1 vehicles is “concours.“
Condition #2: Excellent
#2 vehicles could win a local or regional show. They can be former #1 vehicles that have been driven or have aged. Seasoned observers will have to look closely for flaws, but will be able to find some not seen by the general public. The paint, chrome, glass and finishes will all appear as excellent. No excessive smoke will be seen on startup, no unusual noises will emanate from the engine. The vehicle will drive as a new vehicle of its era would. The one word description for #2 vehicles is “excellent.“
Condition #3: Good
#3 vehicles could possess some, but not all of the issues of a #4 vehicle, but they will be balanced by other factors such as a fresh paint job or a new, correct interior where applicable. #3 vehicles drive and run well, but might have some incorrect parts. These vehicles are not used for daily transportation but are ready for a long tour without excuses, and the casual passerby will not find any visual flaws. “Good” is the one word description of a #3 vehicle.
Condition #4: Fair
#4 vehicles are daily drivers, with flaws visible to the naked eye. The chrome might have pitting or scratches, the windshield might be chipped. Paintwork is imperfect, and perhaps the body has a minor dent. Split seams or a cracked dash, where applicable, might be present. No major parts are missing, but the wheels could differ from the originals, or other non- stock additions might be present. A #4 vehicle can also be a deteriorated restoration. “Fair” is the one word that describes a #4 vehicle.
Condition #5: Poor
Running, but battered, incomplete, and perhaps rusty.
Condition #6: Parts car
Parts car.
Hagerty only assigns condition ratings to vehicles we can inspect in person or, for online listings, via high-quality photography.