1953 Jaguar XK120 Roadster
The Jaguar XK120 was launched in 1948 at the London Motor Show. It caused a sensation, which persuaded Jaguar founder and design boss William Lyons to put it into production. It was Jaguar’s first sports car since the SS 100, which ceased production in 1940. The “120” in its name referred to its 120 mph top speed, which made the XK120 the world’s fastest production car in its day. It was available in two open versions, first as the roadster (designated OTS, for open two-seater), then also as a drophead coupé (DHC) from 1953. The car was also available as a closed or fixed head coupé (FHC) from 1951.
We are delighted to offer a factory right hand drive 1953 Jaguar XK120. This particular car being chassis number S669017 was completed 28th April 1953 and despatched on the 11th May 1953 to Brysons, Sydney, arriving on the “Dorset”. The car was sold new on 14th July 1953 to Dr Walter O Pye.
The car is documented in the following books: The Jaguar XK120 in the Southern Hemisphere (2009) by John Elmgreen and Terry McGrath and The Jaguar XK in Australia (1985) by John Elmgreen and Terry McGrath. The car’s history is an extract from these books.
Dr Pye sold the car in the late 1950’s to a Mr W Harvey of San Souci (Sydney), who used it extensively (including a trip to Cairns, QLD) and serviced it himself, also having the seats reupholstered in kangaroo skin. The car was sold by him on the 7th April 1966 to a dealer Newmans of Kogarah and by the middle of the year was with another dealer RC (Ron) Phillips of Paramatta Road, Sydney. The next owner is not known, however, he had an accident in the car damaging the rear left side quarter of the car. Even though the car was otherwise in good condition, it ended up being sold in the late 1960’s to wreckers Brunker Spares of Greenacre, Sydney.
Parts of the car were subsequently sold off, however, it was eventually saved and the chassis, front end and some of the body panels (but without the front mudguards, engine or gearbox) passed into the hands of Roydon’s of Lakemba, NSW in the early 1970’s. The car was sold to Bryce Parsons of Tuena (near Goulburn) in NSW who did little with the car before it was again sold to Greg Hunt in 1984. Hunt acquired many missing parts for the car, including another ‘parts car’, being chassis 674934 which was a LHD XK120 OTS which he really needed for the body. In about 1985 Hunt sold the project to Leigh Gorringe of Hunters Hill, Sydney from whom it passed in 1986 to Guy Beddington of Brisbane.
Finally Jaguar XK120, chassis number S669017 was restored to her former glory.
Beddington restored the car as a roadster (it left the factory as a fixed head coupe) to “Special Equipment” specification, including fitting 2” carburettors and wire wheels. The work was completed in Sydney at Simpson Smash Repairs of Wentworthville. The finished car was then offered for sale at a Christies’ auction in June 1991 and subsequently at a dealership Performance & Prestige Cars in October 1991. The car was later advertised for sale by Unique Autos in Melbourne (when the engine number was quoted as N3338, from a late Mk VII – which is in the car today) and then in June 1996 at Albion Auto Auctions in Brisbane, QLD (at which stage it had Victorian personalised plates) and at John Briggs Mid City Autos in Brisbane, QLD.
It is understood the car was acquired by a local Brisbane doctor who drove the car only once in his three years of ownership.
S669017 was then acquired by the current owner and in his ownership of almost twenty years he has regularly used and maintained the car.
Today the car presents really well. The paint has high gloss, however, on closer inspection there are some stone chips, nicks and minor scratched consistent with a car that is driven and used. There is the odd blister / bubble evident in the paint, particularly on the front guard seams. The panel gaps are generally very good and structurally the car looks really solid. The chrome, exterior trim and glass is also in good condition that is consistent with the overall appearance of the car. The interior is well presented, clean and tidy. There are no rips or tears in the seats and all of the instruments and controls are in good condition. There is a soft top with the car that is in average condition. The owner proudly reports he’s never had it up in his near on twenty years of ownership! With some fettling it could be made serviceable. There is also a tonneau cover in good condition and sider curtains. The wire wheels are in excellent condition.
Out on the road the car drives really well and mechanically it appears to be in very good order. It starts easily and once warm is a treat to drive. The gearbox is as smooth as a Moss box can be and the car steers and stops as it should. The performance of the car is excellent.
Classic Jaguars are in high demand and these early XK’s are just ‘very cool’.
- Jaguar XK120 Roadster
- 5,901 miles
- 3442 cc