Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupé
Year of manufacture 1953
Recorded mileage 52,146
Asking price £75,000
Vendor Cotswold Collectors Cars, Bibury, Glos; tel: 01242 821600;
WHEN IT WAS NEW
Max power 160bhp
Max torque 195lb ft
0-60mph 9.2 secs
Top speed 116mph
This UK-market drophead has a lovely external patina, though it was only painted back in its original colour within the past 15 years. Getting the superficial blemishes out of the way first, there is some cracking and starring on the left-front cheek, and a few dimples and stars in the doors and boot area, plus one at the back of the bonnet, a few small bubbles and runs in the paint and some pickling on the front bumpers. But all of this just contributes to a lovely character, which contrasts nicely with the refurbished interior. This involved new seat leather, plus new carpets from The Trim Centre, and a new lined mohair hood and cover by Mick Turley at a cost of £5000. The timber was refinished at the same time, but the steering wheel was left unrestored, which suits it very well.
Door fit is okay on the driver’s side and near-perfect on the other, which is normal on an XK. The rear-light plinths are pretty good, just slightly blemished and not pitted. The rear wheels were new in 2004 and all pass the spoke test, though the fronts sound a little flatter, as you’d expect, all including the spare shod with very period-looking Pirelli Cinturatos.
Under the bonnet the engine retains its original air trunking, with mesh filter up front. The exhaust looks fairly recent from the manifolds back, the aluminium fuel tank was new in 2012 and there’s a large aluminium radiator, plus the grease gun still clipped to the left inner wing. The oil is clean and just over minimum, and the coolant is full and greenish. The V5C now matches the chassis plate on the car, where for years the logbook was 10 digits out.
It starts easily once the slightly temperamental starter has caught, and drives really well, in a loose-limbed sort of way. The chassis is supple on new rubbers and rear springs, with no clonks, and it pulls well. The only annoyance in an otherwise silent structure is a slightly squeaky driver’s door, though there’s room for adjustment. Oil pressure is 40psi at 3000rpm when warm, and temperature is steady at 75º. It comes with a Heritage Certificate.
Paint nicely patinated, with only superficial blemishes
New seat leather, carpets and mohair hood and cover
Drives really sweetly and pulls well
For Lovely character
Against Not shiny – but that’s the whole point
SHOULD I BUY IT?
Yes, if you want a lovely old thing that’s very usable. If you want concours, look elsewhere