1951 Jaguar XK120 Roadster


  • Impeccable and rare factory right hand drive OTS
  • Comprehensively restored and barely used since 
  • Just released from a private classic car collection 
  • Matching numbers car 
  • One of only 1,069 RHD standard OTS steel bodied XK120s
  • Recommissioned by seller for sale 

The Appeal 

At the end of the second world war Jaguar was, naturally, quick out of the starting block. Just three years on from the end of hostilities it introduced the world to the XK120. The new car wasn’t just achingly beautiful, it was built for competition success, specifically at Le Mans.

Three body styles were available, of which the OTS Open Two Seater remained closest to the firm’s record-breaking land speed cars. Most XK120s went to America to sate celebrities and help Britain’s export drive. But a few remained at home and this is one of them. 

It is an original UK RHD car as confirmed by chassis records. Finished in the compelling combination of Mist Grey over oxblood, it received a meticulous ground-up restoration a few years ago. Subsequently it has been been part of a private collection and barely used. As such it presents in impeccable, near-concours condition. 

This is a superb vehicle for the very discerning collector. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 1st March 1952
  • VIN records confirm that this is a factory RHD OTS steel bodied car
  • Only 1,116 RHD steel bodied OTS cars were built
  • Of which 1,069 were standard cars and 47 SE models
  • Data derived from XK Owners Club 
  • Fastidious restoration undertaken some years ago when speedo appears to have been zero’d
  • Recommissioned by seller, a high end classic car vendor, for sale 
  • Previously formed part of a private classic car collection 
  • Current owner since 24th April 2018
  • DVLA records indicate one previous owner 
  • Unfortunately there are no MOT records for this car 

The Interior

  • Simply stunning oxblood interior exquisitely trimmed to clearly exacting standards
  • Carefully trimmed leather seats replicate factory specification 
  • Beautiful Jaguar four-spoke black-rimmed steering wheel
  • Smiths dials 
  • Carpeted boot area
  • Oxblood dash and cabin roll 

While other XK120 models erred towards luxury, the OTS focussed more on driver engagement and a simpler, less adorned style. Arguably it is all the better for it, the exquisitely crafted design of the cockpit continuing to influence Jaguar style well into the new Millennium. 

This car has been carefully retrimmed in oxblood. As a contrast to the Mist Grey paintwork it works particularly well. As you would expect from a quality restoration it pays particularly attention to factory specification, evident in the crafting of the door trims - which reflect exact factory output - and the seats which also appear to accurately replicate the Jaguar trim work.

It has clearly been done to a very high standard. The very limited use and careful storage ever since explain why it presents now much as it would have done the day it was finished. It is very difficult, if not actually impossible, to identify any signs of use or wear across the trim, seats and cabin and boot carpets. 

The Exterior

  • Unmarked Mist Grey paintwork with Oxblood hood 
  • Body colour chrome-enhanced steel rims
  • Blockley tyres
  • Reconditioned chromework unmarked 
  • Slim XK120 bumpers with discreet indicators added under the front 

The XK120 was built first and foremost to slip through the air with the greatest of ease. That it was also a beguiling and utterly beautiful shape too was a lucky consequence. The OTS body style was intended as the more sporting end of the XK120 spectrum and was the one used by Jaguar to deliver the run of speed records achieved throughout the late 40s and early 50s. 

Certain colours seem to suit the OTS particularly well and, as the photographs of this car show, Mist Grey is certainly one of them. The car was comprehensively restored some years ago with barely any use since, to which the immaculate condition attests. The straight lines, clean and consistent panel fit all indicate a very high quality job. 

The chromework appears to be either new or reconditioned, showing no visible deterioration or marks, like the rest of the car. We are told that a complementary oxblood fabric roof is fitted. 

It sits on steel wheels with chrome trims and body colour fillets, equipped with quality Blockley vintage tyres. The only concession to modernity appears to be a pair of discreet indicators carefully placed below the front bumper. 

The Mechanics 

  • 3,441cc straight six Jaguar XK engine developing around 160bhp 
  • 4spd ‘Moss’ gearbox
  • Highly detailed engine bay in superb condition with polished components 

The appeal of the XK120 was that its beauty was more than skin deep. Beneath the sinuous bonnet was Jaguar’s new XK straight six engine, a motor so good that it remained in production into the 1980s. In the XK120 it was mated to Jaguar’s strong and durable ‘Moss’ manual gearbox. 

This car is a matching numbers car and the engine appears to have been comprehensively restored during the restoration and then carefully detailed. As a result the under bonnet array is almost as rewarding as the rest of the car. 

The speedometer appears to have been zero’d during the restoration, indicating that this car has covered a vanishingly small mileage since. Recently extracted from a private collection it has been recommissioned by the seller for sale. 


The XK120 is one of those cars that it seems too exquisite to simply drive. It is a work of art that works just as well as a static display. 

Looking at this beautiful example you can see why. Beautifully finished and barely used since its restoration, this will surely be a tantalising addition to any collection. 


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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1951
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK120
  • Colour Grey
  • Odometer 32 Miles
  • Engine size 3400
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Town Cotswolds
  • Location Gloucestershire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
8 bids from 7 bidders
  • Zippyxx £42,000 24/09/23
  • JaM3s £40,000 24/09/23
  • Zippyxx £35,000 23/09/23
  • qhunt £30,000 23/09/23
  • roy-mur•••• £25,000 23/09/23
  • neil-sa•••• £20,000 22/09/23
  • ric@mas•••• £12,000 22/09/23
  • darren-•••• £10,000 21/09/23

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