NO RESERVE - 1954 Jaguar XK120 Drophead Coupé


  • A very rare, original right-hand drive drophead coupé - one of under 300 produced
  • Beautifully restored and remaining excellent condition throughout
  • Heritage certificate confirming matching numbers
  • Original combination of British Racing Green with suede green interior and black hood
  • Paint work and brightwork in excellent condition
  • Rarely seen and desirable spats are still fitted
  • Very comprehensive history file - meticulously maintained 
  • Drives beautifully and ready to be enjoyed! 

The Appeal

The XK120 was something of a supercar in its day, being the fastest car on the road when it was introduced. And it had the looks to match, especially in drophead coupé guise. This body style was particularly rare in right-hand drive form, with fewer than 300 examples having been produced by the factory, which makes this car something very special indeed.

It is now presented in extremely good condition throughout, from the British Racing Green paintwork to the professionally retrimmed interior, it’s hard to take your eye off this car. 

Under the bonnet, the engine gleams beautifully and the underside of the car is also very clean. It appears to be a very tidily maintained car throughout, one which you will be proud to add to your collection.  

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 21st January 1954
  • One of fewer than 300 original UK right-hand drive XK120 drophead coupés ever produced 
  • The original owner was RAF Squadron Leader de Villiers — the chief test pilot for de Havilland and reportedly the only person to ever break the sound barrier in an open-cockpit aircraft, when the canopy blew off mid-flight. He was also chief test pilot during the development of the English Electric Lightning, which performed its first flight in August 1954
  • MOT passed in February 2023, without advisories
  • Road Tax and MOT exempt 
  • Extensive history folder
  • Older restoration
  • Jaguar Operating, Maintenance and Service Handbook
  • Workshop manual
  • Heritage certificate, which notes that the car was first despatched in November 1953, then subsequently despatched on 21st January 1954
  • Historic tax discs and MOT certificates 
  • UK V5C
  • The car was originally painted British Racing Green, and it still retains this colour 
  • The owner has kept a maintenance record with entries such as ‘December 2020, ¾ pint of engine oil added. Mileage 7,239’

The Interior

  • Superb, professionally retrimmed interior
  • Highly polished walnut veneers
  • Carpets and leather in excellent condition

The cockpit of this XK120 has been fully retrimmed by Suffolk & Turley, Jaguar coach trimming specialists and they have certainly done an excellent job. The leatherwork on the seats is beautifully executed and the carpets and door cards are similarly good. 

There are only very light signs of use, with some slight creasing evident on the seats. The book-matched burr walnut veneers exhibit a fine grain figure and a warm patina. The vendor notes that there are some early signs of very minor deterioration in the finish, but that this does not detract from its overall appearance. 

A full set of instruments fills the dashboard and keeps the driver informed of the car’s condition at all times. The only issue here is that the clock no longer functions, having been designed to run in a positive earth electrical system, which has since been converted to negative earth. 

The wood-rimmed steering wheel — fixed to an adjustable steering column — is not the original, this having been removed and sent for restoration. The vendor informs us that this work is now complete and the original can be supplied with the car. 

To the rear, the spacious boot is fully carpeted and features a full size spare wheel beneath the floor. There is also a leather tool roll with a full set of high quality period-correct spanners, and other tools. 

The Exterior 

  • Beautiful British Racing Green paintwork 
  • Excellent chrome plating
  • Very clean underneath

The flowing lines of this XK120 look fantastic finished in British Racing Green, with colour-matched steel wheels, rear wheel arch spats (said to be the originals) and that wonderful drophead roof. This Jaguar’s bodywork is beautifully presented throughout with excellent shut lines, as is the paint. 

The vendor informs us that during the car’s restoration new rear wings were fitted, while the front wings were stripped and lead-filled where required. The bonnet, doors and boot lid are all aluminium. 

There are a few very small marks and blemishes which the car has picked up through use, but the paint is still very presentable. Similarly, the chrome plating is very good, with no obvious signs of pitting or damage that we could see. 

All the trim looks great, the badges are smart and the lamp lenses are clear and bright. The fabric hood remains very smart, with no stains, tears or fading we could see. And underneath, the chassis and floor panels are very well presented and clean, with what looks like a layer of protective underseal having been applied 

The Mechanics 

  • 3.4-litre XK engine 
  • Sensible upgrades such as electronic ignition and high-torque starter motor
  • Said to run very well and change gear smoothly 

Under the long, slender bonnet of this XK120 lies its secret weapon: the 3.4-litre XK engine which provides the car with its stunning performance. In its day it was pretty much the fastest thing on the road and opening up the throttle as you pulled onto an unrestricted motorway slip road must have been quite the sensation. 

Lifting the bonnet reveals an extremely clean and tidy engine bay, with hardly a spec of dirt to be seen. The polished aluminium camshaft covers gleam proudly in the centre and the twin S.U. carburettors sit to the side. There is an aluminium coolant expansion tank fitted.

The vendor informs us that the car starts on the button and drives well. It features a Moss gearbox which is said to change smoothly up and down. First gear and reverse are straight cut, so a little louder than the other gears by design. The engine reportedly maintains a healthy oil pressure and we’re told that there is rarely any need to top up the oil or coolant any more than you would expect on a car of this vintage. 


Clearly this XK120 has been extremely well looked after, while still remaining in regular use. The restoration work remains in excellent condition, with the smart British Racing Green paintwork and beautiful retrimmed interior marking this XK120 out as a superbly finished motorcar. 

This is certainly a car you’ll be proud to arrive in, and it will be welcomed at a huge variety of events throughout the UK and beyond. 

Notice to bidders

This item is sold on an ‘As is Where is’ basis. The condition of this item is the opinion of the seller and may differ from your own opinion. Photos and listing descriptions are for guidance purposes only*.** Car & Classic do not warrant listing accuracy. Full inspection is recommended. Viewings are at the seller’s discretion. Buyer is responsible for delivery and collection of any item purchased.*

UK-registered cars and motorbikes on Car & Classic are run through an online HPI check. On the HPI report, this vehicle shows no insurance database markers for damage or theft. It is currently not covered by a finance agreement.

A non-refundable buyer’s deposit is payable on this item, refer to FAQs and T&Cs for the applicable percentage.

All bidding, buying and offers are subject to our Terms and Conditions.

Please see our FAQs here and our Terms & Conditions here

Vehicle specification
  • Year 1953
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK120 DHC
  • Colour British Racing Green
  • Odometer 7,852 Miles
  • Engine size 3442
Auction Details
  • Seller Type Private
  • Town Mortlake
  • Location London
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
356 bids
  • jo•••• £95,500 29/03/23
  • Co•••• £95,000 29/03/23
  • jo•••• £94,500 29/03/23
  • Co•••• £94,000 29/03/23
  • jo•••• £93,500 29/03/23
  • St•••• £93,000 29/03/23
  • jo•••• £92,500 29/03/23
  • St•••• £92,000 29/03/23
  • jo•••• £91,500 29/03/23
  • St•••• £91,000 29/03/23

The Gallery

The safest way to buy a classic car online

Car & Classic's secure payment system protects buyers and sellers. At the end of the auction, the winning bidder transfers payment into a third-party escrow account. Once the transfer of the vehicle is complete, both parties confirm they are happy with the sale and the money is released to the seller.
Safe, secure payment process

About Max Bids

The max bid process allows you to bid without any hassle.
Enter your maximum bid and we will then bid on your behalf to ensure you're the highest bidder - just enough to keep you in the lead and only up until your maximum.


C&C prevent auction snipers from bidding in the last seconds to win an auction.
Auctions are extended by 3-minutes if anyone bids within the last 2 minutes to allow other bidders to react and counter-bid.

Auto-bidding increments

  • If your maximum bid is equal to or below the reserve price, your maximum bid will be applied in full if you are the highest bidder.
  • If you are the highest bidder and place a maximum bid above the reserve, we will automatically put in the reserve as your first bid.
    • Once the reserve has been met, Car & Classic will make sure you are the highest bidder using only the bidding increments stated below.
    • We will keep you in the lead up until your maximum bid OR the increment closest to your maximum bid, providing your maximum bid is enough to cover the increment value.

Bid Amount Increment
£0 to £10,000 £100.00
£10,000 to £50,000 £250.00
£50,000 to £100,000 £500.00
£100,000+ £1000.00

Automatically outbid immediately

When you place a max bid and are outbid immediately that means that another bidder has placed a max bid limit which is higher than yours.
You can bid again and we will use our automatic bid system to try and get you as the highest bidder.

Matching max bids

When there are two max bids of the same value, the one placed first remains the lead bidder.

What are pre-bids?

A pre-bid means you’re able to place a bid before the official start of the auction.
You will be notified whether or not you are the highest bidder when the auction starts.

Problem with your bid

Bids are contractually binding. To help protect you, we have some rules in place if we think it's been mistyped. Please check and amend what you have entered.