Vendor supplied images


  • Car 82 of the 294 RHD DHCs built 
  • Older restoration in very smart condition 
  • Stylish black over retrimmed red leather 
  • Recent brake overhaul by marque specalist 
  • Perfect for the enthusiast who wants to drive it 

The Appeal 

70 years after it left the factory it is hard not to have the same reaction to this XK120 as its first buyers. It looks sensational, a sleek, aerodynamic sports car that would have stood out amongst its boxy contemporaries with their separate wings and running boards. 
The black over red leather colour scheme adds to the charm, managing to be both understated and tasteful. It certainly suits the lines. 
Most XK120s went Stateside as LHD models. This is car 82 of the mere 294 RHD DHCs built, produced in 1953. It has had a colour change since new and is non-matching numbers, but presents in very good, solid condition. It is exactly the sort of XK120 for someone who wants to really enjoy these magnificent sports cars. 
The history file records a £10,000 recommission in 2016 by MDM services and more recently, in late 2023, the brakes were extensively overhauled by Greg Smith Engineering. The vendor has carefully checked the car over and undertaken remedial mechanical work - including engine and carburettor rebuild and a new radiator - so that it arrives with the buyer exactly as required: namely, ready to drive. 

The History and Paperwork

  • First registered 14th November 1953
  • DVLA records three registered keepers
  • Current keeper since 21st March 2015
  • Car 82 of the 294 RHD DHC built 
  • Chassis records confirm this is a 1953 car 
  • Registered on the XK Data database with photographs from 2014 to 2017
  • Noted there as originally finished in cream over red with fawn roof 
  • First delivered to Henlys in London 
  • DVLA records appear to confirm this showing a colour change from white in July 1999 
  • Previously sold at Bonhams with some history from the Bonhams listed summarised below 
  • Non matching numbers as original engine replaced with one from a Mk1 saloon 
  • Now with engine number KF8560-8 although this is incorrectly recorded with DVLA 
  • Recommissioned in 2016 by MDM Services of Leicester with list of work summarised below 
  • Brakes overhauled in October 2023 by specialist Greg Smith Engineering 
  • Recent full cosmetic and mechanical inspection by vendor summarised below 
  • Work by Classic Performance engineering in February 2024 detailed below 
  • Last MOT expired May 2015 with 4,564 miles showing and no advisories however it has definitely gone around the clock
  • Of course this car is MOT, tax and ULEZ exempt 
Summary of previous Bonhams sale details: 
  • Nothing is known of this XK120’s history prior to its purchase in December 1975 by the immediately preceding owner
  • Works carried out during the latter’s 39-year ownership include rewiring the electrics forward of the bulkhead in the late 1970s
  • Also a ‘Body off’ restoration undertaken circa 2000/2001
  • The latter involved removing and repairing all body panels; minor patching to the chassis; a compete interior re-trim in red Bridge of Weir leather; and a new hood
  • In 2013 the car was treated to a new clutch, all new brake hydraulics, an engine flush and new core plugs
  • Rear wheel spats, air horns, copper brake pipes, two 12-volt batteries and negative earth electrics are the only notified deviations from factory specification
Recommissioning work in 2016: 
  • Engine mounts changed
  • Full front & rear suspension refresh
  • New wiring looms
  • All ball joints replaced
  • Throttle linkage repaired
  • Brake pipes replace where necessary
  • Full service carried out
Recent pre-sale work by Classic Performance Engineering in February 2024: 
  • Remove, re-shim and refit engine
  • Replace radiator with a modern, efficient aluminium unit
  • Fully strip, re-built and fit twin SU carburettors
  • Adjust handbrake
  • Fit new fuel sender
  • Fit four new Avon tyres

The Condition

  • Older restoration finished in smart black with good quality paintwork finish 
  • The paintwork presents well with some minor marks to be expected due to age of work
  • Bodywork is very solid across structure, floors and sills 
  • There is some localised deterioration to note in photos including a rear wheel arch and door
  • Black hood in good condition with clear screen and good fit and finish across fabric
  • Sits on factory correct steel wheels with chrome hub cap embellishers in body colour 
  • Recent four new quality Avon tyres fitted 
  • Red Bridge of Weir leather interior which has been retrimmed to a high standard
  • Few signs of wear inside but some age-related patina should be expected
  • Very presentable cabin fittings including dashboard veneers which show only very light aging 
  • Neat details suggest this car may be known to enthusiasts such as the 1974 Woburn plaque
The black paintwork was a smart choice when this car was restored because it both underplays the car’s presence and enhances the sleek William Lyons-honed lines. It was clearly finished to a high standard. While there is some inevitable localised deterioration - such as to one of the rear wings and a door - these issues are limited to those areas and could be rectified. The vendor has conducted a full cosmetic check and confirms the car is structurally solid with good floors and sills. 
Inside, the red Bridge of Weir leather cabin is the usual XK120 delight, a mix of natural materials that make the luxurious DHC version of these cars particularly appealing. The retrim has been completed to a high standard and the veneers and other fittings are well presented. 

The Mechanics 

  • 3,441cc XK straight six engine
  • Non matching numbers car for the reasons stated above 
  • 4spd manual gearbox 
  • Recent engine and carburettor rebuild 
  • New radiator fitted in February 2024 
  • Brakes overhauled in late 2023 
  • Full list of work undertaken listed above 
  • No reported running or driving issues - ready to enjoy 

The vendor has pressure tested the engine with the following results: 
  • Cylinder 1: 139.0 psi
  • Cylinder 2: 140.8 psi
  • Cylinder 3: 134.8 psi
  • Cylinder 4: 141.0 psi
  • Cylinder 5: 148.0 psi
  • Cylinder 6: 139.0 psi
The MOT records note that this car has been sparingly used since the current keeper acquired it in 2015. And yet the maintenance during that time has been fastidious. There is a breakdown of the work above but it has included £10,000 of recommissioning work, a brake overhaul and more recent attention to the carburettors and engine. 
All of which means that this car arrives with the buyer in fine fettle. That is great news because the sweet-revving 3.4litre XK unit, originally developed for racing at Le Mans, is one of motoring’s true delights. 
The XK120 is popular with classic car touring and rally fans because it is both practical and comfort. With its extensive maintenance record, this example is perfectly suited to simply use and enjoy. There is scope to improve the cosmetics, but with such an enticing driver’s car, surely that can wait. 

This sale is subject to the Car & Classic Terms and Conditions. By bidding and/or making an offer, you also agree to the following: 
The seller of this vehicle is registered as a business seller. And you are covered by Car & Classic’s Terms and Conditions
We request that a non-refundable fee be paid if you are the lucky winning bidder at auction or if your offer is accepted. Please refer to our helpful FAQs and T&Cs for specific rates. 
This vehicle is “Sold As Seen”, on an “As Is Where Is’ basis and without warranty. Photos and descriptions are solely for guidance purposes and it's customary to carry out a full inspection of the vehicle prior to purchase for your own peace of mind. 
✓ VAT is included in the buyer's deposit. VAT may or may not be included in the final bid or offer price, as specified in the listing. 
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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1953
  • Make Jaguar
  • Model XK120
  • Colour Black
  • Odometer 104,092 Miles
  • Engine size 3441
Listing Details
  • Seller Type Trade
  • Location Oxfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom

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