The XK 120 has fared very well at public auction and private treaty sales. Earlier this month, an exceptional 1953 Jaguar XK 120C hammered for $8,091,216 at Bonhams auction in Monaco, the racer was unchanged from original.
RM Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) recently sold a 1950 Jaguar XK 120 Roadster for just over $287,000. The XK 120’s cost £1,000 ($1,470) at their debut in 1948.
The public data shows values increasing steadily over the past 5 years, with the average sale price of XK 120’s made from 1948 to 1954 rising from $85,000 in Y 2011 to $97,000 this year. Some fine examples marked six-figures, so, now some longtime die-hard owners have decided to sell. Only the best will be of keen interest to discerning collectors, as it is with Ferrari, and as it should be.
Jaguar made 12,078 XK 120’s from 1948 to 1954, and by comparison, it made more than 76,000 E-Types, its most iconic car ever.
The model’s name comes from the 120mph top speed Jaguar promised, which at the time made it the fastest production car in the world. Zero to 60mph in 10 secs.
By Y 1951, Jaguar XK roadsters with their revolutionary engines and 4-speed manual transmissions were averaging more than 100mph for 24 hours on special racing tracks in Europe.
The 1st 242 XK 120’s made had wood-framed open-top aluminum bodies with 2 seats, the design: smooth, calm, powerful. Production switched to all-steel construction by Y 1950.
There eventually came 3 models: as an open 2-seat roadster, a fixed-head coupe in Y 1951 and a drop-head coupe in Y 1953.
The XK 120 roadsters are more desirable than the later-model XK 140’s and 150’s, especially the ones built before Y 1950 because they were lightweight aluminum.
The Big Q: How do you go about buying of these lovely classic sports cars?
The Big A: This is a sports car one buy for the long-term, it is really fun to drive, and it has been proven to be a good investment. And as in demand as they are now are on the collectible market, getting a good one in original form is the best bet.
This is a fairly reliable sports car, as vintage cars go, but their seats are not adjustable seats and short pedal beds make them better suited ergonomically to a man or woman under 6ft.
Noted: In the information describing the $8-M+ racing example that Bonhams sold, Sir Stirling Moss praised the 3.4-liter XK engine for its “nice, smooth power” and “lovely noise,” but he also decried those seats: “I do remember how Jaguars never had good seats,” Moss said. “The XK120’s weren’t that good, and when the C-Type came along, they built racing seats which weren’t much better.”
I wanted one I was a boy, but when I learned about Ferrari, well I bought a 2.4ltr Jaguar Saloon for my bride. I got the Ferrari.
Have a terrific weekend.