1000 Finarte / Classic Cars

Brescia, Monday 13 May 2019


1951 Jaguar XK 120 FHC SE (Jaguar)

Chassis No. S680124 - Engine no W6172-8S

  • Eligible to the Mille Miglia and main re-enactments worldwide
  • Eligible to the main Concourse d’Elegance
  • “Special Equipment” version
  • Further optional Jaguar version with C-Type Head
  • Matching numbers· Complete and documented restoration
  • From the collection of a well-known entrepreneur in the men’s fashion industry

Sold € 128.117,00

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The model

Between 1948 and 1954, Jaguar manufactured the XK 120. It was Jaguar's first postwar sports car, launched in open two-seater form at the 1948 London Motor Show, as a testbed and show car for the new Jaguar XK engine. The car caused a sensation, persuading Jaguar founder and chairman William Lyons to put it into production. The first cars had open 2-seater bodies entirely built with aluminium panels supported by a steel frame (doors and rear bonnet had internal wooden frames, also used on following versions with steel bodywork, which kept the aluminium doors and rear bonnet). Production switched to heavier all-steel in early 1950. The "120" in the name referred to the aluminium car's 120 mph (193 km/h) top speed, which made it the world's fastest production car at the time of its launch. The XK 120 was ultimately available in three versions or body styles, first as an open 2-seater (OTS), defined roadster on the US market, then as a fixed head coupé (FHC) from 1951 and finally as a drophead coupé (DHC) from 1953, all two-seaters and available with Left (LHD) or Right-Hand Drive (RHD). Dashboards and door-caps in both the DHC and the closed (FHC) coupé were wood-panelled, whereas the open cars were leather-trimmed. All models had removable spats ("fender skirts" in the USA) on the rear wheel arches, enhancing the streamlined look, absent on cars fitted with optional Rudge-Whitworth wire wheels with centre-lock knockoff hubs. In 1949, the first production car (chassis number 670003) was delivered to Clark Gable.The XK 120 was available in a “Special Equipment” version, offered as a factory option around mid-1951 according to Service Bulletin #95 dated June 1951. The XK 120 3.4 SE, unofficially called the "M" for Modified in the USA, in addition to wire wheels, had several upgrades including increased power and stiffer suspension. The engine specifications included higher lift camshafts and twin exhaust pipes. More racing parts were made available through agents/dealers beginning in 1953 according to Service Bulletin #95A dated April 1953, like the C-type head.XK 120s were highly successful in racing. The first victory came in August 1949 at Silverstone. In 1950, three XK 120s entered the Le Mans 24 Hours race. One car was also registered at the Targa Florio, with Biondetti. At the Mille, Miglia Johnson ranked 5th with John Lea, while Biondetti and Bronzoni finished 8th. A fifth place was an outstanding achievement for a production car. The Jaguar was beaten only by official Alfa Romeo cars of Fangio, the Ferraris of Serafini, Bracco and winner Marzotto. It was Jaguar's best-ever finish in the Mille Miglia and the best by a British car and British driver combination. The racing career of XK 120 continued, after that, all over the world. In America, an XK 120 FHC was the first imported car to achieve a victory in NASCAR in 1954. Foreign-made cars were banned from this series after this race.The XK 120 was involved in several high-speed runs and records. The Motor magazine road-tested the prototype XK 120 in November 1949 and reported a top speed of 124.6 mph (200.5 km/h). In August 1952, a specially prepared fixed-head coupé was taken to the oval track of the Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry and was driven for seven days and seven nights at an average speed of 100.32 miles per hour, including all stops. There were four drivers: Stirling Moss, Jack Fairman, Bert Hadley and Leslie Johnson who set nine new international and world records.12.045 specimens of XK 120 have been built. Of them, only 2477 were FHC/LHD and considerably less the SE version cars.

The car 

1952 Jaguar XK 120 FHC SE, chassis no. S680124 is a Fixed Head Coupé, with Special Equipment and a dealer option. The “standard” XK 120 was a fast car for its time, and the 3.4 SE was already the sports option of the XK 120. A further option was the XK 120 3.4 SE modified by agent/dealer (or owner) with C-Type Head and larger SU H8 carbs. The racing parts were made available through agents/dealers beginning in 1953 according to Service Bulletin #95A dated April 1953. This way, the car presented 210 hp at 5750 rpm instead of standard 160 hp at 5000 rpm. It is the case of the car proposed in this lot.The car, matching numbers, was found in the USA with an old California plate, stopped for many years, complete with all its parts but in need of complete restoration that took almost three years. The car was completely disassembled and taken to the bare metal then carefully rebuilt, piece by piece, to perfection in a light bronze metallic with tobacco leather interiors. The car is painted and restored in the same original colour-interiors combination and is owned by a well-known collector, a car enthusiast and entrepreneur in the field of men's fashion industry. The car with chassis no. S680124, completed in 2013, is sold with the racing C-Type head and original standard head, original sports steering wheel and a standard one, two complete series of rims in addition to those mounted. A car that is the best of both worlds, as a refined tourer and a long-distance sports car, ready for the main re-enactment races, like the Mille Miglia, or the main Concourse d’Elegance.State of the ArtComplete and documented restoration of body, interiors and mechanical parts. Matching numbers.

State of the Art: Complete and documented restoration of body, interiors and mechanical parts. Matching numbers.


  • Urs Schmidt, Jaguar XK 120 (Volume 1/2), Vulcan Publishing 2002.
  • Andrew Whyte, Jaguar Sports Racing & Works Competition Cars to 1953, Haynes Publishing, UK 2002.

Certifications and Statements

Fiva, ASI, Jaguar Heritage.

Registration and Italian license plates in order.


  • Mille Miglia. Eligible. 
  • Giro di Sicilia. Eligible.
  • Targa Florio. Eligible.
  • Goodwood Revival. Eligible
  • Rallye Monte-Carlo Historique.Eligible
  • Le Mans Classic. Eligible.
  • Coppa d’Oro delle Dolomiti. Eligible.
  • Vernasca Silver Flag. Eligible.
  • California Mille: Eligible.
  • Nürburgring Classic. Eligible.
  • Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
  • Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Eligible.
  • Chantilly Arts & Elegance Richard Mille. Eligible.
  • Concorso d’eleganza Villa D’Este. Eligible.



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