Jaguar XK 120 OTS ‘Sports Special’, 1953
Jaguar XK 120 OTS ‘Sports Special’, year 1953. Colour red metallic with a black leather interior and black carpet. This fabulous and very special Jaguar XK 120 was restored in the past. In the process the car received some beautiful optical modifications. The bumpers were deleted and the sheet metal bodywork received subtle changes. Louvers were added to the bonnet and to the front wings for additional cooling of the more powerful 3.8 Litre engine. The rear of the car was given flush lines and different rear lights. The most important alteration concerns the passenger compartment. The panel behind the seats was beautifully shaped to create more interior space for tall drivers. Period bucket seats match the rear-deck perfectly. The exterior and the interior are beautifully finished and the custom made windscreen frame completes the powerful and sleek look of this magnificent special. The 3.8 Litre engine is fitted with three double Weber carburettors giving a power output of over 250 bhp! The car drives, handles and steers impressively and the exhaust note is exhilarating! This Jaguar XK 120 special can be placed between the XK 120 Roadster and the Jaguar XK 120-C (C-type), the racing model of the XK 120. This automobile is in excellent to superb condition. This is a unique ‘racer’ of which only one exists; exclusivity guaranteed!
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The Jaguar XK 120 was introduced in 1948, and caused an immediate sensation. The XK 120 had a top speed of 120 miles an hour (about. 200 km/h) and was the fastest production car for sale at that time. The XK 120 was designed by Jaguar’s boss and founder William Lyons. The bodywork had an almost sculptural design, with sober, well-chosen flowing lines and beautiful curves. With its exquisite long bonnet and elongated wing lines, the XK 120 has a very dynamic charisma.
Together with the XK 120, the new Jaguar "XK" straight-six engine was introduced which, for the next forty years, was to attire all Jaguar models in ever improved forms. The XK 120 was available in three versions: as a roadster, the slightly larger DHC (Drop Head Coupe) and as the FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) with a fixed steel roof. The XK 120 was built until 1954 and was followed by the XK 140.
Six cylinder in-line engine (DOHC)
carburettors: 2x S.U. H6 1¾ inch
cylinder capacity: 3442 cc.
capacity: 160 bhp. at 5000 rpm. (SE: 180 bhp. at 5300 rpm.)
torque: 261.5 Nm at 2500 rpm.
top-speed: 200 km/h. - 124,6 mph.
gearbox: 4-speed, manual
weight: 1321 kg.
Source: The Jaguar File
Though the Jaguar brand was first used in 1945, its factory had been founded long before. In 1922, William Lyons and William Walmsley laid the foundation of the firm in Blackpool, England, with the name of Swallow Coachbuilding Co. The factory constructed motorcycles and sidecars and later bodies based on the Austin Seven chassis. When in the 1930s their own SS cars were built, the company name was changed into SS cars Ltd.
The SS cars were conventional saloons and drophead coupes in the way many other British brands built them.
For obvious reasons, After World War II the company name SS Cars Ltd. was changed into Jaguar Cars Ltd. It was the birth of the now famous and popular make of Jaguar.
The pre-war SS models were sold under the name of Jaguar until 1948, and in this year the saloon, the MK-V, and a sports car, which was the much talked of XK 120, were brought onto the market.
The XK 120 was very successful, and established the fame of this name as one of the icons in the history of motorcars. The XK 120 could reach 120 miles an hour (almost 200 km/h), which made it the fastest production car of its time. Moreover, the XK 120 cost much less than the other comparable production models by Aston Martin and Ferrari.
In 1951 and 1953, Jaguar won the 24-hour of Le Mans with a racer based on the XK 120, the Jaguar C-type. It made the name outright immortal. Success was continued the next years with the Jaguar D-type, which surpassed its competitors with its disc brakes.
The XK sports car series was a success and the XK 120 was succeeded by the XK 140 and XK 150 over the years. The deluxe saloons were a spur to victory with the introduction of the MK I in 1957 and the MK II in 1959. This self-willed, streamlined sedan was a real ‘wolf in sheep’s clothing’. The car was fitted with the powerful 3.4 litre XK six-cylinder engine, which was good for reaching a top-speed of about 200 km/h.
In 1960, Jaguar took over the British Daimler, and from that time onward it used the name of Daimler for its deluxe, comfort-oriented models, and the name of Jaguar for its sporty cars.
In 1961, the famous Jaguar E-Type was born. The E-Type was inspired by the D-Type racing car from the fifties. Like the XK, the E-Type was an icon in the history of car making, with an almost alien design and excellent technology. The E-Type appeared as a roadster, as an FHC (Fixed Head Coupe) and as a 2+2. They also built some special lightweight E-Types to prolong the racing successes of the past. However, they did not succeed as competitors had copied the technical achievements of the D-Type.
In the production of the deluxe saloons, a large MK X was added to the MK II, and the contiguous S-Type, the 240/340 series and the 420/420G series were brought onto the market.
In 1968, the Jaguar XJ was designed and though evolved in many ways, the XJ is available to this very day.…
In 1971, a V12 engine was added to the Jaguar E-Type, and later in the Daimler Double Six and the Jaguar XJ 12. At that time, it was the only twelve-cylinder engine in serial production in the world.
In the mid-seventies, the E-Type had to clear the field and besides the XJ, the special-lined 2+2 came onto the market. It was the XJS. This car was also available as a convertible.
So far the classic period. In the future the Jaguar history from 1980 will be filled in.
© Marc Vorgers