I know of a somewhat early XK120 OTS that has the usual factory stamping on the cylinder head. However, what is unusual is that following the stamping there is an “E” stamped after the compression ratio suffix. I was told that this engine had been ported and polished, has the high lift camshafts and larger valves. I think, please don’t quote me, that it may have had competition history in Australia and may have been prepared at the factory in this way, including the stamped “E” suffix. I have never seen or heard of this “E” stamping and I wonder if this was a precursor of the C-Type cylinder head. Could the “E” possibly mean Experimental? Knowing the history of this car as told by the owner I think that this could all have been original from the factory. I will be very interested to hear if anyone has heard of this mysterious “E” suffix. I think I can supply a photograph of the stamping in the near future.
I don’t know about a suffix E, but the prefix E was used for the C and D-Types.
Gary best to post photo of the engine number stamping and the pressed number at rear of head and if possible part number from underneath and any mystery will be solved instantly terry
without seeing any info it is all meaningless and impossible to make any conclusions!
But in the 100’s if not 1000’s of heads I have seen and the 1000’s of factory documents I have I have never seen any reference to an E suffix and I am going to say that It will be something added later not factory.
Just noticed your reference to competition history in Australia. Given I know all the cars with competition history in Australia it will be fairly easy to determine history just need the detail.
Patiently awaiting the proffered pic …
The Australian car noted whilst it was still in Australia up until a few years ago whilst it was hillclimbed a couple of times had no real competition history.
So confusing how the head got to the USA or maybe the whole car is there now?
I am wondering whether the E may stand for exchange ie old head corroded or damaged and replaced and I have seen blocks and heads that have been replaced with different numbers including police allocated numbers.
Love to know if entire car is in the USA.
Really gets back to part number from bottom of head and the number at rear of head maybe early enough to have it stamped in valley and still ideally photo head number stamping.
100% agree with Terry, based on similar experience - never seen any reference to such a suffix letter…
Certainly in the very earliest XK120 heads, they had no Engine Number at all stamped on the head as with all later XK120s, and indeed a few of these cars later had home made stampings added through ignorance or their own good reason. Some Registration authorities wanted a visible Engine Number stamping…
So I would want to see a photo of the current Head stamping as that will reveal all, and if not I would want to know the Head Sequence Number, and all the casting numbers on the underside of the head to explore the remotest possibility that this may well be a ‘special’ head, rather than the 99.99% probability that it is a home made ‘E suffix’ stamping… but not impossible…
I agree to all the kind and helpful replies. Hopefully this mystery will have more light shed on it. The “E” suffix may be an added feature by a past owner or repair facility and maybe it was put there by the factory. I will try to do my part in finding out and obtaining an actual photograph. If armed with that and more information, I am pretty confident that the combined resources and great enthusiasm of my fellow forum contributors may help find the correct answer.