Body Alignment on XK120 OTS

Hi all,

I wonder whether anyone can shed any light on the front end alightment on my 120 OTS. It has been rather poorly restored unfortunately in my opinion and there is a lot that I can critise the previous owner for but I would value your opinions on this:

The cutout for the trackrod has an additional cutout both sides for the steering stop. I have never seen this on another image or in any literature and I wonder if it is a bodge or if it could be factory? One side is worse than the other but the captive nut for the steering stop bolt on the worse side isn’t straight either which makes it look worse. I was trying to figure out what is amiss and I also note that the gap between the front mounting plate and the wing is different from one side to the other:

All the bolts line up and the mounting points are all lined up etc with no signs of any holes being elongated. The front wings were never removed during the restoration and so I know that the position of these is factory althought the body was removed from the chassis. I believe all the bodyshells were hand welded and jigged at the factory, could it simply have been a Friday afternoon job? Has anyone seen anything similar please?


Yours is a '52 OTS so it would imply that they had the body welding jigs all set up by that time and they wouldn’t be making mistakes like this.
I am more inclined to suspect the restorers of being careless.
You might look around at all the other body mounting places, especially the 3 across the front directly under the tie rod that fix the position relative to the chassis, and the front bumper mountings to the cow horn.

XK120 front bumper mounting hardware 007
But those other panels in the front bonnet lock area could be shifted around a little bit relative to the inner valences.

If it was an early FHC, there might be cause to suspect the “built on Friday syndrome”.

Actually this is just due to their raising up the body 1" higher in front on the FHCs.


Thanks so much for your reply and apologies for the delay in replying, life has been hectic! I can’t help but agree with what you’re saying but…

I have located a photograph of the car before it was restored. It isn’t very clear but you can just see the extra cut-outs are present:

Now the caveat to this is that the car was ‘restored’ (read tarted-up) once before in the early 1970’s when it joined the Aalholm museum collection in Denmark, however I am certain that the body would never have been removed then. I have also noticed on one or two cars that the large opening for the trackrod has been made larger toward the front of the car - in other words the opposite problem to mine. Maybe alignment was never perfect across the board?

An update to this for anyone interested. After studying lots of images of different cars it would appear that there were serveral different pressings of the front wings used, especially around the treatment of the area discussed above. It is clear that on many cars, the arch in the inner wing where the steering track rod passes through, also provided clearance for the steering stop bolts and therefore the piece of inner wing behind (next to the radiator) kind of flapped around loosely. Tadek’s car is a good example (I hope you don’t mind me using the images Tadek):

Now I have the extra little cut outs behind the arch as shown in my first post here and Schmidt show this image of the inner wing:

This clearly shows the extra hole which is described as a mounting point. Some cars I’ve seen has this part of the inner wing mounted to the sterring stop bolt bracket like this:

This also has a circular pressing in the area above.