Driving the 120 FHC

KPH, I presume.

With proper tires, rained, and generous following distances i think this is not completely insane.

I think, knowing a bit about Sybil that would have MPH, she used to send a Christmas card to the traffic enforcement department each year.

Tom , now might be the time to show pictures of the event last weekend

It was indeed MPH. It had 6 downdraught Webers and IIRC, was made to her special order painted Opalescent Golden Sand, which was no longer a factory colour for the S3. I don’t believe it came with the Webers, Sybil fitted them herself.

About driving the XK120, this is going to the event this week end (not sure how to post a video). I note that is a really nice and controllable 60 mph.


Hi LLuis,
Very good to see you enjoying your FHC in rainy conditions, it all adds to the fun. Our New England group often takes off in the rain and encounters similar torrential conditions. It’s all part of the experience and what the cars were made for. Having an enclosed top and wind up windows offers the advantage of greater protection from the rain, but my FHC does leak at the windshield, dripping onto the floor mat, which I will address.

I also designed a rubber shield that protects the distributor from getting drenched from water spewing off the tires. Here it is bare bones, wide open to the water.

I first made a cardboard mock-up.

Here is the final result.

On one outing a few years ago, under sustained torrential rain, the distributor cap on my brother’s 54 DHC cracked, which he blamed on the drenching. This shield was made up to prevent that.

Tom Brady


Brilliant idea that will be copied this side of our planet… simple question would you also cover the gas pump?

Hi Lluis,
I’ve never had an issue with SU fuel pumps that I can attribute to water, so no. They are pretty much out of the water spray path, tucked up against the frame rail, and should have a seal around the bakelite cap that prevents water ingress.

Tom Brady

The SU pumps also had a rubber sleeve for that reason.

Hi Tom:

Following an embarrassing episode one night driving a young lady home when, after running into a heavy shower and having the XK flame-out, I decided to also rectify the problem.


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Jaguar also agreed with you and corrected the situation with the introduction of the XK 140…

Bob K.

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Hmmm, do not have that… I guess that the risk is low as Tom says, or that I am lucky I came come. I will check SNG in case they stock it.

Bob, would this one from the 140 fit directly the 120?


That would be sheer coincidence! I have sincere doubts here, as the one I show on the photo is for the XK140 FHC, which is again different from the one for the XK 140 OTS/DHC.
But the basic idea could be used for the XK 120 as well. See photo below which better shows the way it was designed to fit the various surrounding panels.

Bob K.

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It’s not likely that 120 would be the same as 140, partly due to the different steering, recirculating ball vs rack and pinion. And the 120 FHC and DHC bodies are up a little higher than the 120 OTS. One would also have to investigate if RHD vs LHD made any difference on the design.
The approach by Tom and Chris seems the best, trial and error.
Although I have run mine in rain storms without any troubles.

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Hi Rob,
The conditions we have driven in are the aftermath of hurricanes and Nor’easters that pelt down rain like opening a firehose. These conditions have lasted for hours, and sometimes hundreds of miles, like taking a hose and playing it against your distributor. Not at all desirable, but if your have an event to attend and a house reservation then your choice is to drive in it or stay home, we choose to drive in it, usually in a caravan of cars. It is quite the test of our old equipment and any help it can get is worthwhile. Using Rain-X on the windscreens is a huge improvement, pretty much eliminating the need for wipers when traveling at 60-70 mph with the traffic.

Tom Brady

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Hi Nick,
Following up on your question, I had the coupe on the highway yesterday afternoon, attended our annual JANE club dinner at Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA, a great event as usual, and perfect weather. Running at 70 MPH my tach shows 3050 RPM, a comfortable point for my engine.

Tom Brady


Why is that bonnet open??? Just kidding: showing XK beauty for sure :ok_hand:

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Hi Lluis,
Yes the engine is spectacular and begs to be displayed. I took it to Patriot Place yesterday afternoon, the home of the New England Patriots football team. There were hundreds and hundreds of cool cars and everyone loved it, another perfect weather day.

Tom Brady

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your revs…at 70…with those tires…the GY Eagle 205 70-16…is in line with the factory 3.54 rev chart…that shows 3073 calculated and 3017 actual with the old bias Dunlop Road Speed, tire psi was probably 25 per the handbook. Interesting as you cite 27.3 as the diameter…while the Dunlops were 281 or 28.2. ( I’d have expected some increased revs)…but OK.