I finally bought an XK120

Hi all-
My name’s Josh- I’ve been a member here for a short while and have enjoyed reading the various topics. The depth of knowledge you lot have really is incredible.

I have read rather than contributed, as I haven’t actually owned a Jaguar- until now that is:

An XK120 has been a dream car of mine for many years and I’ve finally bought one!

It arrived from interstate today, coincidentally rolling into my driveway exactly 71 years since it rolled off the production line on 26 May 1950.

It is an early steel car, that was was delivered new here in Australia.
Having been restored in the 1980s, it now wears a gentle patina, and comes with maintenance records indicating it’s been cherished by the previous owner in the 40-odd years he owned it.

Whilst it won some concours prizes in the early ‘80s, there appear to be several items that are not correct for its early production date.

Never mind though- I plan on driving it regularly and enjoying it for what it is. My first proper drive will be to work on Friday.

I look forward to sharing more information with you, and I thank you in advance for tolerating the questions I may have as I get to know the car.

This is the only photo I currently have to hand- I will post more in due course.

Warm Regards


Hi Josh, did I see your car at Shannons? Welcome. Paul.

101 a car that spent many years in perth.
regards terry

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Yes- this is that one.

welcome to the group !! so fun for you to have that nice XK120…hope to see more pics and data…Nick

Welcome, Josh! May 1950 - gosh, that is a pretty early XK120. I can see one thing straight away. Someone has been seduced by the look of chrome wire wheels (the car is way too early to have been fitted with wires). It looks like the rebate for receiving the spats is still there around the rear wheel arch. Wire wheel cars had a half round brass moulding in the recess, flattened and turned under and brazed at each end. My Dec 1950 car was the same, though it had the brass finishers. I decided to go back to the original disc wheels and spats, which was a far from cheap exercise! However, it would be a shame to spoil that nice shiny red paint on yours by fitting the finishers (heat is involved).

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you have no doubt done some research…there are some books, resources , that you will want to have…the Factory Service Manual…quite a few on ebay from $35 up. The Owners Handbook, and any of the fine Jaguar XK120 books out…"XK120 Explored", and from JCNA, the XK120 Concours Judging Guide for a good idea of what’s what. Catalogs from some of the parts suppliers are helpful for a full list of parts with many diagrams…and of course the archives in this forum, accessed by the magnify glass at top right…tons of info there by a few key words.

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Thanks everyone for the positive comments.

Chrislackner, You are correct of course: it wouldn’t have come with the wire wheels.
These were a recent addition by the previous owner- from memory the invoice in file shows they were purchased and fitted with new Avons about a year or two ago.

Fortunately it came with the steel wheels (and hub caps) but unfortunately not the spats.

I may switch back to the steel wheels at some point. I assume the hubs will be different. Noting that it still has the drum brakes, what else would be required?

Here is another photo taken last night

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fabulous car…and whether as is with the nice wires or disc wheels is of course totally up to you…If you were to do serious concours for points, then there’s that and a zillion things to check off. I am a fan of the wires. Do check how a spare fits (or does not) in the spare tray, as the wire wheel requires more vertical, and the tray in wire wheel cars was raised in production to accommodate. Maybe those who made the change did some work there to accommodate a wire wheel spare. (My 53 is SE with wires, but I do not carry the spare anyway unless on a long trip. (I’d either fix a flat, send for my spare, or flatbed it home.) My waterproof car cover lives in the spare wheel tray, with a flat-folding chair. The front brake drum on factory wire wheel cars is dished inward to the center. And then there is the matter of the rear fender fitments for the spats.

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Hi Josh
Congratulations for your red beauty!
Am I right assuming 101 stays for #660101? If so, our cars left the factory allmost side by side. Our is #660097 :relaxed:
Enjoy this masterpiece in engineering :+1:

Best Regards Lukas

Hi Lukas, yes, this is 660101.
It’s pretty cool to imagine these coming off the production line together. Is yours still original, with the features of the earlier cars?


See 660101 when I took this photo in Sydney in 2013, then registered [NSW]XK-000

Looking superb then, as it still does today…


Looks great! I take back my earlier comment - the wire wheels have evidently been on the car longer than I thought… although, those ones look smaller…

I was disappointed not to be able to retain that number plate here in QLD.

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No side vents! Very early steel car. Maybe it’s alloy??

That would be nice, but no - the last RHD Alloy was chassis 660058.
This one, 660101, is the 43rd RHD steel body car.

But yes, early features such as lack of side vents make it interesting…

Stunning car. Love the wire wheels. Congrats!!

paint the chrome wires to match the body colour.

that would be nice

very smart car…best fun is driving them, second best fun is lying on a garage floor swearing at them

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I always use the contemplation stool for that… :slight_smile:

With any luck, I’ll be doing more of the former than the latter.

Have just seen that I will need to buy ~16Litres of oil to do an oil change…
I’m sure the wife wont mind me mortgaging the house to keep servicing up to date.